Friday, September 12, 2008

Red Lentil Dal with Byriani

RED LENTIL Dal (adapted from The Tao of Cooking)

1.5 cups split red lentils
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic
pinch sugar
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp canned green chiles ( i used 1 light yellow pepper, semi-hot, instead)
2 tsp. curry powder
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Cover the lentils with water. Add salt and turmeric and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes, adding more water if needed.

Heat butter in a skillet. Add cumin and garlic and cook until they start to brown. Add onions and sugar and cook until onions are soft. Add ginger, chiles or pepper, and curry powder. Cook 3-4 minutes and add to lentils. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add cilantro (if desired) just before serving.

BYRIANI (adapted from The Tao of Cooking)
2 cups water
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 tsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp cumin
1 cup slices onion
1 small green pepper, diced
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground cardamom
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

Combine water, rice, butter, salt and turmeric and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook 35-40 minutes.

Heat oil in skillet. Add cumin, onion, peppers, and cook until onions soften. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, raisins and tomatoes. Cook 3 more minutes. Add grated carrot and almonds. Mix with cooked rice. Season with salt to taste.

Ideas for Accompaniments:
We had steamed cauliflower and a green salad with goat cheese, sliced apple and balsamic vinaigrette. I also served the following Clean Out The Freezer experiment: half a bag of cole slaw mix (grated cabbage and carrots) sauteed in olive oil with onion, garlic and salt -- it was surprisingly good.

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