I think that we often daydream about visiting foreign destinations, to soak in the culture, visit scenery that otherwise we couldn’t fully appreciate, and of course experience the smell and taste of the local cuisine. Not all of us have the opportunities to travel the world, but we are so fortunate to be in the day and age of electronic information. With a simple click on the fingers we and be transported via the web to locations thousands miles away, all from the comfort of our own home.
We also have the options to taste international cuisine in specialty restaurant, but if you want to stay within a simple budget, you can recreate the taste of the far away land right here in your kitchens.
When I think of curry dishes, India, comes to mind. The fragrance of roasting curry powder, cumin seeds, ginger, and butter at the start of your curry dishes will transport you to a whole new world.
Lentils are a staples in South Asian cuisine but also are found throughout the world. Did you know that Canada is the number one exporter of lentils, farmers for the prairies are each years making their contribution helping numerous countries with this healthy legumes.
Did you know that eating a legumes like lentils with grains are a complete protein? We are by all means not a vegetarian family but being able to feed my family complete meals without meat is very budget friendly. There is so many different possibilities on how to prepare legumes and beans.
Today I am sharing one of my “Quick and easy red lentil Dahl” in about 30 minutes this dish can be on the table. It’s fulling, tasty and yes very easy.
What you will be needing
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion
- 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 inch of fresh frozen ginger, grated
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups of red lentils
- 6 cups of water
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the butter (ie Melt the butter over medium heat until it’s all bubbly and reach a golden brown color. Watch closely, the browning butter is can burn easily) When the butter has reach the coloration desired add in the onion, stir for about 2 min.
Add the curry powder, cumin seeds, salt and pepper flakes. When the onion are mostly cooked add the cinnamon, fresh ginger and red lentils and stir until they are all coated with the butter onion spices mixture then add the water.
Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until lentils are soft. Squeezed the juice of the lemon add salt and pepper to taste and serve over basmatie rice or with Nan or Roti (will be sharing how to make those soon)
If you find that the curry is too spicy for your or your kids taste buds, serve a generous spoon of plain yogurt over the dahl, or replace some of the water with a can of coconut milk.
Tips : When cooking lentils or legumes remember that acidity aren’t best friend during the cooking process but they become best buddies as a finish touch. Add acidity before the cooking has begun and lentils will not get soft and the texture will be off even after one or plus hours of cooking. Tomatoes, vinegar and lemon juice with brighten the flavors of any legumes dish when sprinkled on the dish just before serving.