This is one heart warming bowl of food! I saw this recipe on Food 52 and correctly assumed that the combination of lentils and Indian spices would be the perfect meal for a rainy wintry evening. It’s not at all spicy, but what it lacks in heat it certainly makes up for in flavor. Make a salad, warm up some naan and watch Monsoon Wedding one more time…
Red Lentil & Coconut Dal
3 cups red lentils (masoor dal)
1 medium yellow or red onion, roughly chopped
1 cup tomatoes, canned or fresh, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1/2 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
15 to 20 fresh or frozen curry leaves (optional but worth seeking out)
1 14-oz can coconut milk
In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, coarsely chopped onion, tomatoes, cayenne, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and salt. Add 7 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils begin to break down.
In a frying pan, warm the vegetable oil over medium to high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds. Cover the pan and wait briefly until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add the finely chopped onion and the curry leaves and cook, stirring to prevent the leaves from burning, until lightly browned.
Add the curry leaf mixture to the lentils along with the coconut milk. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the flavors have melded.