Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lentil Dal with Baby Grape Tomatoes

Brown lentils make a great base for satisfying and nutritious dals. I always sprout the lentils before using them. It takes about 24 - 48 hours. I never store the sprouted lentils for more than a few hours before using them. Grape tomatoes add a unique flavor to this dal. I always make this dal when the tomatoes are in season and available in plenty at the local farmer's market!
Brown lentils: 1 cup, soaked overnight in 1 cup of water and then sprouted to the point where you just see the seed germinate.
Red onion: 1 small, chopped.
Grape tomatoes: 1/2 cup, washed and halved.
Cilantro: fresh, chopped, 2 tablespoons.
Asafoetida: A pinch
Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon.
Turmeric: 1 teaspoon.
Garlic: fresh, grated, 1 teaspoon.
Red chili powder: 1/2 teaspoon.
Cumin powder: 1 teaspoon.
Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon.
Salt to taste.
Jaggery or Brown sugar: 1/2 teaspoon. (I buy it from the local Trader Joe's)
Pressure cook the lentils the day before if you are hard pressed for time on the day you plan to cook the dal.
In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add the cumin seeds. We want them to brown but not sputter. Then add a pinch of Asafoetida and stir. Add the chopped onions and saute them until they turn pink and translucent. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Then, add the turmeric and saute for about half a minute or so. At this point add the halved tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes sweat and begin to soften. Now add the cooked lentils and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Bring the lentils to a boil by adding about 1/2 a cup of water. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, salt and sugar and mix well. Cook on low heat for another five minutes. Serve with the chopped cilantro either as decoration or mixed into the dal as shown in the picture below.

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