I took a day off on Tuesday and hopped on Amtrak to visit the Philadelphia Flower Show. It was absolutely gorgeous. The theme was Hawaii, so there were orchids everywhere: I was like a kid in a candy store. Check out some of the photographs I took.
And now, let's discuss this recipe for Dhal with Coconut Milk, Onions, Chillies & Tomatoes. First, I absolutely love lentils. They don't take too long to cook and take on whichever flavors you pair them up with. I'm often tempted to eat an entire pot of lentils, but try to resist.
This recipe comes from a beautiful blog called US Masala. I followed the directions almost to a tee, and the results were delicious.
I did not have curry leaves, so I instead used a few kaffir leaves, and left out Asafoetida. The rest of the ingredients are relatively simple to find: turmeric, garam masala, mustard seeds, tomatoes, onions (I used a red one), lime, garlic, cilantro, green chillies and coconut milk. If you make this recipe, don't use lite coconut milk. I did, and it gave the final result a slightly funky aftertaste, which I had to neutralize by adding extra lime juice and salt.
The recipe has two parts: lentils cooked in the coconut milk, and the topping.
For the topping, heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Then, add garlic, green chillies, curry or kaffir leaves and cook for a few minutes. Add chopped onions, cook till they are crispy, and finally add tomatoes and garam masala.
Lentils are cooked in a combination of water and coconut milk, with a bit of turmeric and salt, until they are tender: 25-35 minutes.
All there is left to do is to combine the two parts: ladle the cooked lentils into a bowl, top with the onion/tomato mixture, squeeze in a bit of lime juice and garnish with fresh cilantro.
I loved the texture of the mustard seeds, the slight heat from the chillies and the fresh finish of the lime juice and cilantro. In fact, I even had this for breakfast a few days ago: it's that good!
What do YOU like to do with lentils?