3/8/12

Daal or Dhal? Recipe for Dhal with Coconut Milk, Onions, Chillies & Tomatoes


Hi, everyone,

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?

11 comments:

Krissy @ Make it Naked said...

This looks amazing. I LOVE dal. dahl? daal? ;)

Puja said...

The lentils are cooked to perfection. Really glad to hear the recipe worked for you... one of my family favorites as well. The thing with Daal and Dhaal is just simply that its a southern thing :) Folks from the south of India spell it with an extra 'h'... tastes all the same.. lol. Love your presentation as well especially with the sauteed toppings and lemon slices.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

I'm so glad you approve ;)

Shal416 said...

Mmm..not only is daal yummy, but it's also extremely healthy.

The region where my family is from (the northwest) we spell it daal and don't add coconut milk (that's a South Indian addition). I really need to make it once, and you're slowly inspiring me. =)

Ben said...

That show looks so beautiful! Great pictures, also great pictures of this dish. I love the background color :)

Irina said...

I love lentils! Just made Indian-spiced lentil soup last night, as a matter of fact. I didn't add coconut milk, but sometimes I do add it to my lentil soup or to thicker, stew-like lentil dishes. I really like the onion and tomato topping on your dhal. My husband doesn't care for cooked onions and tomatoes (cooked onions are actually his biggest food nightmare) but I might make it for myself one day, as to me it looks delicious.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

I don't know how you can be married to someone who doesn't like onions and tomatoes in all possible forms ;)

Irina said...

It's definitely not easy, Olga! ;) Somehow we make do...

I leave tomatoes and onions out of the dishes that I make for both of us or for my husband alone (I'm vegetarian and he is a meat eater, and about half the time I make separate meals for us and the rest of the time I cook something vegetarian that we both enjoy). Sometimes I'll get a craving for caramelized onions, so I'll make a big batch and mix them into everything I eat for the next several days until I've had my fill. As far as tomatoes, I'm not a huge fan of cooked tomatoes myself - I'll eat them, but I don't miss them if they're not around. However, there is one dish involving cooked tomatoes that we both like, which is chana masala. At our house, probably 6 or 7 cans out of every 8-pack of canned tomatoes that we buy at Costco go into chana masala...

Sasha said...

Wow. This dish is beautiful. So many ingredients I'd never heard of before!
I like cooking lentils in red wine and lots of woodsy herbs.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Give it a try!!


-------- Original message --------
Subject: [mangotomato] Re: Mango & Tomato: Daal or Dhal? Recipe for Dhal with Coconut Milk, Onions, Chillies & Tomatoes

Nicole said...

looks so yummy! i love the orange in the background. the two dishes look a little unappetizing when photographed separately, but when you styled them together they work together perfectly and have great colors and contrast.