Sweetly Spicy Dhal (Indian lentils)

This is an ‘easy’ Dhal, but it still tastes good. It is an approximate recipe – I don’t use exact
measurements for it. Actually it’s not very different from the way Dhal is made in back-country Bangladesh. Apart
from the salt and garam masala, you just throw it all in the pot together and simmer. If the onion is chopped small,
all the ingredients are cooked and ready at about the same time. I use a heat-spreader under the pot for the later
slow simmering. You could probably also bring it to boil and then put it in an electric slow-cooker pot – less
critical about stirring. I haven’t tried it, but I’d guess about 1 hour – red lentils cook fast.

2 cups of small red lentils
2 cups of water (add another 1/2 to 1 cup water during
cooking, if it becomes too thick)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground turmeric
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 onion chopped small (red/purple onion if possible)
2 tsp of a good Indian tandoori paste
1/2 stick cinnamon (in one piece)
1 green chilli, split lengthwise and seeds removed (or
more or less chilli, to taste)
1 piece of dried Haj Korah peel (Bangladesh citrus) about
15mm square, or the same amount of fresh grapefruit
peel, or about 2 tsp lemon juice, or 1/2 to 1 tsp of juice
from tamarind pulp.


♦ In a medium-size thick-bottomed saucepan put
all ingredients together and stir.
♦ Bring to boil while stirring, then simmer on
low heat for about 15 min, stirring occasionally
to prevent lentils sticking to base of pan.
♦ Remove the chilli halves, bay leaf, and the
citrus peel.
♦ Add 1 tsp sea salt – and 1 tsp garam masala if
you have it.
♦ Continue to simmer on low, with careful
stirring, until the individual lentils just break
up, but the dhal is not yet completely smooth.
(maybe another 10-15 min.)
♦ Serve with rice or mashed potato, and sliced
fresh tomato.

Enjoy – Simcha

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