This type of lentils is called Chana Dhal or split chickpeas and is available at all Indian Grocers. This is a vegetarian dish that fills you up with healthy fiber and protein. I actually made it with coconut milk so it's vegan too.
Ingredients at a Glance:
2 1/2 cups of dry Chana Dhal (Lentils)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cinnamon stick (1inch long) **do not use powdered cinnamon**
1/2 a large onion chopped
2 serrano chilies diced (seeded for less spiciness)
2Tbs grated ginger
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1Tbs mustard seed
1Tbs cumin seed
small handful of curry leaves (optional)
red chili flakes to taste
1 can (15oz) of diced tomatoes
salt to taste
1 cup of coconut milk
***Use only cinnamon in stick form, not the powdered.
I call the next step "tempering" or it can be called "tarka" in Indian cooking. It's basically frying spices and herbs to flavor the lentil dish. Here are the ingredients you will need: onion chopped, serrano chilies diced, grated ginger and garlic minced, mustard seed, cumin seed, a small handful of curry leaves(available in Indian stores) and one can (15oz) of diced tomatoes or two fresh tomatoes diced.
Now add the onion, chili, chili flakes, garlic and ginger and fry. Then add the tomatoes and fry.
Add the cooked Chana Dhal (there maybe some liquid from the boiling (hopefully not too much). Stir all the ingredients together then add your coconut milk and simmer for a few more minutes. Taste for salt and serve with rice. Enjoy.
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