Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cabbage Dal: a big ol' bowl of comfort

This was a lovely simple dal recipe that I found in...jeez, I can't find the source anywhere. Lame.
The dal was too yummy not to post though. Ladle the dal on top of brown rice, quinoa or millet and you've got yourself a total bowl of comfort.
The only change I made to the recipe as written below was to add a touch more cumin, corriander, and tumeric.

Cabbage Dal
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil + more to cook ginger/chili/mustard seed mixture
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 a large head of cabbage, finely shredded
200g (split) red lentils, washed and drained
2 teaspoons whole black mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
3 small red chillis, finely sliced (I used 2 serrano peppers sliced in thin rounds)

Heat 2 Tbs oil in a large, heavy-based pan, add the onion, cumin, coriander and turmeric and stir fry for about 5 mins on a medium heat until the onion is slightly browned.
Add the cabbage and continue cooking and stirring until the cabbage is covered in spices, slightly wilted but not yet cooked through.
Add the red lentils and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes while stirring to coat the lentils with all the spices. Add about 4 cups of water, bring to the boil and then turn the heat down as low as possible.
Put the lid on the pan and simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes (until lentils are cooked), stirring occasionally to prevent them sticking to the bottom of the pan. You may need to add a bit more water if it’s looking too thick.
Once the dal is cooked, heat about 1 to 1 1/2 (called for 2, but seemed a little oily the more I ate) more tablespoons of oil in a small saucepan. When hot put in the mustard seeds first, and then about 2 seconds later add the bay leaf, ginger and chillis. This mixture will pop and fizz away and it only needs to cook for about 10 seconds. Add mixture to the dal, stir, then cover immediately and leave for about 5 minutes before serving to let all the flavors combine.
This makes enough for 4 people. The recipe said that it freezes really well in case you'd like to make a larger quantity to save.