Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Indian Red Lentil Soup- Dal

Whaaa! I can't believe that I haven't been able to find the time to post something for over a week. I am a bad bad blogger but things have been a bit hectic here. After several months of no movement on  relocating back to the UK it is suddenly all go and we should be back in London by the end of the month. This has meant much running around, organizing things, cleaning, packing and much list making (I do love a good list). I did however find time to make some lentil dal which is one of my favorite comfort foods. Although I normally cook this down to a thicker consistency and have it with rice or indian bread I decided to enjoy it the lighter way and eat it as a soup. Although there are quite a few ingredients you can omit some of the spices if you don't have them. I would say that your would need either onion, garlic or ginger along with yellow curry powder and cumin seeds but that everything else just adds to the dish.

I have to admit that I am not sure I will be posting much for a few weeks. I am intending on using as much of the food in my cupboards as possible before we leave and I not sure how inspiring that will be. We also don't have anywhere to live as such and will be relying on the kindness of friends and family for a while. I am looking forward to eating some good British food (and no that isn't a typo, we really have lifted our game in recent years). I am also thrilled  at the idea of not having to cooking in 30 degree/80F + heat and 80% humidity. So au revoir for a little while.

Lentil Dal Soup (Serves 2)
Vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free
150g Red lentils, rinsed and picked over for any bad lentils or small stones
1 inch Piece of dried kombu (optional, but makes pulses more digestible)
1/2tsp Crushed garlic
1tsp Fresh grated ginger
1 Small onion
1tsp Mustard seeds
1/2tsp Cumin seeds
1/4tsp Fennel seeds (optional)
1/2tsp Turmeric, ground (optional)
2tsp-1tbs Yellow curry powder
6 Curry leaves (optional)
1 1/2tsp oil
100ml Coconut milk
500ml Gluten free & vegan vegetable stock
1tbs Finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

  • In a saucepan add the oil and heat over a medium flame. Once the oil is hot add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft. At this point add the mustard seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, curry leaves and cook for 30 seconds then add the tumeric and curry powder and cook for a further 30 seconds. 
  • Once the spices are cooked add the stock. Once the stock is boiling add the red lentils and kombu. Cook  on a low heat for 20-25 mins or until the red lentils are tender and cooked through. Skim off any scum that forms during this process and be sure to stir this dish a few times as the lentils can stick to the bottom Add the coconut milk and cook down to desired thickness.  If you want a really smooth velvety texture you can blend this soup before serving if you prefer. Serve garnished with the fresh cilantro/coriander leaves. Alternatively, this can be served with rice or Indian bread for a main course.

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