Dhal (the Indian word for lentils) is usually served as an accompaniment to curry. It is also excellent as a potato or rice substitute, served with sausages or slightly fatty meats.
No amount of cooking on low heat will soften lentil, so this dish must be cooked on high. It is one of those few dishes that must be stirred during cooking. Lift the lid and stir twice during the cooking process.
- 1 1/4 Cups Red Lentils (I have used Brown lentils)
- 2 Cups Boiling Water
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Tablespoons Oil
- 1 Onion, Peeled & Sliced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Crushed
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Green Pepper (Optional)
I have also added on occasion 1 tin tomatoes, 2 diced potatoes, 1 grated carrot. I have also (to save time), placed all the spices and onion in a large microwave bowl and cooked with the oil for 2 minutes or until onions are soft.
1) Wash lentils, drain and place in the Crockpot (Slow Cooker).
2) Add the bay leaf and boiling water. Cover with lid and cook on high for about 1 2/4 – 2 1/4 hours or until lentils are tender and have absorbed all the water. If there is a little water remaining, remove the lid for 15 minutes or so and stir occasionally. The water will evaporate.
3) About 20 minutes prior to serving, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and Garlic until soft.
4) Add turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon; continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the green pepper. Stir to coat the pepper with spices and cook for 5 minutes more.
5) Stir the spices and vegetable mixture into the lentil and season with salt and pepper.
I have served mine with a side of cous cous, garnished with fresh tomatoes and flat leafed parsley.
I like this meal because it doesn’t create a lot of dishes to wash, cheap, filling, freezes well, high in fibre and low in fat, can be eaten on its own or as a side dish.