Is it time for snow? If you didn’t already know, my husband was born in Buffalo, NY. Over the last 48 hours it has snowed over 6 feet in the region with more expected to be on its way… And while it hasn’t quite been that cold here in Seattle, a lack of rain, or should I say clouds, has brought in not only the sunshine but super chilly air to follow (agh! where is that down coat parka from 1998!!). It’s times like this that I need a kick of something warm and hardy to make it though the night. Walking in the door, throwing on some thermal PJ’s and cozying up to a hot bowl of this dal is all I wanted last night. Served with some warm tandoori naan, you are sure to sleep a nice warm slumber through the night.
Yield: Serves 4
1 1/3 cup black urad dal, soaked overnight in plenty of water
1/4 cup clarified butter or ghee (earth balance for a vegan version)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-inch piece of fresh finger, peeled and grated
1 green chile, chopped
1 tbsp garam masala
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup coconut cream
2 tbsp lime juice, plus 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve
1 1/2 tbsp black mustard seeds toasted
1 1/4 cups grated fresh coconut
1 tbsp cooking oil
3 large shallots, sliced
2 cups cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Drain the dal, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
For the Shallots: Place the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high hear. When the oil starts to sizzle, add the shallots and let cook, string occasionally, until they are nicely browned and a bit crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Dal: Place the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When it starts to sizzle, first add the asafoetida and then add the onion and sauté for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until soft and golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger, chile and garam masala and sauté for another 2 minutes, stirring consistently. Add the crushed tomatoes and cook for 4 more minutes. Add the dal, 4 1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the sauce has the consistency of thick soup and the dal is cooked but sill holding its shape. Bring to a rapid boil for a few minutes toward the end of cooking if the sauce needs reducing.
Turn the heat down to low, then stir in the coconut cream, lime juice, and black mustard seeds. Remove from the heat and serve, accompanied with the toppings in 3 separate bowls, for diners to sprinkle on top of their portion as they like.
Serve with naan and rice.
Recipe adapted from Plenty More