My mum makes this dal a lot, and it’s pretty good. I didn’t like it when I was little (I preferred macaroni and cheese) but now I like it, especially with some rice and some homemade yogurt on top. Here are the ingredients I used. (My pepper shaker is plastic, but I bought it a long time ago and I refill it with peppercorns that I buy in bulk.)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper (less if you don’t want it too spicy)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups cauliflower florets (I buy cauliflower at the farmer’s market since it isn’t wrapped in plastic. Besides saving plastic from the landfill, you can also inspect the cauliflower for blemishes more easily than you can when its covered in plastic wrap. I find that the plastic wrap diminishes the quality of cauliflowers a lot. Even if I wasn’t trying to be plastic-free, I would avoid the plastic wrapped cauliflowers.)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
- 2 1/2 cups water or homemade vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried lentils (I used green but red will work too)
- 2 tbsp lime juice or lemon juice if you don’t have any limes, which I didn’t (I’ve never mentioned this, but those plastic lemons with the juice inside drive me nuts. They’re extremely wasteful and the juice is poor in quality. Juice your own lemons and limes instead.)
- 3/4 tsp salt
Chop the onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and cauliflower.
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onions, garlic, ginger and spices. Cook until softened. If stuff sticks to the bottom of the pan, don’t worry. The acid in the tomatoes will lift it right off.
Add the tomatoes and cauliflower. Cook for a minute.
Add the lentils and the water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Add the lime juice and salt. Serve over brown rice, and you have a complete protein. (On their own, the lentils are missing an essential amino acid. The brown rice supplies this.)
You can also serve it with some homemade yogurt, but then it won’t be vegan. Enjoy!