Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mango Dal (with Chard)

Serves 6


I’m a dal fiend, so when I saw this recipe in Eating Well magazine, and imagined the blissful combination of my favorite fruit and my favorite legume preparation, I knew it would be on the menu soon enough. I finally got around to trying it when we had guests the other night. We served it with an Indian-spiced roast chicken (I made a spice rub with salt, cumin, curry, biryani seasoning, cinnamon, chili powder and ginger), and homemade parathas, which are kind of like an Indian version of a tortilla. I call them the lazy man’s naan, since there’s no yeast involved. Below is the recipe as written, but I found that it need a little extra….something. Salt being part of the something. I also dipped into my Indian spice mixes and added a tablespoon of a basic vegetable curry spice blend. Oh, and I added chard because I’m a chard disciple lately.

1 C yellow lentils

4 C water

1 tsp salt, divided

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 Tbs canola oil

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 onion, chopped

(1 bunch chard leaves, washed and chopped)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs minced fresh ginger

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 mangoes, peeled and diced

1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro

Rinse lentils, then combine with water, 1/2 tsp salt and turmeric in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, heat oil in a large skillet. Add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onion (and chard) and cook until soft. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cayenne and remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and cook for one minute longer.

Stir the spice mixture and the mangoes into the lentils. Return to a simmer and cook 15 minutes longer. Serve with rice and garnish with cilantro.

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