Apple Dal (Includes A No-Oil Variation)
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 5 cups water
- 1 red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about a heaping tablespoon)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 jalapenos, minced (remove the seeds if you prefer less heat)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 Ginger Gold apples, cored and cut into large chunks (peeling the apples is optional, as is the type of apple you use. Gala apples would be great too)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds (either yellow or brown mustard seeds can be used)
- pinch of cayenne (optional)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Soak the lentils for 30 minutes and drain. Place lentils in a large heavy pot and add the water, onion, ginger, garlic, jalapenos, cinnamon and turmeric. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered. Skim and discard any foam at the top. Stir occasionally. After about 30 minutes, the lentils should start to come apart. Add the apples and simmer another 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, you can stop the cooking process, or if you want a soupier dal, add some water and whisk the mixture until the lentils puree and the apples chunks are incorporated. Remove the cinnamon stick and any large chunks of garlic or ginger you find.
In a small frying pan, heat the coconut oil, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and optional cayenne. Cover pan until the mustard seeds stop popping (about 30-60 seconds) and pour the spiced oil into the dal. Stir, taste for seasoning and add salt.
No-oil variation: Follow same approach as above for preparing the lentils and apples, but omit the step of making the spiced oil. Instead, top each bowl with the juice of half a lime, a big pinch of smoked salt and some chopped raw jalapenos. The flavors are completely different and very rich, despite omitting the oil.
Valerie from City|Life|Eats writes about all the things she loves on her blog, including delicious eats, yoga, farmer's markets, eco-fashion and mindful living. You can connect with Valerie on Twitter or Facebook.
Photo credit: Valerie