Sunday, May 27, 2012

Coconut, Tomato and Lentil Dhal with Toasted Almonds

Coconut, Tomato and Lentil Dhal with Toasted Almonds

Cooks in your crock pot 2 ½ to 3 hrs cooking time
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed or finely chopped
1 carrot diced
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp dry mustard (or 1 tsp mustard seeds if you have them)
2 tsp ground turmeric
1” piece of ginger grated
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup split red lentils
1 2/3 cup boiling vegetable stock
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of diced tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced.
Juice from 1 lime
4 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
Salt and fresh ground pepper
¼ sliced almonds toasted

1) Heat oil in a pan and add onions. Cook 5 min until they soften.
2) Add garlic, carrot, cumin, mustard and ginger to the pan. Cook for 3-4 min, stirring, until the seeds begin to pop and the carrots soften slightly.
3) Add the turmeric, chili powder and garam masala and cook while stirring for 1 min.
4) Tip the mixture into the crock pot. Add the lentils, stock, coconut milk and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stir well and cover.
5) Cook on high for 2 to 2 ½ hrs stirring every hour to make sure the lentils don’t stick. After the first 2 hrs check the texture of the lentils every 30 min to make sure they are to your liking. I made a double batch so I had to cook mine for 3 hours. Mix in lime juice and 3 tbsp cilantro and cook for 30 more min. Sever sprinkled with remaining cilantro and sliced toasted almonds.

Since I made a double batch I used 1 can of diced tomatoes and 3 fresh tomatoes. If you want to be able to pour it over rice you might want to add another can of coconut milk as the rice pulls a lot of moisture. On the side with rice it’s perfect. Make sure you add the almonds. The extra texture with the combination of flavors really adds to the dish.

If you don’t have the spice Garam Masala here is the recipe I used.
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg