Years ago, when I stumbled into a kitchen and first began cooking for myself, I remember that my cooking repertoire consisted of maybe 4 items: sandwiches in a panini press, frozen food from the grocery store, meat and vegetables mixed with pre-made curry sauce and daal.
Granted, I was studying abroad and my kitchen consisted of a sink, a fridge, and a gas cook top and shared among 4 girls. One of the girls taught me how to make this daal recipe and I have been making it ever since. It is an easy dish to prepare and can be varied by trying different spices. I always feel that it never comes out the same way twice. I eat it as a side dish or alone on top of rice or pilaf. It always fills me up!
makes 4-6 portions
1 cup red lentil
3 cups water
3-oz tomato paste
1 cup cut cauliflower (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot and cook the onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and cauliflower for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
Add in the lentil, tomato paste, and 3 cups of water and mix. Then add all of the spices and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Cook for 30-35 minutes on low heat, until most of the water has evaporated and the lentil is soft.