I think Indian food is underrated.Indian culture is so incredibly complex and colorful and ancient, and one cannot deny the Indian influence to the Arab world. We take rice for granted, but were it not for Indian trade, we would still be eating barley and wheatberries with our stews!
Hoping to increase my humble Indian food repertoire (consisting of keema, pea curry, tandoori, and mava cake), I decided to make dahl. Dahl for the Indians is like marag for the Iraqis: the baseline is the same, but each region adds their own flare to the dish.
My favorite thing about Indian food is the variety of vegetarian dishes they have; you don’t miss the meat at all! I served this dahl on a bed of brown rice, but regular rice or even naan bread would do.
To kick up the spice factor, you can add chilli.
1 cup red lentils
1 onion, finely diced
1 knob (2.5cm) ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1x400g can tomato
1 tsp salt and pepper to taste
Boil lentils in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in 2-3 Tbsp oil, saute the onion, ginger, and garlic until translucent.
Add the mustard and caraway seeds, turmeric, and garam masala; stir until fragrant.
Add the canned tomato, juice and all, to the onion, breaking up the tomato with your wooden spoon while stirring.
Add the boiled lentils with their water, and stir to combine.
Season with salt and pepper and simmer covered for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Serve over rice and topped with a dollop of yogurt and fresh coriander.