Not everyone lucks out with neighbors, but we really did. When the house next door went up for sale, we began elaborate plans for a fence to insure our privacy. Thankfully, technical difficulties stalled our progress. Once the new owners moved in we knew we were lucky: two great kids, plus friendly parents who love food and gardening, inspired us cut a hole in our hedge so we can say hello or share some fresh herbs with ease.
These wonderful next-door neighbors had us over for an Indian feast a few months ago. They made delicious fresh dosa and an incredible dal. With every bite, I savored the subtle and surprising coconut flavor that permeated the dish. After I got their recipe, I immediately made a big pot of dal and relished eating it for many lunches with rice and steamed winter greens.
Adapted from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant
- 1 1/2 cup dried lentils
- 4 1/2 cups veggie stock or water
- 2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 cups diced onions
- 1 garlic clove minced or pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon hot chili pepper flakes or cayenne or 1 small fresh hot chili minced
- 1 cup coconut milk
Cook lentils in water or stock with salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric. When peas are tender, drain, but keep cooking liquid and set aside.
Saute onions with veg oil, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric, pepper, and chilis, until onions are golden. Stir constantly.
Mix onions with cooked lentils and reheat slowly. Then add coconut milk. Stir and warm all ingredients. Add some reserved cooking liquid if the dal is too dry or thick.