Folks, I was going to avoid blogging today but my cyber writing buddy C. on the west coast just became a follower of this site so I couldn't disappoint! Thank you to all three of you that are following right now. You're keeping me honest...and all my taste testers too of course. Keep the comments coming.
Today, I revised my black lentil recipes. There will be three in my book: black lentils (dal makhni, black lentils and kidney beans, and Theen Tal Dal (Three Note Dal) with lentils, kidney beans and garbanzo beans. I want to post the last one primarily because of my husband's reaction.
He walked in from a work "meeting" over beers around 10:30 p.m. I could tell right away it had been a fun time. His breathe gave it away. He changed and then came into the kitchen where I was busy - as always - cleaning my four lovely 5-quart crockpots. Ugh.
"Hey. So what is this?" Sandeep was peering into one that still had food in it. I was about to measure how many cups I'd made.
"Oh, just some dal." I didn't want to be specific. He once told me he didn't think black lentils/kidney beans/garbanzo beans would go together. Neither of us had grown up eating the combination.
He got a bowl and barely got to his seat with it before I heard..."oh my ***** god. This is amazing. What did you put in this???"
I didn't tell Sandeep, but I'll tell you...
Black Lentils with Kidney and Garbanzo Beans
Theen Taal dal – Three Note Dal
Cooker: 5-quart medium
Setting and Cooking Time: high for 6 hours, makes 10 - 11 cups
This dish is a meal in itself with the mix of kidney beans and garbanzo beans, which almost gives it a meaty texture. One friend said he’s a devoted carnivore and when he took a bite of this dish was convinced it had meat in it – it’s that hearty and robust.
I adapted the recipe from Raghavan Iyer’s 660 Curries and modified it for the slow cooker. It’s just the kind of dish fancy enough to serve to guests but easy enough to make for your family as well.
1 cup whole dried black lentils (wash all lentils and beans together thoroughly)
½ cup dried chickpeas
½ cup dried kidney beans
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
3 green cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick, about three-inches long
1 small yellow or red onion
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled
4 garlic cloves
2 – 4 green Thai, Serrano or cayenne chilies
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon coriander seed
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil or ghee
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons white salt
7 – 8 cups water (7 if you want more of a thick chili and 8 if you want more broth)
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro
Put lentils and beans in slow cooker, along with bay leaves, cardamom, and cinnamon.
In food processor blend onion, garlic, ginger and chili peppers into a paste. It will be a tiny bit watery from the onion.
In a dry frying pan on the stovetop roast the cumin and coriander seed together on medium-high heat. This will take about 2 – 3 minutes. You’ll need to stand there, shake the pan a few times and wait for the seeds to brown. Don’t overcook them or they’ll burn. Once browned, put in a dish to cool and then grind in a coffee grinder reserved for spices or in a mortar and pestle.
On stovetop, heat oil in shallow frying pan. Add above onion mixture and brown for about 5-7 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin-coriander blend, red chili powder, and salt and heat some more, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add everything to the slow cooker. If any of the mixture sticks to the pan, just put in a little water and scrape it out into the slow cooker.
Add tomato paste and water into the slow cooker.
After cooking on high for 5 1/2 hours, add yogurt and cream. Simmer for another ½ hour.
Top with cilantro and serve with Basmati or brown rice or with thick naan or roti.
Try This! Think of this as a thick chili. Crack a few nachos on top with some grated cheddar cheese and serve to your kids as a one-bowl meal. They’ll eat it up. It would make a great change for a Super-Bowl party.