05 July 2010

Spicy Dal Mash

This food isn't very pretty.  The only thing it has going for it in the looks department is that vibrant yellow-orange... other than that, it kinda looks like baby food.  But I promise, it's sooooo good.  The perfect food for a great day like today.

So, why is today so great?  I spent time in my kitchen.  I've been travelling around, for business and for pleasure, for the greater part of the last three weeks.  The majority of this time was spent on holiday in Portugal, a great place full of history, beauty, and friendly people who like to party.  It's not full, however, of vegetarians, and I spent the last 10 days eating toast with cheese at least once a day, while my friends feasted on sardines, escargot, chorizo, and "baby pig sandwiches"... I just stared at my plate and tried not to look too miserable.  The abundance of attractive (crazy-hot) men at my table helped shift my focus elsewhere.  Lisbon was a dangerous and happy place for a single gal like myself.  But I'm getting off-topic.

Oh yes, the food.  Other than the lovely meals we ate with my friend's family, I mostly survived on a diet of bread and cheese and beer.  So I was VERY happy to get into my kitchen today, and churned out this spicy dal mash inspired by this recipe, and paired it up with some sauteed courgettes and almond slivers.  It was filling, hearty, flavourful... a perfect side for grilled veggies (or even meat, if that's your style) from your summer grill.  Or, pair it with basmati rice and a nice curry like they do at my favourite restaurant in Liverpool.

Spicy Dal Mash

Split red lentils (think I used about 150g, dry)
1 tea coriander paste (or 1 tbsp fresh)
1 shallot, minced
2 red chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 tea garlic, minced
1/4 tea ginger powder
1/2 tea turmeric powder
1/2 tea yellow mustard
1 bay leaf
Sea salt, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil, for sauteeing
2 tblsp butter or ghee

Cook the lentils with bay leaf, turmeric, coriander, ginger, and chillies.  Remove bay leaf when lentils are finished.

Saute minced shallot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until just beginning to brown.  Add to lentil mixture.

Add mustard and butter to the lentils, stir well and transfer in batches to a mortar and pestle to mash.  Add salt to taste.

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