March 17, 2011

Recipe - Masoor Daal

Before I start this post, I want to take a second to start a convo with anyone who may be reading and appeal to you to give me some feedback! Are there any types of food you'd like to see me cover (Italian, Asian, etc.) or specific recipes you'd like veganized? Would you like more gluten-free recipes? As a blogger, I sometimes feel like I'm sending this stuff out to the universe and I don't know if anyone is reading. So if you are, let me know! I know you can't become a follower of my blog unless you have a Google account (lame), but you can still comment on any post even without a Google account. I plan to start a separate Facebook account for the blog, too, so it'll be easier to tell when I've posted something new. But in the meantime, let me know if there's anything you'd like to see more of - that is, as long as it's vegan. :)

And now for the recipe. Indian food has quickly become one of my favorite cuisines since becoming a vegan - samosas, curries, chickpeas, okra, eggplant... it's vegan bliss! We are lucky to live in the Murray Hill neighborhood of NYC which the locals have affectionately dubbed "Curry Hill". I have never seen so many Indian restaurants in my life! During the walk from our apartment to the subway I encounter no fewer than a dozen Indian restaurants, making for some... interesting smells first thing in the morning. I have happily sampled a handful of these restaurants while I remain skeptical of others such as "Curry in a Hurry": steamtables and freakishly fast service? This may be why Indian food conjures images of doubled-over gut-clenching sprints to the nearest bathroom! For this reason Indian food has sadly gotten a bad rap with some. But don't be deterred my spice-phobic friends! I have a wonderful recipe for a mild Indian dish called Masoor Daal that is sure to please your palate.

Masoor Daal really just refers to the main ingredient of the dish - red lentils. They are combined with some spices and simmered until the lentils break down. The end result is a stew-like dish that is delicious when served over brown basmati rice. It's low in fat and calories, but a great source of iron and protein.

Oh, and Johnny wasn't able to eat much of this because I keep forgetting he's not supposed to eat lentils (oops!), but he did give it a taste and was mournful that he couldn't have more. And he's one of those people that generally avoids Indian food like the plague!

(No picture this time, Johnny looked at the pic I took and went "....Eww." It may not be pretty, but it tastes really good!)

Masoor Daal
Serves 8

2 cups red lentils (a.k.a masoor daal)
6 cups water
1 small white or yellow onion, diced small
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala (a spice blend that you can find at any ethnic food store)
2 tsp marjoram or coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 of a 16 oz. can of diced, peeled tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp fresh ginger (peeled and diced)
1 tbsp Earth Balance

Rinse lentils and pick out any stones or twigs. Place into a large pot and cover with 3 cups of water. Add in all other ingredients and stir together. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the remaining 3 cups of water and stir. Bring back to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add in the Earth Balance and continue simmering for 5 minutes or until you have achieved your desired consistency (the daal should be a bit thicker than soup). Allow to cool and serve over rice.

Nutrition info per serving: Calories 157; Total Fat 2.3g; Saturated Fat 0.3g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 302mg; Carbohydrate 25.7g; Dietary Fiber 11.6g; Sugars 0.8g; Protein 9.6g; Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 3%; Calcium 1%; Iron 13%

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