Thursday, February 10, 2011

Indian String Beans and Daal

My very carnivorous husband almost always requests meat for dinner. Yet every so often he will turn to one of his childhood comfort foods and request Daal (lentils). I love it when he's in the mood as it's an opportunity to keep the night strictly vegetarian since I always pair it with a veggie dish that's booming with flavour. I try to eat vegetarian at least one day a week so it's nice when he's up for it too!

This dish is packed with flavour, very healthy and won't have you thinking of meat!

String Beans Ingredients:
2 cups string beans cut in half
1/2 a small onion diced
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon garlic, grated to a paste
1/2 tablespoon ginger, grated to a paste
2 dried chilli's
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup water

Heat oil and add mustard seeds. They will start to pop so don't be startled. When this happens add the onions. Cook on medium heat until soft and translucent. Add chili, garlic and ginger and cook for a minute more. Add the green beans, coriander, turmeric and cumin and mix everything together. Add tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil and allow the sauce to thicken. Taste the beans- you don't want them too soft, they should still have a crunch to them. Add salt to taste.

Daal Ingredients:
3/4 cup dried yellow split peas
1/4 cup red lentils
1/2 onion diced
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups water
1 tomato, quartered
1 tablespoon garlic, grated to a paste
1 tablespoon ginger, grated to a paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt at least a teaspoon
1 lemon juiced
coriander leaves for garnish
thinly sliced ginger for garnish
thinly sliced green chili for garnish

Rinse split peas and soak for 30 minutes in 2.5 cups of water. Heat oil in saucepan and cook onions until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and ginger paste and cook for one minute. Add the tomato and allow it to soften and melt. Add the split peas and red lentils-  mixing all the ingredients together. Add the water and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until it softens- about 40 minutes or so. Continue adding more water if it thickens too much. You can press a spoon against the peas to help break it down. You don't want them to be whole, they should soften and collapse into the sauce. Add the spices and salt. Cook for 5 minutes more. Finish with lemon juice. Garnish with coriander, ginger and chilli's.

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