It’s February, and you just spent an hour driving home from work in a treacherous ice storm. You’re cold and tired, and there’s not much food in the house. What do you do?
Here’s what we did: ad libbed from an already-easy dal recipe. This requires a bit of time but very little effort, and the results are warming, comforting and satisfying (not to mention gluten-free and vegetarian). This is our version, but you can throw in some vegetables or whatever you’ve got around the house. This serves 2, with some leftovers.
Throw into a pot:
1/2 lb lentils (use your favorite kind)
1 1/4 pint water
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, broken up a bit but not chopped
about 1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 cinnamon stick
large pinch of turmeric
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 35 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Then add:
Juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of cayenne
Simmer for 5 more minutes.
In a small pan, heat about 3 tbsp of ghee or vegetable oil. Add:
pinch of black cumin
pinch of regular cumin seeds
pinch of asafetida
Let it sizzle for a few seconds, then stir into the dal.
Serve with rice. That’s all there is to it. By the way, this process will leave your dal studded with tender, sweet pieces of garlic.