This one is a true heirloom recipe. Sagie and I guarded it over the years carefully, but decided it's time to share it. Over the years it was our pleasure to host and serve this to our friends and family and for all those who were curious, here is the recipe that goes along with it! Goes really well over plain basmati rice or with Indian bread (chapati or Bahkri) on the side. These vibrant orange red lentils will turn yellow as they cook. Rich in protein, fiber, iron and some essential amino acids. Great for a vegetarian diet, budget meal or vegerarian Mondays which I try to adhere to, sometimes not too successfully. It's low fat and tastes delicious. Serve it along with Mango chutney as a condiment. All ingredients can be found in local supermarkets. This is dedicated to my son Sagie, and future shared memories and traditions for generations to come, and for my adopted daughter Sarah, who is crazy about Dahl!!
My Mom's Dahl
1 cup washed and drained red lentils
1 large onion, diced
2-4 tablespoons canola oil
Salt to taste
1 large tomato, diced
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4-1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 jalapeño, sliced into thin discs (1/2 jalapeño or seeded depending on taste)
2-4 cups plus water*
On medium heat, in a large pot, drop the cumin and mustard seeds in oil for couple of minutes. Let it quickly sizzle so the essential oils and aromas release. Immediately after sizzle add the onions and jalapeño and sauté together with the seeds for until the jalapeño and onion are soft and translucent. Add the tomato and cook for a few minutes longer. Stir throughout the process and adjust heat if needed so your ingredients don't burn. Add lentils, garlic, water*, turmeric and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and turn to medium heat, cover with lid, and cook until lentils are very soft and fall completely apart. Stir occasionally. Mash with a potato masher for smooth creamy consistency. If you like texture, mash only the cooked garlic with a fork and mix.
Serve over simply steamed basmati rice. Can also be served along with Indian Bahdgi and Mango Chutney. Recipe can be doubled!!
Author's Notes: *Traditionally dahl has a thicker stew-like consistency and served over rice. Throughout the years I added more water and made it my go to soup year-round. The range of 2-4 cups of water reflects stew-like soup-like the consistency. Make sure to stir the dahl once in a while when cooking, so it won't burn at the bottom. Servings depending on consistency and portions.