The French Dal

French Lentils Dal

French Lentils Dal (Instant Pot)

Soup season? I’ll eat anything warm at this point. I even want my cocktails warm around this time of the year. I wanna live in a fuzzy grownup onesie and not leave my apartment till spring. Or my couch. Between work, boxing, school (Karm’s) and bed, I’ve completely ignored that trip I needed to make to the Indian grocery store, like 3 months ago. I’ve run out of any sort of Lentils n grains that a “good Indian kitchen” should never be caught without. So on my recent trip to the neighborhood Whole Foods store, I picked up a bag of French Lentils because the child requested “dal rice” for dinner with his big brown eyes seriously sad. Necessity and stuff. You know how that goes. The best part, it’s healthy, it’s quick & it’s delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup French Lentils.
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds each.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder/ Chana masala powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Preparation

  1. Soak the lentils in boiling water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté mode and heat the oil.
  3. Fry the seeds until they start sputtering.
  4. Sauté the onions, garlic and ginger until they’re golden brown.
  5. Add the tomatoes, spices and salt. Sauté until the masala is cooked.
  6. Add the lentils and water. Give it a good stir and close the lid while sealing.
  7. Cook on manual for 9 minutes.
  8. Quick release, add the cilantro and serve!
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Dosa version 6.0

Green Lentils (French) & Brown Rice Dosa with Broccoli Slaw Thoran

Green lentils are NOT the same as split mung dal, just so we’re clear. They resemble whole masoor but are obviously green and not brown. (Moving on)

It’s the last and final week of summer vacation (finally!!!!) I’m obviously feeling pretty guilty about wanting to send my child off to school like…yesterday. So this is me making up for it. Clearly he loves Dosa and he loves it more when I make it. After having my million different non-authentic-yet-very-healthy-quick-and-tasty versions of dosas, he probably won’t be able to tell a real one if it smacked him in the face but that’s fine. (Like you’ve never manipulated your child)

This one in particular was his favorite because I served it with some “broccoli slaw” thoran. Ya, my little oddball is slightly obsessed with his veggies. Most of the ingredients in this recipe came from Whole Foods and took less than 2 hours to get plated.

Ingredients (Dosa batter)

  • 2 parts soaked green lentils (measured after soaking for an hour)
  • 1 part soaked long grain brown rice (measured after soaking for 30 mins)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cumin powder 1/2 – 1 tsp
  • Paprika powder 1/2 – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

Preparation

  1. Blend everything together to a very smooth paste. (I used a ninja mixer.) Grainy batter won’t make decent dosas, so smoother the better.
  2. No need for fermentation. I used the batter immediately.
  3. Watch a Dosa making YouTube video if you’re a first timer. It’s basically like making a crepe, but I insist you watch & learn.
  4. Butter/oil helps with the texture but I used just a tsp of it and the Dosa turned out pretty crispy so avoid using the whole stick. (We’re going with healthy here)

Ingredients (broccoli slaw thoran)

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (don’t stress if u can’t find it)
  • 1/2 cup dry unsweetened shredded coconut (got mine from Whole Foods)
  • 1 package broccoli slaw (got mine from Whole Foods)
  • Salt
  • Paprika powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Splash of lime juice
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the seeds.
  2. Once they start crackling, add the coconut and sauté until it’s golden brown.
  3. Add the broccoli slaw, spices & seasoning and sauté for a couple minutes. I like the texture slightly crunchy and this slaw mix can seriously over cook pretty fast.
  4. Throw in some lime and cilantro and serve with the Dosa.

Crispy Little Things!

Bulgur & Mung dal Dosa with Beet, coconut & jalapeño Chutney

Bulgur & Mung Dal Dosa with Beet, Coconut & Jalapeño Chutney

Another Dosa experiment in my kitchen. This one turned out to be my favorite so far. It’s also been months since I last ate Dosa and I’m guessing that’s probably clouding my judgement a little. Or the fact that these were so crispy and light, they almost had a junk-food-like feel to them. Quite deceptive considering how healthy and nutritious they are. But they say never trust a skinny chef, so don’t take my word for it. Go on, try it urself!

Ingredients (for Dosa batter)

  • 1 cup soaked and drained bulgur
  • 1 cup soaked and drained split mung dal
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

Note: measure after soaking and draining or things will dramatically be different. This measurement serves about 2 people so multiply accordingly!

Preparation : (for Dosa batter)

  1. Blend to a smooth paste till you reach a pancake batter like consistency. Slightly runnier if you want that extra crispy texture.

Ingredients: (Chutney)

  • 1 cup shredded beet (do not use boiled beets, it won’t be the same)
  • 2-3 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
  • 7-8 slices (Not whole) picked jalapeños. (I insist on the pickled kind because its really not the same with the fresh ones)
  • Salt

Preparation: (Chutney)

  1. Blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste. Serve chilled.

Preparation: (for Dosa)

  1. Watch a YouTube Dosa making video if you’re a Dosa virgin.
  2. Use a Dosa pan or a crepe maker for best results.
  3. A tsp of butter per Dosa really makes a big difference.

The Savory Shot

Spiced Red Lentils & carrot soup with grilled blue cheese fingers

Spiced Red Lentils & Carrot Soup with Grilled Blue Cheese Fingers

In my opinion (I do have way too many) there are 3 different kinds of Soup people in this world.

1. The Broth people: How any human being doesn’t need a meal 10 minutes after having a bowl of brothy soup is beyond me. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

2. The Chunky Soup people: Oh and call it Soup all you want, that’s a whole entire meal and you know it.

3. The Thick Soup people: It’s Purée. Call it Purée. I belong to this category but I’ll be honest and call it Purée. Just own it.

Know any more Soup people kinds? I’d love to hear all about them.

But for now here’s my new Spiced Red Lentils & Carrot Soup recipe and it’s made instantly in the Instant Pot. I decided to serve it in a shot glass with some Grilled Blue Cheese fingers but feel free to have it your way. Quick, easy, and pretty appetizers are my favorite kind. This ones quite healthy too because there’s no cream or butter. Sure you can add some if you’re into that but I can guarantee you won’t be needing any. I recommend you eat this meal clean but that’s again, just my opinion.

Ingredients (soup)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (masoor dal), washed & soaked
  • 2 cups water + extra to adjust the consistency.
  • Salt
  • Pepper (freshly ground is better)
  • 1-2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon sugar

Preparation

  1. Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode. Heat the oil. Add all the ingredients in order and mix.
  2. Close the lid and seal.
  3. Set on soup mode for 8 minutes.
  4. Let the pressure release naturally.
  5. Blend once slightly cool and adjust the consistency & seasoning.

Ingredients (grilled blue cheese fingers)

  • Whole grain bread slices
  • Crumbled blue cheese
  • Olive oil

Preparation

  1. Sandwich a healthy amount of crumbled blue cheese in between 2 slices of bread
  2. Drizzle some olive oil on a hot frying pan.
  3. Grill the sandwich on low to medium heat for an even golden brown color.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil on the top slice before flipping it over. Takes about 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Let it rest on the chopping board for a couple minutes before cutting them into appropriately half inch sized fingers.
  6. Serve with hot soup, shot glasses optional of course!