Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bengali Red Lentil Dal

Oh wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

A while back, I bought a honkin' big bag of red lentils (masoor dal). Then I never got around to cooking them. Mainly because I was thinking that I was going to have to soak them overnight. I don't plan meals that well in advance unless it's a big deal. So, thanks to the oft-mentioned Chopping Block class, I realized that was very unlikely to be true.

Sure enough. I poked around on the web and found this recipe for Bengali Red Lentil Dal. There are a TON of recipes for Indian food out there, I presume because of a) the large number of expatriots wanting a taste of home and b) the general spread of Indian culture into the Western mainstream. The only thing I care about is that I benefit.

This is a great recipe. I was strangely taken with the prospect of a new spice mix, panch phanon. This is a mix of "equal proportions of whole cumin, fenugreek, anise, mustard, "Indian black onion" seeds (kalunji)." It's my new favorite.

The only change I made to the recipe is that I held back on the peppers. 6 serranos seemed like an awful lot to me, so I put in, I'd guess, about 4 (~2/3's of the ones I'd chopped). I bet I could have gone with all of them.

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