Assam Nariyal Dal Recipe

Assam Nariyal Dal
Coconut 'Curried' Lentils
Submitted By: Taz

Ingredients:

2 Cups Split Red Lentils (Masoor Dal) – picked and rinsed
7 Cups Water
4 Roma Tomatoes (Tamatar) – seeded and chopped
1 medium Onion (Pyaz) – small chopped
2 Tbs Grape Seed Oil (Draksh-bij Tel) - can substitute Olive Oil
½ inch piece Fresh Ginger (Adrak) – grated into a paste
2 - 4 cloves Fresh Garlic (Leh-sun) - finely chopped
2 Tbs Tomato Paste
2 Tbs Assam Dal Masala (recipe follows)
2 Cinnamon Sticks 2 inches each (Dalchini)
1 Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)
3 Star Anise Pods (Anasphal)
1 - 3 Whole Dried Red Chiles (Lal Mirchi) – amount to taste
1 Can (15 oz) Unsweetened Coconut Milk (Nariyal ka Doodh)
Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon (Nimbu Ras / Nimbu Chilka)
Kosher Salt (Namak) to taste
Black Pepper (Kali Mirch) to taste
-OPTIONAL GARNISH-
½ Cup Fresh Coriander Leaves (Dhania Patta) - chopped

Preparation:
  1. Place picked and rinsed lentils along with the 7 cups of water in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a boil - Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium–high heat - Once oil is hot, add ginger, garlic, dried chiles, half the onion, and Assam dal masala and sauté for two minutes (stirring constantly)
  3. Add tomato paste and sauté (stirring constantly) for another two minutes
  4. Remove mixture from heat and add to the boiled and simmered lentils - Thoroughly combine
  5. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, remaining onion, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, star anise, and bay leaf to the lentil and masala mixture and return to a simmer - Season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Allow to simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until thickened and lentils are soft (stir frequently to avoid scorching)
  7. Once the lentils are soft and the dal has thickened (think split pea soup), adjust seasoning and remove cinnamon sticks, star anise pods, and bay leaf 
  8. Serve hot garnished with (optional) coriander leaves along with basmati rice, ladi pav, naan, idli, or as part of any Indian meal
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Assam Dal Masala
Indian Spice Blend
Submitted By: Taz

Ingredients:

2 Tbs Coriander Seed (Dhania Saabut)
1 ½ Tbs Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
1 ½ Tbs Cardamom Seeds -OR- 8-10 Green Cardamom Pods (Choti Elaichi)
2 Cinnamon Sticks 2 inches each (Dalchini)
½ tsp Whole Cloves (Laung)
1 ½ Tbs Fenugreek Seed (Dana Methi)
1 Tbsp Whole Black Peppercorns (Kali Mirch)
2 tsp Nigella Seed (Kalonji)
2 tsp Fennel Seed (Saunf)
2 tsp Mace (Javitri)
1 ½ tsp Black Mustard Seeds (Rai)
1 - 3 Dried Red Chiles (Lal Mirch)
½ Nutmeg Seed (Jaiphal)
2 Tbs Turmeric Powder (Haldi)

Preparation:
  1. Place a small dry skillet over medium-low heat
  2. Add all of the ingredients (minus turmeric powder) to skillet and toast for apx 2 minutes or until just fragrant
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature
  4. Transfer toasted and cooled ingredients into a clean coffee grinder or spice mill and grind into a slightly coarse powder
  5. Transfer to an airtight container (a small mason jar works great) and add turmeric powder - Shake to thoroughly combine
  6. Use immediately or store in an air tight container in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 3 months

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