Wednesday, January 4, 2012

red lentil dal with sauteed rainbow swiss chard

Here's a quick little recipe for dal, which is a simple and classic staple of Indian cuisine. It can be insanely flavorful and creamy depending on what you add and how long you cook it for. I added massive amounts of garlic, ginger, ground cardamon, mustard seeds, cloves and butter to make it even more hefty on this freezing NYC day. Top with rainbow swiss chard sauteed with (even more!) garlic in a cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with some good crusty bread or toasted pita.

1 cup dried red lentils, washed and picked over
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced and peeled ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon cardamon
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 cloves
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 or five large rainbow swiss chards, stems and leaves chopped thinly

Combine the butter, lentils, ginger, one tablespoon garlic, cardamon, mustard seeds, cloves, salt and pepper in a saucepan and add water to cover by about 1 inch. Cook at a steady simmer until the lentils are quite soft, 20 to 30 minutes.

In the meantime, add olive oil to a cast iron skillet saute pan. Wait about thirty seconds, then add the other tablespoon of minced garlic. Next, add the swiss chard stems and a sprinkling of sea salt. Saute for a couple minutes, then add the leaves and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes or until chard is thoroughly wilted.

Remove the cloves from the dal. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with swiss chard and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

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