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The Day I Conquered Daal

Posted by on March 7, 2012

This might be difficult to believe, but one of my biggest Indian cooking fears (besides cooking for Indians and making biryani) was making daal. Daal is simple: it’s basically a lentil soup. It involves a few ingredients, very little preparation and is a staple in the North Indian diet. I’m not sure if my fear came from the fact that it could be “too simple” or if I once royally screwed up daal and have repressed the memory. In either case, I avoided it like the plague.

Until a friend of mine who lives in India recently posted this recipe on her blog and I decided to try it. I put it in my text document of “Meals for The Week”, and cleverly avoided making it for about 4 weeks. On Tuesday, I decided enough was enough and I began cooking daal.

Buddies: If you learn nothing else from this blog, remember this: daal is simple, delicious and cheap. You probably have all of the ingredients in your cupboards right now.

You can find the recipe here, at Smitten Kitchen. Of course, I strayed a bit from the recipe. I used pink lentils instead of yellow split peas. If you use dried lentils, you don’t have to pre-soak them. Cheap. Easy. Next time, I’m using at least double the chili powder (which I had subbed in for cayenne pepper).

I nervously served it over basmati rice cooked with a cinnamon stick. You know what my fabulous husband said?

“Wow! This tastes just like home!”.

I will never fear making daal again.

4 Responses to The Day I Conquered Daal

  1. nepaliaustralian

    I don’t cook daal a lot but when I do, I mix pink lentils and split peas in pressure cooker. It normally turns out good 🙂 . Also I fry some onion and tomatoes in ghee and mix it with cooked daal. My husband loves it.

  2. Karen

    yay! SO proud of you!

  3. mielbee

    mmm i made this today and it was so goood! (with lentils). thanks amelia =)

  4. Patrick J. Rafferty

    Nice, sappy ending. Love it!

Thoughts? I love hearing from you!