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.