Creamy Gobi Dhal Curry
My father used to say that if a curry didn’t make you sweat, it wasn’t up to snuff. Well, that is not really true…there are many curries from different areas in India that are mild, but just as delicious as the fiery ones. He would have loved this one – fairly spicy, but not “rip your face off” hot, and you might be pleased to know the heat is adjustable for those “not quite up to it”.
Did you know: the origin of the word “curry” comes from the Tamil word “kari”, meaning “sauce” or “relish for rice”. There is such thing ad a curry plant, but it has nothing to do with Indian cooking, as far as I am aware. I am not trying to “curry” favour by posting this, and can assure you no horses are involved 😉 …I love puns as much as I do messing with recipes – which is what I did with this one with the addition of the coconut milk…the authentic one is not “creamy”, although the sauce can be kept runnier by the addition of more broth. You might want to thicken it with a bit flour or cornstarch in water if it is too watery.
8 oz. /250g red lentils, dried
2 tbsp. oil (or ghee, if you have it)
2 medium onions, sliced
2 tsp. turmeric
1-1/2 tsp EACH cumin seeds AND coriander seeds
1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 largish head cauliflower, chopped into chunks (no core, just florets)
1/3 cup dessicated unsweetened coconut
1 tsp. salt
Juice of one lemon
2-1/2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
2/3 cup raw almonds, cashews or unsalted peanuts
1-400mL can coconut milk
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish (optional)
1 cup basmati rice (cook in 2 cups water or according to directions)
Rinse and pick over lentils, drain well and set aside. Heat oil over medium heat and saute onions until soft. While onions are cooking, grind chili pepper flakes, cumin and coriander seeds together (always use whole spices and grind as you need them using a mortar and pestle…soooo much better!). When onions are translucent, add all the spices and cook for a minute. Add lentils, stir to coat with spices. Add cauliflower, lemon juice and broth, stirring well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and add coconut, coconut milk and nuts. Mix together well, and simmer for 20 minutes or so until cauliflower is tender.
Cook the rice while curry is simmering.
Serve curry over the rice, garnished with coriander leaves if desired. Good with beer, especially a nice IPA…
Sliced bananas are a nice condiment, they help counteract any excessive “heat” 🙂