Ok I've been on an Indian food bender now for a while. I remember the first time I tried Indian - in NYC circa 2005. Izzy was 2. It was an all you can eat buffet at a totally authentic place, maybe in Midtown, and super cheap. I fell in love with it and Izzy loved it. Back home, there were no Indian places, so I bought the pre-made Indian meals you add to rice, like Palak Paneer, masala sauce, etc. They are SRSLY not bad! But I just recently got the nerve to do Indian from scratch, and I'm getting there, slowly.
A fantastic Ozarks chef did a lentil dal in a regional cookbook I recently did called Local Flavor (www.localflavornwa.com), and this is a take on that.
a bag of lentils
cup diced carrots
cup chopped cauliflower
1/2 chopped onion
1 T. garlic
1 small turmeric root, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
Start cooking the brown rice first.
I cooked the lentils separately so I would have some extra lentils for another dish or a soup. They don't take long, about 15 minutes. Follow the directions! I used a little chicken bouillon powder to give it more flavor.
In the big pot I sauteed the crushed red pepper, onion, turmeric, and garlic in oil, then added the carrots & cauliflower, sautéed about 5 minutes. Added about a tsp. garam masala, a 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, some sea salt to taste. Then I ladled the amount of cooked lentils, about 2 cups, to the veggies and simmered until the carrots and cauliflower were tender. Spoon over brown rice and top with cilantro.