Dal Nirvana

Dal Nirvana

Some time ago, I promised to share my own recipe for dal, in honor of THE CHOCOLATE ROSE. (If you’ve read it, you’ll know why. If you haven’t read it, can I just mention that Gabriel is one of my favorite characters? Hint, hint.)

I was making it today and remembered at last the request for it! So here is my recipe. If you make this version without the butter and cream for any reason but severe lactose intolerance, all of my French chefs will personally come haunt your kitchen and curse it.

Dal Nirvana

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato sauce or puree or even paste
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger (use fresh if you can)
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste (this is in the original recipe, but in my family we actually don’t use any)
  • water
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  to 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (if you don’t like cilantro, try parsley)

Prepare rice according to package directions.

Rinse lentils. In a large sauce pan, add the lentils and fill pan with water to cover lentils by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the lentils open and are tender. Drain the water from the lentils and return the lentils to the pot. Add the tomato sauce, spices, water, butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook, covered, for 1 hour, until the dal is thick. Check the pot from time to time and add water if the mixture is getting too dry. Stir in cream and cilantro last minute, adding more salt if needed.

Serves 4. (Kind of. My friends are pretty athletic, so always hungry, so if I’m serving 4, I double it. It makes good leftovers for weekday lunches, anyway.)

Source: Recipe slightly adapted from Nirvana Restaurant, Beverly Hills.  I originally saw it at Shockingly Delicious.


What do you think? Worthy of Gabriel? What’s your dal recipe?

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