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Dal with Coconut


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A staple here in the Calamity Mouse House. Dead easy, and startlingly nutricious. Great for those sketchy mornings after. Well served with rice (esp. basmati).

- Dal with Coconut -

Prep. time: approx. 30 minutes


* 2 cups red lentils

* 5 cups water

* oil

* 1-2 large onions, chopped

* 1 tsp. turmeric

* 2 tsp. ginger

* 2 tsp. garlic

* 2 tbsp. butter/margarine

* 6 tbsp. dried coconut

(quantities can be easily doubled/tripled/etc. - freezes well)


1. Wash lentils, and boil in water; remove all the froth that rises to the surface.

2. In a separate pan, fry onions, ginger, and garlic; add turmeric.

3. When lentils have broken down, add fried onions etc.; add salt to taste.

4. In pan, melt butter and stir in coconut; remove when just golden, and add to dal.

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ok i have no experience with lentils, but i do like italian wedding soup and that has lentils...and i like coconut too...so i'ma try this next week. but i have some questions...

i'm assuming that lentils come dry.....would all that water get absorbed? cause i don't see a step that says "strain lentils'

what does broken down mean? when they've turned to mush? when they're soft? how long does that take?

and i'm assuming that dal is the now broken down lentils + seasonings right?

wow...i always thought i knew how to cook hehe

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Hm - re. straining the lentils - it is vitally important to wash them beforehand, since God/Vishnu/Allah/etc. only knows where they've been, but you don't need to deal with them any more than that afterwards; red lentils do this cool thing a while into boiling where they just, well, break down - whatever starches are in them get the better of them and the whole thing turns from solid-in-liquid into a big happy emulsion. The nice part about that is that the taste, which is relatively mild, can then have the shit spiced out of it. Go to town. I've already increased the onion, ginger, and garlic content from how I'd originally received this, but you can play around a lot with it, either with a store-bought dal masala mix or any mixture of hot goodies you might have on hand.

Anyway, that said, you can always keep boiling it, as it will only make it a more and more homogenous consistency; again, play around with it, but in my experience, you can't overboil it (though if you're not careful, you can burn it).

The one tricky bit that you have to hover around the stove for is the coconut frying; because of the oil content in the cococut, it is easy to burn it. Just be sure to keep swilling and stirring it around and get it off the stove and into the main pot when it starts uniformly to get that golden colour.

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