We love dal – it is an Indian lentil dish which is very useful for gluten-free households containing vegetarians!
This is an easy and delicious dal with homemade spice mixtures, so you can use known gluten-free spices from companies that guarantee the gluten-free status of their products.
In a large casserole that can go in the oven (we don’t like the term “flame-proof” and refuse to use it), put all of these ingredients:
3 Tablespoons ghee (a clarified browned butter, or use unsalted butter)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (this spice stains clothes – be careful!)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or one dried cayenne pepper)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (make your own, using a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey or Julie Sahni)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh grated orange zest (orange part of the orange peel)
Juice of one orange
1 onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups masoor dal (red lentils) washed (see note below)
1/2 cup moong dal (split, yellow in color and elongated in shape) washed (see note below)
4 cups hot water
2 teaspoons salt
Notes: Make sure to wash the dals carefully, removing any small stones. Put the dals in lots of water, stir around and remove the water. Repeat several times until the water runs clear. It does not really matter what proportions of red lentils and masoor dal are used. The original recipe this is based on called for 2 cups red lentils.
Ghee gives a better flavor than butter, and butter is better than other alternatives. If you use margarine or oil instead of the butter, the depth of flavor will be compromised. If you can use the ghee or butter, by all means do!
Stir everything together, cover and bake in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove the top and bake for 15 more minutes. Check to make sure it doesn’t get too dry.
Serve with basmati rice, chutney (homemade!), and yogurt.
This recipe includes the vegetarian aspects of a recipe for Capon from the cookbook called “Braise” by Daniel Boulud.