Buy the bookIndian Greens, Dal and Rice
july 3, 2013

I am really lucky, because both my kids love to eat dal. As tiny toddlers they could never get enough rice and chickpea soup at dinnertime. Now that he is in Kindergarten, my son and I share a weekly buffet lunch at the restaurant next d0or to his speech therapist's office. He loves to serve himself out of the buffet, I love to order dal from the kitchen. 

There are many different variations, but this one is our favorite. It is easy to cook with simple ingredients: chana dal (aka split chickpeas or Bengal gram), tomatoes, ginger, garlic, salt, bay leaf, cumin seeds, chili powder, turmeric, cilantro and a single green chili (instead of the recipe's two - to make it not too spicy). The recipe is on p. 193 of Camellia Panjabi's 50 Great Curries of India.

I serve it with rice (cooked with butter, 5 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 green cardamom pods) and curried greens (wash and chop greens, saute a thinly sliced shallot in vegetable oil, add greens, stir and cook, add your favorite curry powder, some salt, continue to cook until well wilted). On this particular evening we also had Cabbage with Spices and Tomato, a recipe on p. 181 of the same book.

When I can swing it, two vegetable dishes are better than one: we have more healthy options to eat and use up the produce box quickly. 

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