Years ago when I was in University I lived with my dear friend Saami who introduced me and by default turned me into and Indian food fanatic. Saami taught me how to make Dahl and often cured my common cold with dahl and a side of mango pickle. Although he generally makes this spicy lentil dish with spinach I like to add Kale because it add a different type of texture, a chew if you will. Here you go Saami I hope I did your recipe justice.
Dahl with Kale
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced (optional)
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 serrano chili, sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup of organic dried red lentils
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 4-5 cups of water
- 1 tbsp tumeric
- 1 tsp each cumin seed, peppercorn, corriander seed and mustard seed
- 1 tbsp or to taste hot curry paste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and torn into bite sized pieces
- 2 inch piece of ginger grated
- 1 + 1/2 tbsp garam masala
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the onion, celery, garlic and chili. For dahl I prefer a coarse chop because the lentils cook for quite a while but it’s up to your preference.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the whole seeds to toast. Once the seeds begin to make a popping sound add in onion, celery and the turmeric. Cook onion mixture until it starts to soften, the add the chili and garlic.
When mixture starts to stick to the bottom and brown – but not burn- add the entire tin of tomatoes, tomato paste, washed lentils and curry paste. I usually just fill the tomato can full with water and add that to the mix in addition with the bay leaves and chili powder as well as salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the lentil and cook for about 25 minutes. In this time wash, vein and roughly chop kale into bite sized pieces. Grate the ginger and set aside the garam Marsala to finish the dish.
Check the lentils to make sure they have enough water, you will probably need to add a cup or a little more. Stir periodically and when you check that the lentils are soft you can add the ginger, garam masala and kale. Cook for an additonal 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and let cool.
This can be served right away over brown rice with a side of chutney or mango pickle. However is better the next day and keeps for about a week in the fridge. It will freeze ok, and left overs make a good thickening addition to other soups you may be making.