The Day I Conquered Daal


This might be difficult to believe, but one of my biggest Indian cooking fears (besides cooking for Indians and making biryani) was making daal. Daal is simple: it’s basically a lentil soup. It involves a few ingredients, very little preparation and is a staple in the North Indian diet. I’m not sure if my fear came from the fact that it could be “too simple” or if I once royally screwed up daal and have repressed the memory. In either case, I avoided it like the plague.

Until a friend of mine who lives in India recently posted this recipe on her blog and I decided to try it. I put it in my text document of “Meals for The Week”, and cleverly avoided making it for about 4 weeks. On Tuesday, I decided enough was enough and I began cooking daal.

Buddies: If you learn nothing else from this blog, remember this: daal is simple, delicious and cheap. You probably have all of the ingredients in your cupboards right now.

You can find the recipe here, at Smitten Kitchen. Of course, I strayed a bit from the recipe. I used pink lentils instead of yellow split peas. If you use dried lentils, you don’t have to pre-soak them. Cheap. Easy. Next time, I’m using at least double the chili powder (which I had subbed in for cayenne pepper).

I nervously served it over basmati rice cooked with a cinnamon stick. You know what my fabulous husband said?

“Wow! This tastes just like home!”.

I will never fear making daal again.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nepaliaustralian
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 01:18:10

    I don’t cook daal a lot but when I do, I mix pink lentils and split peas in pressure cooker. It normally turns out good :) . Also I fry some onion and tomatoes in ghee and mix it with cooked daal. My husband loves it.

    Reply

  2. Karen
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 08:24:06

    yay! SO proud of you!

    Reply

  3. mielbee
    Mar 11, 2012 @ 22:32:53

    mmm i made this today and it was so goood! (with lentils). thanks amelia =)

    Reply

  4. Patrick J. Rafferty
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 20:03:24

    Nice, sappy ending. Love it!

    Reply

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