Dal is one of my favorite things to eat. Long ago, when I worked for a magazine in my hometown of Cleveland, I profiled an Indian chef/restaurateur named
It works with all sorts of beans—red, yellow, or green lentils or
Combine the lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Combine the cumin, turmeric, shah jeera, salt, chili powder, ginger, and garlic in a ramekin.
In a small sauté pan over high heat, melt the butter. When it is quiet and expands in froth, add the spices and aromatics. Cook until the clear part of the butter is a deep brown, then remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir, then stir this mixture into the lentils. Simmer for 5 or so more minutes, then remove from the heat. This can sit and be reheated or served immediately.
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