So, one of my goals for this year was to experiment with dahl. If by chance you don't know what dahl is, it's a popular Indian dish made of mashed lentils, spices, and other good stuff. My Grandmom used to make really good split pea soup, and my mom makes really good split pea soup, but those things are unrelated. Sort of.
Actually, no. It's this really good split pea soup that has always made me think that I probably, in fact, like split lentils. I've never really worked with them, myself. But I've come across so many recipes for dahl in the past, and it's always looked really good to me, if only a couple of the usual ingredients were...you know, not there. I've got a good recipe for dahl with tomatoes, but I don't really like cooked tomatoes. I also am not a huge fan of onions, or some of the spices recipes usually suggest. So I figured I'd make up my own dahl.
I wasn't aware that red split lentils cook EXTREMELY quickly, right into a nice, thick mush. And I mean this in the nicest of ways, I assure you. I actually cooked the peas in my rice cooker with some garlic. Into the lovely orange mush I threw in cayenne, cumin (which I'm not a giant fan of, but thought it'd be appropriate), powdered ginger (not something I use often at all), sesame seeds, powdered cardamom and lots of lime juice. I planned to add some coconut milk, but had forgotten to leave just a little in the can when I made my (also a goal) coconut rice pudding, and I didn't feel like opening a whole new can.
Long story short, this stuff was awesome. Like..really good. Even my boyfriend, who doesn't have the most cultural of palettes to say the least, went into the kitchen to grab his own bowl. And, no surprise here, a smallish serving it was really nicely filling. Great success!
The coconut rice pudding, on the other hand, not so much. It wasn't bad by any means, but I sort of used brown basmati rice instead of jasmine short-grain, which made it a little too...toothsome. I hate that word, by the way. I DID, however, throw in a jasmine tea bag while it was simmering, to fill the jasmine-y void in my psyche!