I LOVE Dhal.. that rich and thick yellow split peas soup we make in the Caribbean, based on recipes brought to our shores by Indentured Laborer’s from India almost 200 years ago. However, since I dislike using a pressure cooker, I find that I don’t have the patience to wait the 1.5 hours needed. This brings us to Red Lentils, if you enjoy the taste and texture of yellow split peas Dhal, but want in in under 30 minutes.. stay tuned.
3 cups red lentils
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
9 -11 cups water
2 small scallion (chopped)
3/4 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8-10 cloves garlic (smashed – divided)
1/2 medium onion (diced)
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon geera (cumin) seeds
Important! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.
Bring the water to a boil in a deep pot on a high heat.
In the meantime wash the lentils by rinsing in cool water, drain and repeat until the water runs clear.
As the water comes to a boil, add the washed lentils, followed by the tumeric and bring back to a boil.
When you got that bubble going, skim off that froth at the top and discard.
Reduce to a rolling boil and add the black pepper, scallions (adds a lovely touch), salt, onion, scotch bonnet pepper (optional or any spicy pepper you like or have access to) and 5 cloves of the garlic.
It will cook on that rolling boil for 20 minutes with the lid slightly ajar… or until the lentils are falling apart.
I used a traditional swizzle stick (see image), but you can use a whisk or stick blender and get it smooth and silky. If using a stick blender, I’d recommend that you pulse or if you go continuous it will go frothy. BTW, I turned off the stove at this point as it was fully cooked.
Once smooth, taste for salt and adjust to your liking, then it’s time to chunkay (temper) the dhal to give it that finishing layer of flavor.
Heat the oil in a small pan on a medium flame, add the garlic and cumin seeds. Heat until the garlic burns (yes the only time I’ll recommend burning garlic) and you see smoke from the hot oil
All you have to do now is pour that oily mixture into the pot with the dhal, then stir. You’re done. Quick right?
An amazing side to rice and curry dishes or as I normally do.. as a cup of soup that warms my soul. I always make a big batch and freeze into containers for those nights I get my Dhal craving.
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