Happy New Year! Well, ok…I know it’s March and it’s nowhere near New Year anymore, but this is my first post of the year, so a New Year salutation is in order!   I sort of got off of the blogging train last year, but I hope to have a lot of great posts this year.

So this year, I’ve decided to try cooking more.  In order to do this, I’ve also been prepping ahead and cooking more at one time and freezing it for later.  (More on this later…) Let’s talk about Dal Nirvana!  I found this recipe on Pinterest from here:  http://www.steamykitchen.com/10989-indian-dal-nirvana.html

Although this dal needs to cook for a while, it is a fairly easy recipe.  The results are amazing and restaurant quality!  I’ve changed the original recipe just a bit.  Those changes appear below.

1 cup dry lentils (I used urad, which is sometimes referred to as black dal, or black gram)

6 ounces canned crushed tomato (or tomato puree, but not tomato paste)

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon red chili powder (or less depending on your spice preference)

1/2 teaspoon each: garam masala, turmeric,

1 teaspoon corriander/cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) crushed in your palms

1 cup water

4 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon salt, more to taste

freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

In a large sauce pan, add the lentils and fill with water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils open and are tender. Drain the water from the lentils and return the lentils to the pot. Stir the lentils around in the pot mashing some of them against the pot to break open. Add the crushed tomato, ginger, garlic, spices, water, butter, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour until the dal is thick. Make sure to check the pot periodically to make sure the water does not cook out.

Stir in cream, garnish with minced cilantro. Serve with rice and roti (parathas or naan).

I served the dal nirvana with chicken masaaledaar, rice and puri parathas. See below for links to these recipes.

Chicken Masaaledaar – http://www.zkmyway.com/2012/04/13/chicken-masaledaar-and-channa-masala/

Puri parathas – stay tuned!

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