I love food from South Asia. Most of the food I ate growing up was nutritious - not like restaurant fare - and chockful of vegetables, lentils, a little fat, and complex carbohydrates.
This week, I had the urge to make a very simple daal reminiscent of what my family would eat in times of illness. It's relatively bland compared to other Indian foods, and it's filled with the stapes of Indian cooking. You can add whatever vegetables you wish to this; I had zucchini and tomato available. Also, feel free to experiment with the wide variety of lentils available. This daal can be eaten by itself, with flatbreads, with rice, or even with plain yogurt. In particular, daals are very good for people trying to stablize their blood sugar levels.
1 cup uncooked channa daal, soaked overnight and drained 1-2 zucchinis, sliced 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely chopped 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped 1 tbsp canola oil 1/2 medium white onion, diced Water - 3 cups Salt - to taste 1/4 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp cumin seed a pinch Asafoetida/hing 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp ginger, grated or finely chopped Tomato - 1 med, chopped Cilantro - for garnish
1. Boil channa daal for 30-40 minutes in a large pot with water and a little salt. Once the daal is soft and nearly falling apart, drain in a colander. 2. In another pot, add oil on high heat. When oil is hot, add onion, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, zucchini and chili peppers. When onion becomes transparent, add turmeric, hing, and tomato. Continue to saute until zucchini is soft and tomato juice boils away. 3. Add channa daal and 1 cup water to zucchini mixture. Stir well. 4. The daal is finished when it has a little water let for moisture.