Throughout the Indian subcontinent, a meal is not a meal without dal–a thick, spicy bean stew served over rice. This is an exceptional one.

5 to 6 cups water
2 cups lentils (or split chickpeas), washed and picked over
1  bay leaf
3 tablespoons butter
1  large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon {black mustard seeds} (do not substitute yellow)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
 pinch of {ground cloves}
 pinch of {cayenne}, or to taste
 {salt} to taste
 freshly {ground pepper} to taste
2 to 3 cups hot cooked rice
 cooking spray
Spray a large heavy soup pot with cooking spray and add the water, lentils, and bay leaf. Place over high heat and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until lentils are very soft, about 1 hour.

While the lentils are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and all of the spices. Lower the heat slightly and cook stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Scrape this spice mixture into the lentils and continue cooking until the lentils are very soft, thick, and saucelike. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot over rice, or let cool and reheat the next day (it will be even better).

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 1 hr

Servings: 4 to 6

Recipe By: Crescent Dragonwagon

From:  Passionate Vegetarian
Used with permission of Workman Publishing Company