The food from many cultures is perfect to add to a vegan diet. One of my favorites is Indian food. There are many different varieties of Dal depending on the type of lentil or bean used, the spices and other ingredients added. For a helpful guide to types of lentils or beans check out this site.
Look for an international grocery store in your area to find a wonderful assortment of ingredients you may not see other wise. I happened to find some fresh curry leaves. The smell of them as they cook is amazing. This recipe is based on a recipe from one of my favorite vegan food blogs Vegan Richa. She has many great recipes that show how to temper the spices, or heat them in oil or in a dry pan to enhance the flavor before adding them to the dish.
I tried to make some naan too (a flat bread) but many things went wrong in the process. My yeast didn't really do much of anything. I had the wrong type of flour etc. You can see it in the background of the photo. I'll have to try again someday.
- 1 cup lentils, soak for 2 hours or overnight
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons Oil (optional)
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 8 curry leaves
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1-2 hot peppers chopped or chili flakes depending on your desired hotness. I used cayenne peppers.
- 5-6 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and minced
- 4 medium tomatoes chopped or 3 TBL tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1½ cup chopped cauliflower
- Soak lentils in filtered water for 2 hours.
- Heat pot and add oil if using.
- Add the mustard seeds and the cumin seeds and stir.
- Add the curry leaves and chili peppers and stir.
- Add the onions, garlic and ginger and stir. Cook until onions begin to become transparent.
- Add the tomatoes or tomato paste, turmeric and the garam masala. Stir and cook until tomatoes are soft.
- Rinse and dain the lentil.
- Add lentils, cauliflower and water. Stir to mix well.
- Simmer covered for 50 minutes.
Don't be afraid to try new spices and ingredients. It can open the door to new taste experiences.
Have you discovered new spices or ingredients? Tell us about it below.