As we sat down to a kid-free dinner last night, the conversation went something like this:
“Hey, this is good. Really good.” (My husband, between bites.)
“But it’s ugly.” (Me, tilting my head and looking at it from different angles.)
“So? It tastes great.”
“But it won’t look good. On the blog, I mean.”
“So you’re only cooking for the blog now?”
“Well, no, but I couldn’t help but think . . . . Does it bother you that I think about what would be good on the blog?”
“Not at all. I’m the one who gets to eat all this great food!”
And it was great, though definitely not pretty. I had intended to call it Toor Dal with Kale, but after it was prepared I saw that the amount of kale greatly overwhelmed the dal. But if you’re looking to get more leafy greens into your diet, this is the recipe for you.
Kale and Toor Dal
- 1 cup toor dal (may substitute red lentils)
- 4 cups water
- 1 bunch kale, washed, center rib removed, and sliced or chopped
- 1/4 tsp. canola oil or a quick spray–just enough to temper the seeds
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 1/2-1 tsp. red chili pepper or cayenne
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp. fenugreek
- 1/4 tsp. asafetida
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- Cook the dal in the water until it is soft, about 30-40 minutes. Use a blender or hand blender to completely puree the dal in its water. Set aside.
- In a deep skillet or wok, heat the oil over a medium-hot burner. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and the garlic, and cook for one minute. Add the kale and stir. Add one tablespoon water and cover the pan. Stir every minute or so, and cook until the kale is wilted, about 4 minutes.
- Add the dal and remaining ingredients to the kale. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Serve over rice.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Nutrition (per serving): 207 calories, 12 calories from fat, 1.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 36mg sodium, 741.3mg potassium, 35.6g carbohydrates, 16.1g fiber, 1.1g sugar, 14.7g protein
Miscellaneous acknowledgments and an apology:
I took ideas from several sources to come up with this recipe. The cooking technique and some of the spices come from Swiss Chard Dal on the blog Sugar and Spice. I also got spicing hints from Neelam Batra’s The Indian Vegetarian: since I didn’t have the sambar powder that Sugar and Spice mentioned, I looked at a sambar masala recipe to see exactly what was in it. Finally, I took a look around to see if anyone had blogged specifically about kale and dal and found a recipe for a soup, Toor Dal with Squash and Kale, which, though I didn’t use the recipe, introduced me to an interesting blog I hadn’t seen before.
And I must apologize to all of you. Despite the best efforts of my college creative writing teacher, Tim Gautreaux, I’ve never be able to write dialogue. Sorry to inflict it on you. Be thankful I didn’t attempt a dialect.