Friday, April 09, 2010

Foody Friday: Dhal Bukhara

It's been a while since my last Foody Friday post! A big hold-up is the fact that my phone and PC tend to not want to communicate with each other via bluetooth, and I have my phone more handy than camera, so for a while now I've had overdue pix sitting in my phone, unable to get sent to the PC.

Yesterday, by some miracle of miracles, I managed to get them all to the PC!

Yesterday also, I experimented for the first time with lentils! After looking around for some recipes (including at this site, thanks to a tweet!), I decided to try my hand at dhal bukhara.

Started off with a bag of the legumes:

Soaked them in water for many hours; they expanded a bit. Rinsed them out, put them in a pot with plenty of water, and let 'em boil until the beans were soft.

Then came the problem. .. The instructions say to mash them. Was that in the pot with plenty of water? Or drain 'em out first? And how on earth does one mash lentil beans, especially when one doesn't have a blender? Arrgh!

I ended up draining and rinsing the now-soft beans in a colander, taking small batches of the beans in a bowl and smushing them as well as I could with a fork, then transferring back to the pot.

Then came the other problem - from the instructions, it seems like there would need to be more liquid in the pot (leading me to believe the previous instructions for mashing the beans were to take place in the pot?), so I dumped a can of beef broth that I happened to have on hand, along with the two cans of diced tomatoes, butter, grated ginger, and heaping tablespoons of minced garlic & chili powder, and brought everything to a boil.

Then I realised that in spite of my smushing efforts, it looked like over half the beans were still intact. Oh well. If there is a next time, I'll be more prepared somehow - maybe a masher should go on the shopping list?

It was also pretty runny - partly because of the added broth, partly because the beans weren't all smushed. So I let the contents of the pot boil down quite a bit.

Once it looked ready, I spooned myself a bowl's worth of the stuff, and added two spoons of half-and-half in place of the "thickened/double/heavy cream whisked until smooth".

I had it without any accompaniments, although it's recommended you eat this with naan or rice. There is certainly room for improvement, and I wouldn't serve it to guests just yet, but I liked it enough for a second helping.

How about you? Have you experimented with lentils before? Do you have a favorite recipe? Tell me, I might just try it out!

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  1. We LOVE to cook with lentils. We make lentils and rice all the time. Steven's grandma used to always make it. You use cumin, allspice, salt and pepper to flavor it and it is SO GOOD!

  2. kilax: cool I was hoping you'd be dropping by and commenting :) Wasn't it you who mentioned you liked lentils because you don't have to soak 'em overnight the way pretty much all other beans need to be soaked? :)

    This batch I made taste slightly sweet, somehow... and for some reason I think it's the ginger. Weird :) I like it, it's got a delicate taste. Next time around, though, I'll make half a bag of beans at a time! And I'll try your mix of spices too. :)


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