Weekday Cauliflower Dal - vegetarian recipes

Weekday Cauliflower Dal

November 15 2018 Green Kitchen Stories 

Weekday Cauliflower Dal
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We had a little vote on instagram the other day, asking which recipe we should post on here next. I was absolutely convinced that these Peanut Butter & Jam Chocolate Cups would be the winner. But there was instead a surprisingly large majority asking for a cauliflower dal. I suppose most of you just want to cozy up with warm food that hugs the belly right now. And that is exactly what this is. A belly hugger and a particularly simple recipe that doesn’t require any fresh herbs or unusual ingredients. Just a handful of pantry staples and a little trick for a flavor packed topping. We’ll teach you more about the recipe and the topping in a bit. But before we do that, we wanted to show you this video that we made. It is part of a new mini series that we are doing on on youtube where we travel around Sweden to source local ingredients and cook with friends. In this episode we took the train to the west coast to pick apples with Linda Lomelino and then she bakes a classic Swedish Apple Cake. Fun times! Luise was quite nervous about releasing this because she speaks in front of the camera more than she has done before, so please give her a little extra love. We have two more episodes coming before this year ends. Back to the dal. If you are not familiar with the name, it is essentially an Indian Lentil Soup. We have been sharing a few different dal recipes on here and in our books and this is a mix of them all. It is not our fanciest version but instead something that you can make on any given weekday. A dal is one of those recipes that you learn once and then know and cook for the rest of your life. I promise. I have been making varieties of this soup since I moved to my first apartment and learned how to cook. All ingredients are easy to find and can basically go into the sauce pan at the same time. If there is one thing that you should give a little extra attention, it is to use a good curry spice blend. The use of spices can vary in curries, we particularly love a version that includes ground fenugreek. But you can use any curry mix that you like. If you have some mustard seeds, coriander seeds and/­­or cardamom seeds in your spice cabinet, you can grind them into your curry blend to boost it with extra flavor. Because freshly grounds seeds/­­spices always taste more. The trick When we were on Sri Lanka a couple of years ago, we learned a dal trick from a local woman. After having cooked lentils and spices into a pretty good dal, she put another pan on high heat, added ghee and more spices to it and, when super fragrant, she stirred them into the soup. Adding those warm spices and butter last minute just boosted the soup and made it insanely flavorful. For this recipe we use a similar method for garlic and mustard seeds that we then wilt down spinach into. You can stir down the spinach into the dal, but we instead serve it as a topping (because our kids prefer it without the spinach). We normally add toasted pumpkin seeds on top as well but didn’t have any at home this time. Weekday Cauliflower Dal  Serves 4 Notes: You can either serve the soup chunky or mix it smooth with a hand blender. Our favorite way is to just give it a super quick whizz with the blender to make it a little creamier and yet keeping texture from the cauliflower and potatoes. If you want it a little sweeter and creamier, you can replace 400 ml /­­ 14 oz of the water/­­stock with a tin of coconut milk. We don’t add chili to it because of our kids but that can obviously also go in along with the curry. 3 tbsp coconut oil or butter/­­ghee 1 onion 2 cloves garlic 1 tbsp ground curry spice blend 1/­­2 tbsp mixed mustard seeds, coriander seeds and cardamom seeds (or just add 1/­­2 tbsp extra ground curry) 1 large chunk (5 cm /­­ 2 inches) fresh ginger 1 cauliflower (approx 500 g /­­ 1/­­2 lb) 3 potatoes, coarsely diced 200 g /­­ 1 cup red lentils 2 soft dates, pitted and mashed 1 litre /­­ 4 cups water or vegetable stock 1 tsp apple cider vinegar   Garlicky spinach 2 tbsp coconut oil 2 tsp mustard seeds 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 2-3 handfuls spinach   Tomato salad 10 cherry tomatoes 2 tsp olive oil 1 tsp apple cider vinegar salt & pepper Make the Cauliflower Dal: Heat coconut oil, onion and garlic in a large saucepan on low/­­medium heat. Add the curry, grind the extra spices in a mortar and add those as well (or just add more curry). Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it smells fragrant, but be careful so the spices do not burn. If it feels too dry add a spoonful, or more, of water. Break the cauliflower into florets and chop the stem finely. Peel the potatoes and dice them into 1 cm /­­ 1/­­2 inch bits. Add both to the sauce pan along with the lentils and dates. Stir and sauté for about a minute before adding water or stock. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are starting to dissolve and the cauliflower florets are tender. Stir carefully (if you want the cauliflower florets to stay intact) a few times. Add apple cider vinegar and salt to taste. Give the soup 2-3 pulses with a hand blender (if you like, see note above). Serve in bowls with a dollop of yogurt (coconut yogurt or regular yogurt) and top with garlicky spinach and tomato salad. Make the Garlicky Spinach: Heat coconut oil in a skillet. Sauté mustard seeds and garlic on low/­­medium heat until golden and fragrant. Add spinach and turn off the heat. Stir until wilted. Ready for serving. Make the Tomato Salad: Cut the tomatoes in halves and place in a bowl. Add olive oil, vinegar salt and pepper and toss to combine. Serve on top of the dal for a fresh zing of flavor.

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