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Broccoli Dal Curry
Feb 20th, 2005

This recipe tastes like healthfood. I don't mean that in a bad way, and actually I'm not sure how healthy it is given the butter and coconut in it, but it has that warm, hearty, almost bland feel to it when paired with brown rice. Bland seems an odd word to use to describe an Indian curry, but this recipe is not really very highly spiced and the addition of the vegetables and rice mellow it out even more.

I really like it, but it's definitely for a night when you want something comforting and filling, not something gourmet. The recipe calls for two heads of broccoli, I used half broccoli and half cauliflower. Both are good - the cauliflower melds into the sauce more and the broccoli has more taste and interest on its own. I used red lentils with this but you could use regular brown lentils - it just wouldn't be as creamy.


Broccoli Dal Curry

1 cup lentils
4 tbsp ghee or light oil [I used two tbsp unsalted butter]
2 medium onions, chopped fine
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tsp turmeric
juice of half a lemon
2 medium heads broccoli
2 cups water
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup cashews or roasted peanuts [didn't have these so left them out]


Wash lentils well and drain. Heat ghee or oil in a large saucepan and saute onions until they begin to soften. Add chili powder, black peper, cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Stir and cook briefly. Add lentils, stir well, and add lemon juice, water, and coconut. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 25 to 30 minutes or until lentils are soft.

Meanwhile, cut broccoli into individual florets. (Save stems for another use). Steam 5 to 10 minutes, until almost tender. Plunge broccoli in cold water, drain, and set aside.

Remove 1/3 cup of liquid from the lentil mixture, add to flour to form a smooth paste, and return it to the pan. Add steamed broccoli, salt, and nuts. Simmer another 5 to 10 minutes, until the lentils make a thick sauce. Serve with steamed basmati rice.

-Winter Harvest Cookbook, Lane Morgan
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© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com