Coconut & spinach dal with cardamom rice

cardamomThis is my version of a recipe I tried from a book by Nadine Abensur. Basically, I have skipped some ingredients and changed the preparation method because I wanted to see how it tastes when you cheat a bit. And also, I couldn’t bother buying celery sticks and carrots. It worked wonderfully and became my new favourite dahl.

 3 tbs oil

1 onion – chopped
2 garlic cloves – sliced
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tbs garam masala
4 cm of ginger – grated
1 potato – cubed
1 carrot (not necessary) – cut into 2 cm pieces
1 litre hot water
250 g red lentils
coconut cream/milk
30 g shredded coconut
2 tbs raisins
150 g frozen or fresh spinach (can be more and it can be whole leaves or chopped)

Heat the oil in a pot/saucepan.
Add the onion and garlic – fry until translucent.
Add all the spices and fry on low heat for a while, until the spices are a bit darker.
Add the potato, carrot and the lentils plus the water, cover and let it cook 15-20mins.
When the lentils are soft like a purée, add the coconut and the coconut cream/milk (I used about 2 dl) according to your liking.
Season with salt and some chili.

You can serve this with plain basmati rice or some nice bread ooooor…

Cardamom rice

2 tbs oil (sezam or even olive oil – that’s what I do because olive oil is always in my kitchen)
1 small onion – chopped
375 g basmati rice (it can be more or less, this is for 4 people)
6 green cardamom pods, left whole
Heat the oil in a bit pot. Add the onion and fry until pale gold. Add the rice and stir for a while, it becomes a bit translucent.
Pour enough water to cover it by 2 cm, bring to boil. (You can speed things up by having the water boiled already in your electric water kettle)
Add the cardamom pods, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. It should take about 12 mins to be cooked. Use a fork to fluff it up a bit and serve.

Variation for those who do not have cardamom pods

You can use cloves for this too and you will be pleasantly surprised by the result. No more draining the water from your rice. The rice becomes nicely aromatic.