How ’bout them Lentils?

For those of you that haven’t heard me talk about him before, Jeff Smith aka The Frugal Gourmet aka The Frug, is one of my favorite celebrity chefs. He has authored several cookbooks that are among my favorite handy-dandy sources for recipes. The handiest-dandiest and most eclectic-shmlectic of these books is entitled The Frugal Gourmet: On Our Immigrant Ancestors. This book covers food traditions from almost every type of immigrant to the United States, from Armenian to Yugoslavian. I know what you’re thinking: Armenia and Yugoslavia are only separated by the Black Sea and perhaps a few hundred miles of Balkan mainland. And wait a minute…Yugoslavia no longer exists! Well, fine, you got me. But I assure you that any food culture alphabetically from Armenia to Yugoslavia is, in fact, in this book. But, I digress. It is from one of these rich ethnic backgrounds that I choose the dish that I will be bringing to our potluck on Thursday. Do I smell curry powder? That’s right, I’m serving a dish from the Indian subcontinent. I am making Lentil Dal with Roasted Garlic. Dal is a basic Indian dish made from several different legumes such as fava beans, split-peas (for chana dal), or lentils. Below are ingredients if you wish to indulge.

Lentil Dal with Roasted Garlic

Yellow or brown lentils

Water

Turmeric

Salt n Pepa

Coriander (lightly ground in a molcajete)

ghee for roasting garlic

cumin seeds

garlic cloves

red pepper flakes

 

I cannot claim that this dish is “holistic.” But I can say from experience that it is “good.”

Note: This dish does not liberate one from samsara.

 

Michael Thorpe

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