Archive for September 23, 2006

Spinach-less Blues ~ Garlic Dal with Rice and Cilantro

spicy green goodness
spicy green goodness

You can’t buy fresh spinach anywhere. An e. coli outbreak has taken it off the shelves, and while I’m glad for safety’s sake, I never realised how often I use spinach! I eat it fresh in salads. I cook it plain, with garlic, with dal, with rice, with mushrooms… well, you get the picture. To say I have been craving spinach would be an understatement. This afternoon at the market, my eyes joyfully lit upon some beeeeautiful bunches of cilantro. O lovely tender greens!

Of course I brought home several bunches. I quickly ground some with my handy Kitchen-Aid grinder, and this is what I made:

Garlic Dal with Rice and Cilantro

fresh garlic and cilantro
fresh garlic and cilantro

For dal/rice:

1/4 c. rice (I used sona masuri)
3/4 c masoor dal, divided
1/2 tsp turmeric
sufficient water to cook
salt to taste

For paste:

1 c fresh cilantro, stems and leaves, tightly packed
1 small whole green chile
2-3 big cloves garlic (can be reduced or omitted – but add extra chiles)
salt to taste

Small bit of ghee for serving


Rinse rice and set aside.

Wash cilantro thoroughly and grind to a paste with whole green chile and garlic, using as little water as possible.

Rinse dal and cook 1/2 c (reserve the other 1/4 c) in sufficient water with the turmeric and a little salt.

cilantro paste in dal
adding fresh garlic-chile-cilantro paste to nearly finished dal

When dal is nearly soft, stir in the cilantro paste, reserved 1/4 c dal, and rice. Use your judgement and add just enough water to cook the rice. I used about 3/4 c. Cover and cook till the rice is done.

Serve hot with a little dollop of ghee.

garlic dal with rice and cilantro
curing the spinach-less blues… spicy-green garlic dal with cilantro

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