I have to admit, I have never made any sort of Indian dish from scratch before. Sure I have used the jarred Butter Chicken sauce from Pataks and it is delicious but there is something to be said for making something from scratch. The layers of flavours building to create something spectacular is part of why I love cooking so much. And this dish had that and more.
A few days ago I tried the Red Lentil Coconut Dhal with Sweet Potatoes and Kale from Life Through the Kitchen Window. OMG!!! It was outstanding. I was a bit concerned that I didn’t have all the ingredients listed but Marlene assured me that it would be fantastic even if I didn’t have everything. And she was not joking. It was spicy but not too spicy and the sweetness from the sweet potato was perfect. There was a bit of bite from the kale and lentils and the creaminess was very nice. I served it with heated naan alongside of pork carnitas. It was the perfect Indian Mexican fusion.
Following Marlene’s direction I let my pantry dictate the recipe. I did not have any black mustard seed and though I do have regular mustard seed in my spice drawer I decided to not use it. Also I did not have any kalonji. Having never heard of it I inquired what exactly it was. I learnt that is has a carroty flavor and look forward to trying it soon!
I used a Chana Masala as that is what I had in my spice collection. I used a regular chili powder and added just a touch of curry powder to the mix.
I sauted the sweet potatoes until they were nice and caramelized, not to the point of burnt but I made sure they were nice and dark brown before I added the onion, garlic and chilis. I followed the recipe exactly as she has it written. And I will say this, you really must invest in coconut oil if you have not yet. It adds a very nice coconut flavor to the dish and any dish you may use it in. The bonus is it is very good for you.
This is definitely a new favorite and I know I will be making it often. I had enough that I enjoyed it for 3 days and it is just as good the next day! I cut up some tortillas and get them a quick fry the second day and enjoyed it somewhat like a dip. And on day three I heated the rest in the oven and had it alongside a fresh green salad. Really it is the perfect compliment alongside any main dish you plan on serving.
I know you will enjoy it as much as I did!