Back to basics!
And we are kick starting this recipe with a big announcement!To all those who finish their lentil soup will be rewarded! With more… S O U P! Haha. Ok I am sorry just being a little tease but then honestly isn’t lentil soup so rich and comforting really? I don’t recall a day really that Mum wouldn’t make it and always reminding us that we should have a balance diet and how pulses and grains play a big part in our nutrition. Puy Lentils or Lentils are so rich in iron and high in fiber. Dal plays a big part in our Mauritian food culture and is one of the most common food staple here.Also traditionally known as ”Dal Lentille or Lentille Noire”, these kind of simple humble food is what bind us all really.Because it has the magic to bring us back to our fondest childhood memories or the quality time we used to spend with family. However I would like to add that I slightly modified the recipe compared to the traditional one where Mum would only pre boil the lentils and then later on tempered it (A process used to spice up dishes by frying dry spices along with curry leaves in oil or ghee and mixing into the Dal to enhance its flavours)
I really miss the times I used to go spend holidays at my cousin where back then Dal, rice,grilled sausages and salad used to be something really grand for us at diner time.Our eyes would literally light up with sheer joy when diner was served.Trust me sometimes you can even eat just plain white rice with Dal and still be a on could nine.There is another beauty in simplicity because it is from the heart. Along with it one very traditional Mauritian meal would be, Dal,rice and salted fish ”rougaille” ( rougaille poisson saler) along with sauteed potato in lots of thyme. It is still considered as the best traditional food of Mauritius because long time back people couldn’t afford meat and all of that. So on pay day they would normally rejoice on a hearty home cooked meal as such.A meal that would seal all the difficult times with hopes for better days.
Preparation time : 30 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins
- 250g of puy lentils/lentils
- 1 onion
- 3 medium sized tomatoes
- 1 carrot thinly sliced
- 100g of coconut milk
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 a tsp of dry red chilli flakes
- 1/2 a tsp of fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 a tsp of cumin seeds
- 1/2 a tsp of
- pinch of turmeric
- curry leaves
- vegetable oil
- Wash the lentils and throw in garlic,curry leaves,thyme,salt and a tsp of vegetable oil.(As shown below)
- Pre boil the lentils for 30 mins in a pressure cooker and reserve.
- In a non stick pan, add 2 tsp of vegetable oil and throw in all your dry spices including more thyme and curry leaves.
- After 5 mins of constant stirring,add the onions and tomatoes as well as carrots.(As shown below)
- Add 1/2 a cup of water to the mix and leave to simmer for some 5 mins more.
- Next pour in the pre boiled lentils and generously stir the whole mix.
- Add coconut milk and salt accordingly.
- Grate nutmeg over the soup, stir again and leave to simmer for at least 25 mins more.
Serve over fragrant white rice or can also be eaten with grilled cheese toasties as a main.Why coconut milk? Because coconut milk really takes the humble Dal to another level really.Rich, creamy and so tasty with all the spices combined along with the bouquet of fresh thyme! Oh mine, Dal has never been so delicious really! And this time Mum didn’t have to yell at us asking to finish that bowl of Dal. We all had 2 servings really on that day along with mashed potatoes , coconut chutney and ”rougaille dizef” (Mauritian version of having shakshuka eggs).
So if you are actually tired of always having just plain simple lentil soup,I guess this one will do the trick really and leaving the family surprised as to what is the secret ingredient you added to the traditional Dal. I am sure we all make Dal at home and also in our own very cozy way. I am curious to know if ever you add anything else to your Dal like which vegetables or any extra spices that is very uncommon. Or what are the traditional meals linked to Dal that you still cherished and always have fondest memories running back to you when you make them.
I am a Dal person and I never get tired of it really.Dal and plain white rice with just a few mango pickles on the sides.Oh mine! I can even forget my name at that very precise moment. Haha!