Dahl is a popular vegetarian comfort food which can be made either by incorporating one particular lentil or a mix of different lentils. Based on your preference, you can either make it mild or spicy. It can be served with rice or Indian bread. Lentils are high in fibre, low in calories, full of good protein, nourishing, delicious as well as easy to cook and digest owing to its soft consistency.
In most Indian households, dahl is a wholesome diet and best cooked in a pressure cooker. The lentils are used from a wide variety of crops cultivated and used as staple food in different parts of country. Whether simply or elaborately prepared, this dish is wholesome, flavourful, and bursting with nutrients. An ideal spice blend for a tasty Vegetarian Dahl will include the following combination of spices:
When mustard seeds are added to hot oil, they splutter releasing their aromatic fragrance. These seeds are obtained from the mustard plant and are an essential ingredient used mostly in Asian cuisine. They also have medicinal properties and can potentially heal bronchial and intestinal problems as well as ease sprains and other pains.
Cumin has a warm, earthy flavour and the seeds look small and boat shaped. More flavour is brought out when the seed is lightly roasted on a dry pan, over medium heat. By adding cumin seeds to hot oil at the initial stage of preparing a dish, its distinct flavour infuses the oil and the rest of the ingredients, when subsequently added.
An integral part of vegetarian dahl, turmeric powder adds the requisite colour to the overall dish. Since its colour is extremely strong, a little goes a long way and compliments all recipes featuring lentils. Turmeric is considered an excellent natural antibiotic.
This spice is actually a blend of unadulterated ground chillies that adds a welcome punch to your dish. However, some chilli powders are mild in taste and are just used to add a lovely deep red colour. It is considered good for hair, skin, helps fight infections, supports the digestive system and maintains a healthy blood pressure.
Comprising of a blend of ground spices which are usually toasted to bring out more aroma and then ground. garam masala literally means ‘hot spices’. It most often includes coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, helps build immunity and promotes weight loss.
Asafoetida is extensively used while cooking though it is bitter in taste and emits a strong disagreeable pungent odour. It aids in digestion and is also used in medicines because of its antibiotic properties.
When you just crave for simple home food, plain dahl proves to be immensely satisfying.
Asafoetida Powder (Hing)
Also known as Hing powder, it is often used as a substitute for garlic and onion. Asafoetida powder is made from white and milky resin from a species of giant Fennel. It has a unique smell and acidic flavor that disappear while cooking to leave a smooth and pleasant flavor similar to onion and garlic.$3.45
Kashmiri Chillies Ground – Mild
The Kashmiri Chilli is a variety of chilli known for its intense red colour and lower heat rating, making it ideal to use in tandoori, butter chicken and rogan josh curries. They are dried and finely ground before adding to curries, soups, stews or even as a finishing sprinkle for a spicy heat. It is widely used especially in Indian cuisine, but also Mexican, Asian and Italian dishes.$3.45
Cumin Seeds Ground
Cumin seeds are an ancient and versatile spice that are a staple in countless kitchens across the world. Cumin has a khaki colour and peppery and nutty flavour with tangy citrus overtones. It is a key ingredient in curry making. Use in Middle Eastern, Indian, Spanish and Mexican cooking.$6.95
Garam Masala – Mild
Garam masala, “hot spices” in Hindi, is a richly aromatic blend of spices that gives a balanced blend of sweet and peppery flavours to Indian and Asian dishes. Even tough the ingredients vary according to the country, village or family, some of the ingredients of this versatile Indian mix are cardamom, ginger, fennel, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It is widely used in Indian and Asian cooking and seasoning and especially for adding flavour to curries.$3.45
Turmeric Powder (Alleppey)
Turmeric alleppey has the highest level of naturally occurring curcumin. It has a light, warm, mildly bitter peppery flavor, and an earthy musky aroma. Its deep mustard yellow-ochre color imparts a strong dark yellow hue to any dish. It is preferred for its health benefits due to its higher levels of curcumin.$6.95
Mustard Seeds Black whole
Black Mustard Seeds are less mild and more pungent than the yellow variety. They have a savoury, tangy, and pungent spicy taste. Black seeds are used particularly in Indian, African and German cuisine due to their heat flavour and appearance. They are a key ingredient in the Indian blend Panch Phora.$3.45