Friday, July 11, 2014

Brown Lentil Dhal with Kale, Corn, and Preserved Lemon, served with Madagascar Pink Rice, Baby Lettuces, & Sungold Tomato (No Added Fat)

My wife and daughter returned this afternoon from their 3-week visit to India! My wife brought her sister-in-law with her - what a pleasure to have her with us on her first trip out of India! She is in the States for about a month, mostly with us, but also visiting relatives in Illinois and Wisconsin.

For my wife's sister-in-law, I wanted to make an Indian-inspired meal for this first dinner with us. I thought that I would make a dish with lentils in the Instant Pot pressure cooker. I've had good luck including small squares of kale, and thought that I would experiment with tomato; this past Sunday I enjoyed including green tomato in a pressure-cooked dish, but wanted to try a dish where a more robust tomato flavor would fit in. As a final touch, I had some preserved lemon and thought that it would contribute a nice taste. I was free to spice the dish as I made a vegan grilled cheese sandwich and a variety of vegetables for my daughter.

  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 2 small bell peppers cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 3 kale leaves, stems discarded (composted) and leaves roughly hand torn into approximately 1/2" pieces
  • 1 carrot (I wanted two, but just had one!) cut into 1/4" slices
  • 1 cob corn, kernels stripped and cob discarded (composted)
  • 2t chopped jalapeno
  • 1T marinara sauce
  • 1 tomato cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 3 slices of preserved lemon, each slice cut into thirds (I used thin slices that I purchased from a self-serve olive bar; though it was preserved in oil, the amount of oil that made it into the dish is rather insignificant, so I still am labeling this as a no-added fat dish); alternatively, one could use an organic lemon, preferably Meyer lemon
  • 1/4 t black salt (or regular salt)
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t mustard seed
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes

  1. I put the lentils, water, garlic, and bouillon cube in the Instant Pot and cooked for 12 minutes
  2. When it cooled down a bit, I gently released steam and added the remaining ingredients, except for the onion. After stirring,  I turned the pressure cooker on for 3 more minutes of high pressure cooking.
  3. When I was ready to serve, I gently released steam, mixed in the onion, and served.
I also had made some Madagascar pink rice cooked with mixed bell pepper and shallot. Tasty Sungold tomatoes with baby lettuces accompanied the meal.


We all seemed to enjoy the meal. I loved how all the flavors worked well together.

Ideas for the future

I'd like to try using preserved lemons in other dishes. I should try cooking with Meyer lemons. Spinach goes great with dhal; I remember fondly such a dish that my Mom would make. I should try a green or red lentil dhal with spinach sometime.

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