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Coconut DalHave you ever been stuck for words ??? Your mind a complete blank ?? You try, really try to find a topic, words to put on paper……in my case on the laptop….but your mind is truly empty of any thoughts and all you do is stare blindly at the television or in my case at the pages of a book, that you’re not reading !!!! I am going thru that right now. Try as I might, I cannot find a topic that I want to talk about !!! The irony is that just yesterday, while driving back from the gym…..yes I’m back to going to the gym, I digress though……I actually thought about a topic I wanted to talk about but for the life of me I cannot remember what it was !

 Recently, we had another cold front passed thru here…..this time it brought with it snow and life here came to a standstill !!! Since we get snow here once in 2-3 years, it’s a big deal and invariably everything shuts down. Somehow everything escalated this year and people were stuck in their cars on the highways, children stuck at schools……I am talking hours not minutes!!!! My three got home just as the snow started to fall and V was working from home anyway so we were good but many of our friends spent hours in their cars!!!!

IMG_3751As a result, the five of us were stuck at home for 2 days. I had no new books to read, no new movies to watch…..well, with my kids commandeering one TV while hubby had numerous conditions on what to watch on the other, I don’t think I could watch even if I had one ! So what could I do, I cooked. I cooked so much that I am taking a break right now…..3 days of taking it easy and letting someone else do the work !!!! But while I was in the zone, I made quite a few tasty treats…..but what I am posting today was one of the simplest and easiest to make. I know I say that all the time but this one truly is!!!

I ate it with rice but it can be eaten as a soup as well…….here is COCONUT DAL WITH CRANBERRIES ( RED LENTIL STEW WITH COCONUT MILK AND CRANBERRIES). It has a spectrum of flavors…. smooth, silky, earthy lentils with sweet coconut milk spiced very simply with curry powder while cranberries add a hint of both of sweetness and tartness. I served it over rice with chopped cucumber and spring onion for a hint of crunch and freshness. You can omit the rice and serve it a soup with a salsa of sorts with the cucumber and spring onions. It is delicious either way !!

Coconut Dal

COCONUT DAL ( RED LENTIL STEW WITH COCONUT MILK AND CRANBERRIES)

1 cup dried Red Lentils (Masoor dal)

2 tsp. Oil

2 inch piece of Ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 tbsp. finely chopped garlic

¼cup finely chopped Shallots/Red Onion

½ cup finely chopped Carrots

2 tsp. Curry Powder

Salt to taste

½cup Coconut Milk

½cup dried Cranberries

Juice of 1 Lime

3 tbsp. finely chopped Cilantro

Wash and clean the lentils, drain and set aside.

Sauté the ginger, garlic and shallots in the oil until translucent.

Now add the carrots and sauté for another 5 mins.

Add the salt and curry powder. Sauté for a minute.

Add in the lentils.

Now pour in 4 cups of water and simmer covered till the lentils are soft.

Add the coconut milk and cranberries. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve over garnished with cilantro.

Top with finely chopped cucumber and spring onions.

Note:

If you have a pressure cooker, cook the lentils in that and then add to the sautéed vegetables. Then simmer with coconut milk and proceed as above.

If you wish to serve it as a soup, then blend the lentils along with the veggies and serve garnished with the cucumber, spring onions and cilantro.

This is off to Credit Crunch Munch at The Golden Pear , Speedy Suppers at Dinner with Crayons ,  Cook up some “Main Dish” at Cook Click n Devour and No Croutons Required at Tinned Tomatoes.

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