Dal (Lentils) with Cinnamon, Cardamom and Cumin in Solar Cooker

File:Masoor dal.JPG
Red Lentils using the Solar Flare Parabolic Solar Cooker

Dal is a preparation of dried beans, lentils etc. into a thick, spicy stew.  It is regularly eaten with rice and vegetables or flat bread. Dal is a mainstay in South Asian vegetarian cooking, since it provides protein for a balanced diet.

Serves 4
1 cup red lentils
1-inch piece cinnamon
3 cloves
4 green cardamom
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 to 3-½ cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 hot chili, minced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
Salt to taste
  1. Thoroughly rinse lentils, being sure to remove any small stones or dirt.   Add lentils to cooking vessel then add the water.  Optional:  Soak rinsed lentils in 2 cups of water for 1 hour to speed cooking time.  Add soaked lentils and the soaking water to cooking vessel.  Add additional 1 cup of water.  Water amount will depend on consistency desired (for thicker stew use less water).
  2. In an electrical coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, grind cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin seeds and turmeric into a fine powder.  Add spices to cooking vessel.  You may substitute ground spices and omit this step.
  3. In a skillet heat oil and sauté onion until brown.  Add garlic, ginger and chili and cook until chili is just softened, about 15 seconds.   Add onion mixture to lentils in cooking vessel.   Add ½ of the cilantro and all the juice of the lemon or lime.   Cook for about 1-1/2 hours, stirring once during cooking process (around 45 minutes).
Serve as a soup or over cooked rice.
Tip: It is recommended to check the cooking vessel about 45 minutes or 1 hour into the cooking process.  If there is condensation in the bag check the food.  Let cooking vessel rest 2-3 minutes, then open jar and stir contents to check if done.  If more time is needed, cook for an additional 10 -20 minutes then check again.
CookTime: 1 hour 20minutes

SZ Team