Thursday, February 3, 2011

Coconut Dal

Last night Poonam and I decided to hold a snowman protest. What's this you ask? Well we built a bunch of angry looking snowmen on the U-M diag holding signs protesting global weirding.

My sustainability soulmate.

Some notable signs:
Climate change is getting worse. And you still won't get a snow day.
Sustainability is common sense. Do you lack it?
Yo! My snowballs are freezing!
Your lack of concern is giving me blue balls:

We spent about 2 hours in the snowpocalypse, making about 20 angry snowpeople (some a bit too anatomically correct...). A special thanks to all of the friends and random passerbys that helped in the building process! It was pretty satisfying seeing just about every person walking through the diag whip out their phone and take a picture of our semi-inappropriate demonstration ;)

Ultimately, I trudged home with wet pants, socks, gloves and feeling awful. After passing out for 2 hours I awoke famished and yearning for something warm. Enter:

Coconut Dal

1/2 c coconut oil
1 c dried coconut flakes (1)
1.5 T brown mustard seeds (1)
1.5 T cumin seeds (1)
2 t ground cumin (1)
2 t ground coriander (1)
2 t ground cardamom (1)
1 t turmeric (1)
1/4 t cayenne (1)
1/2 c fresh ginger, minced
2 large onions, diced (I only had 1 onion but it turned out good still!)
3 green chilis, seeds removed & finely sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced (3)
2 large tomatoes, diced (2)
2 c split red lentils (1)
9 c water (divided)
2 tsp salt (added after dal is cooked)*

Melt coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.
Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and dried coconut.
Cook until seeds are sputtering and fragrant, stirring frequently.
Add dry spices (not salt) and stir until well mixed (Add small amounts of water if spices begin burning/sticking to the pot.)

Add garlic, ginger, onions (and chiles if you have them) and cook until onions are translucent, 5-7 min.
Add tomatoes and 1 cup of water and simmer for 10 minutes, until tomatoes are broken down.
Add lentils and remaining water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat until simmering and cook until lentils break down and become mushy, about 45 min.
Add salt and garnish with chopped cabbage, carrots or cilantro!

*Do not add salt until after lentils have cooked. Salt interrupts the cooking process of the bean.

(1) People's Food Co-op bulk section
(2) Locavorious
(3) Tantre Farm


  1. Saw your snowmen on the Diag yesterday. Here are some of the pictures I took of them. Your recipe for Dal looks good. Gotta love the PFC.

  2. Awesome! Love to see this recipe spreading! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing it! I love tasty things that are also so visually appealing!