Acorn Squash Dal with Cashew-Cilantro Rice

Acorn Squash Dal with Cashew-Cilantro Rice is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 1.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Dal, a puree of lentils seasoned with a variety of spices, is the quintessential Indian food, though the ingredients used to make it vary from region to region. In this recipe we add chunks of acorn squash and serve it alongside cashew-cilantro rice for a warming vegetarian meal. If you prefer your food spicy, you can increase the quantity of cayenne.

Ingredients:

For the dal:

  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) cubes
  • 1 can (14 oz./440 g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 dried red chile
  • 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) dried red lentils
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the rice:

  • 2 Tbs. ghee or unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups (14 oz./440 g) basmati rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) coarsely chopped toasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

To make the dal, in a Balti dish or deep sauté pan over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the squash, tomatoes, dried chile, lentils, 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) water and a pinch of salt; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until the squash and lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

While the dal is cooking, make the rice: In a saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the ghee. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the turmeric, cumin and salt and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is toasted, about 3 minutes. Add 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) water and the bay leaf and cover the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the cashews and cilantro.

To serve, remove the dried chile from the dal and discard. Divide the dal and rice among individual plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Acorn Squash Dal with Cashew-Cilantro Rice Delicious and complex. I added red pepper flakes and extra garlic to the dal but other than that closely followed the recipe. For the rice I doubled the garlic. I may make rice this way from here on. It was great. The rice and dal served together was a wonderful meal. Will definitely make this again. Btw: three of us and we all had seconds. We have enough left over for another meal.
Date published: 2017-01-29
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