The red Dahl, preserved lemon and sweet potato recipe is one of my favorite vegetarian recipes.
End of the day, mom was right, vegetables are good for you and red Dahl is extremely easy and quick to cook. I love those little pulses. They are high in fiber, full of good protein, low in calories, basically fat free, cheap, substantial, versatile and delicious. How much more can you ask of a legume.
We all know that vegetables can help you lose weight and fend off chronic diseases. Yet, if you are like most people you probably still aren’t eating enough of them. Over the last yeas I learned a lot about healthier eating and the benefits of adding nutritional vegetables to a diet. If someone would have told me years ago that a bowl of red Dahl would be my dinner, I would have laughed at them. Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are rich in potassium, to help maintain a healthy blood pressure, and are particularly rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron.
Every time I go to my favorite middle Eastern store in Chicago, the Middle East Grocery & Bakery located in Andersonville at Clark and Foster Avenue, I come home inspired to cook Middle Eastern food.
Andersonville is actually an old Swedish neighborhood on the North side of Chicago, a melting pot of ethnic foods from Swedish, Persian, Syrian, America, Italian to Southern. Despite complex ingredients and sometimes labor-intensive cooking methods, the expectation for ethnic restaurants in Chicago is that the food needs to be very reasonably priced and at the same time very tasty and authentic. A lot to ask for most family run restaurants.
The Middle East Grocery & Bakery is Syrian owned and meets all the expectations of ethnic food with flying colors and more. I love their hand pies, they are the best , the spinach cheese and their chicken shawafel sandwich is the best
I stop there all the time to purchase spices and today I found barberries that will sooner or later find their way into one of my recipes. I like this place for its simplicity and awesome flavors. Their baba ghanoush is great, the hummus is even better and is one of the best I’ve had.
The garlicky tahini sauce they put on the chicken shawafel sandwich is a killer, to get that recpie I need to start building a relationship with the Chef. After having their lentil soup, I needed to cook a batch of red Dahl, inspired by the Good food Magazine.
There are probably 100 different ways to cook Dahl. I really like that there is no need for pre-soaking, they cook much quicker than other dried legumes. Depending on the variety and age, cooking time may take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
Using preserved lemons was more of a last minute thought, replacing the more traditional fresh lemon that is usually served with Dahl. I have been preserving my lemons for the last 6 months.
Red Dahl readily absorb the wonderful flavors from other foods and seasonings, so it’s not necessary to cook the Dahl with preserved lemon, the recipe works great without them.
Top it with a good quality plain Greek style yogurt serve with brown rice or Naan bread and you will have a great meal.
The nutritionals of this recpie are for a 10 ounce portion of awesome comfort food. Enjoy !