Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Spicy Indian Dal with Fragrant Jasmine Rice





It's a funny thing. Willie, my husband, signed up for the Instant Pot Challenge. I wanted nothing to do with it, because pressure cookers are just not my thing. That's what I thought. Then the Instant Pot was delivered to our front door. Willie was away on business and I kept getting all of these recipe ideas. Not to mention, I joined the Instant Pot Community on Facebook and 52,000 (and counting) people kept posting the amazing Instant Pot this and the incredible, life-altering Instant Pot that. And then there were the food photos. So, what was I to do? I sent Willie a text. "Um, honey, can I use your pot?!"

He said yes and from that point on I believe I've made dinner for 3 weeks straight in the Instant Pot. I am a true fan and I've been trying to convert some of my favorite recipes for use in the Instant Pot, as well as making up original ones. Sometimes you just know things and I know I will be a lifelong fan of this machine. It's a game changer.

I seem to have become something of a walking infomercial for the Instant Pot. It's one thing to tell all of your besties (which I did), but I had to have a medical procedure and while I was in the recovery room, I started telling two nurses about the Instant Pot. "Did you know you can make dinner in mere minutes in one pot?" "Did you know you can make boiled eggs that are guaranteed to peel easily?" "Did you know you can make cheesecake in this thing?" One nurse ordered on her's phone right then and there and the other nurse said she would be ordering later in the week on payday. Luckily, my daughter, Lauren, was there to witness how this all went down, otherwise, who would believe me?

The following dish is healthful and that's all fine and good, but it is incredibly flavorful as well, and I am just as addicted to this dish as I am to the Instant Pot. The recipe was primarily written for the slow-cooker that took 5-7 hours on low. In the Instant Pot, I cooked it on Manual - 7 minutes. MINUTES, people! I told you! It is truly a game changer!

Spicy Indian Dal with Fragrant Jasmine Rice
by Sandra
Adapted from a recipe in The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes

Rice:
1 cup Jasmine rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (OR 1 1/2 cups water and one teaspoon Better than Bouillon)
1 stick cinnamon, optional
6 whole cloves, optional
2 cloves garlic, smashed (optional)

Dal:
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil* (I used avocado oil)
1 red onion, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 Tablespoon garam masala (an Indian spice blend)
1 1/2 cups red or yellow lentils
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
28 ounces canned whole tomatoes, with their liquid, crushed by hand + 1 can full of water
Cilantro, chopped, as garnish on top of each serving
Mango chutney, about a Tablespoon on top of each serving

Note: I have one Instant Pot, so I make the rice first and then set the rice aside and make the dal. If you have two Instant Pots, you may make both recipes at the same time, or make the dal in the Instant Pot and use a rice cooker or stove top method for the rice.

To make the rice:
Place all rice ingredients in the liner of the pot. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the knob on top of the lid to "sealing". Press the Manual button and set the pressure to high and the time to 3 minutes. After cooking is completed, do a "no pressure release" by letting the pot rest for 10 minutes. Then release any remaining pressure and remove the cinnamon stick and cloves and stir the rice. Pour contents of the liner into a serving dish and set aside. Clean the liner and dry it thoroughly and you are ready to make the dal.

To make the dal:
Press the saute button and when the LED display shows "HOT", add the vegetable oil and then add the onions, jalapeno, garlic, and ginger. Stir constantly until onions have softened. Add turmeric and garam masala and stir until vegetables are well coated. Turn off the Instant Pot. Add lentils, salt, tomatoes, and water. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the knob on top of the lid to "sealing". Press the Manual button and set the pressure to high and the time to 7 minutes. When cooking is completed, immediately release the pressure (also known as "quick release". Remove the lid and stir the contents. Garnish with cilantro and mango chutney.

*If desired, you can just skip the saute step, omit the vegetable oil, and instead put all ingredients (except garnishes) in the liner and follow cooking directions from that point forward.

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