Until today I’d never owned a recipe for yellow lentil dal but I do now and it’s good stuff. Before I get into the recipe, I want to tell you what happened yesterday. Many of you know I take Charlie ball chasing on the beach every day at low tide. At low tide the sand is hard and easy to walk on. It’s heaps less work that marching in soft sand.
I don’t know how he knows it’s low tide unless he looks out at the canal and can tell but you can be sure that 15 minutes before low tide he starts to twitch. If nobody notices the twitch there’s a slight cry or whimper. If I know what he’s doing and I’m working and really don’t want to go to the beach I pretend I can’t hear him.
That’s when he jumps up and looks at me with that look that screams, “IT’S TIME!!” Yesterday, when it was time I was writing my part of the workshop I’m doing on blogging and I didn’t want to break my concentration to toss a ball, plus it was going to rain. So I ignored him. Fruitless. Off we went with him in the middle of the back seat looking very regal and proud of himself. We have beach down pat. It’s called beach. “Charlie want to do beach?” I have no idea how that got started. Walkies he still gets a bit rambunctious on.
The beach is about 5 minutes from the house by car and because of the horrid storms we had last year, the dunes were cut into sheer cliffs so we go to one where I won’t kill myself getting down to the beach OR getting back up. The walk from the curb to the beach goes through bushland and takes about 3-5 minutes depending upon how many blades of grass he needs to pee on.
Yesterday however, he decided that the walk through the bush was when he needed to poo. I didn’t notice but when I bent over to take care of his business, I dropped my keys. I had no clue and off we went.
After walking about a kilometre and a half it began raining so we turned around. I saw a man at the beach entrance and he was waving but I had no idea he was waving to me. I should have known as there was only one other person on the beach and she had 4 dalmations. As I got closer the man kept waving a big stick. I wondered if it was John but when I got there, he said, “have you lost your keys?”
“Yes,” I said, “Did you find them?”
and then he wanted me to tell him all the numbers on my keys. Now my car is 2 years old and it still has that little blue tag on it from when I picked it up from the dealer. I don’t fool around with details. I had no idea what the numbers were. I told him I could describe the car and that the back seat was full of sand and tennis balls. He said that was good enough.
We drove home and after showering and rinsing Charlie off I baked some cookies and brought them back. I’d watched the couple cross the street and go into a house directly opposite the park. I rang the bell and the man came out, took the cookies and said, “I’m Harold Greene and I’m so pleased to meet you. You’re a good woman.” I laughed and thanked him again. Imagine if I’d had to walk all the way home in the rain. Imagine them sitting at a picnic table in the park in the rain waiting for someone to come out of the woods looking for her keys? Kindness exists, folks. It’s everywhere but we concentrate on the bad stuff too often.
Now about this lentil dal. This was a lovely way to warm up the old bones.
- 1 cup mung dal
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp turmeric
- dash cayenne pepper (or more, if you like spice!)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp margarine or olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 whole cloves
- black pepper to taste
- In a large soup or stock pan, combine the mung dal or yellow lentils, vegetable broth, turmeric, cayenne and salt. Bring to a slow simmer. Cover partially with a lid and allow to cook for 30-40 minutes.
- In a separate skillet, sautee the onion, cumin seeds and clove in ghee or olive oil for just a few minutes, until onions are soft.
- Add the onions and spices to the mung dal or lentils and allow to simmer for a few more minutes, stirring well to combine. Sprinkle with a dash of black pepper and add extra salt to taste, if needed.
- Serve plain, as soup, or over rice.