Dal + Fragrant Basmati Rice

Difficulty: MEDIUM

3 T vegan butter
1 1/2 c diced onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
2 c red lentils
1 T grated ginger
2 T Garam Masala
1 scant T salt
1 t ground black pepper
1 T sugar
1 bay leaf
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
4 c water

Using a large pot, melt butter over medium low heat and saute onion, garlic, and pepper until soft.
add cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper and garam masala, and increase heat slightly, stirring often until spices “bloom” and become fragrant.
Use a few splashes of rice vinegar to de-glaze the pot, then add tomatoes, lentils, salt, sugar, bay leaf, and water.
simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are fully cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed (will be a tasty mush when done)

Fragrant Basmati Rice
1 c basmati rice, rinsed in cold water
1 1/2 c cold water
2 cracked cardamom pods and 2 star anise (optional)
pinch of salt
handful of green peas (optional)

place all ingredients in pot
bring to a boil and then cover tightly and reduce heat to medium low
continue to cook until water is absorbed, fluff with fork
toss a few green peas in to brighten the dish

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