Great Dals of Fire


One of the best things we did in Sri Lanka was take a cooking lesson at Amangalla. One that made  cooking an easy, no-need-to-measure breeze. This vegetarian meal of lentils accompanied by onion-chili sambol took no longer than a half hour from start to table.

ingredients!Dal (Lentils)
1. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet. (Corn oil is fine, but Sri Lankan homes use coconut.)

2. Add ½ red onion and a few garlic cloves and saute for a few minutes.

3. Add 1 c. soaked red lentils, 1½ small green chilies, 1 tbsp. each turmeric and curry powder, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes, and saute a few minutes.

4. Add enough coconut milk to cover and simmer for about ten minutes, then increase flame to cook at a rolling boil for a few more minutes. Add a little more coconut milk to get the sauce level to your liking and finish with salt.

Onion-Chili Sambol
1. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet and add one finely sliced red onion (the smallest you can find) along with 1 tbsp. tamarind paste and 1 tbsp. chopped pandan leaf.

2. Lower flame and add as much finely chopped chili as your mouth can handle.

3. Simmer for about ten minutes, then add ¼ c. sugar to brown. Add salt at the end.

This will give the lentils a little more kick. Hell, it would give anything from rice to steak a nice kick. We added it to toast and made an epic grilled cheese.