Thursday, November 6, 2014

Slow Cooker Dal with Chickpeas and Wild Rice

I've started developing a taste for at least mildly spicy food. I can't handle "Vietnamese Hot" level of spicy as we called at one of our favorite Waco restaurants (which now delivers! That would have been dangerous when we lived in the area, although there's nothing terribly unhealthy there) but one chili pepper level, maybe two. You can play around with the chiles, curry powder, and mustard powder for a spicier dish. I didn't want to have to make a separate pot of rice, so I include it here. It's probably not authentic but it works for a weeknight meal. I really like the texture of soaked chickpeas in this and the crunch of wild rice (the brown rice is for DH.)

You will Need:

Drizzle of neutral oil
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 head shallots, peeled
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3 T ginger, peeled
2-3 cups chickpeas, soaked, not cooked (see note if using canned)
4 cups vegetable broth
15 oz light coconut milk
28 oz crushed tomatoes
3 T tomato paste
2 dried chiles de arbol
2 T garam masala
1 T curry powder
2 t salt
3 t tumeric
3 t cumin
1 t mustard powder
2 t fenugreek, ground
12 oz baby spinach
1 cup wild rice (or wild rice blend)

1. Either finely chop or pulse in food processor the onion, shallots, garlic, and ginger. Heat oil in skillet and saute until soft.
2. Add to the onion mixture all the spices, including the chiles de arbol, as well as the tomato paste. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3. Combine remaining ingredients, except the baby spinach in the slow cooker. Reserve the chickpeas if using canned. 
4. Stir, cover, and cook on high for around 4 hours, 8 hours for low (on the stove this should take around 45 minutes on medium heat on the stove but I haven't tried that.)
5. Stir in the spinach (and if using canned, the chickpeas), cover and let wilt for 10 minutes.
6. Serve topped with yogurt or raita.

Note: If using canned chickpeas add those for the last hour to 45 minutes. I used my falafal chickpea stash right from the freezer, these are soaked but not cooked to hold up to the falafel and seem to do better when cooked for a long time in the slow cooker. 

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