Thursday, October 27, 2011

We Can Create Our Own Sunshine

I had the great pleasure of spending an afternoon with one Miss Erin Dooley, coworker, friend, and bright sprite of a woman. She and I have been working together for a year and a half now, and having shared many lunchtime conversations about food and happiness, we decided to make a meal together.

First, a tour of her lovely apartment. I am moving to a new house soon, so I took note of her impeccable abode, and marveled at her pretty cool view.

We went to the market to pick up ingredients for red lentil dahl soup. This is Erin's standby recipe:

2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp tumeric 
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 ilb 4 oz canned, chopped tomatoes, drained
1 cup red lentils
2tsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
salt and pepper
chopped coriander (cilantro) and lemon slices, to garnish 

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan and saute and the garlic and onion to 2–3 minutes, stirring. Add the spices and cook for further 30 seconds. 

2. Stir in the tomatoes, red lentils, lemon juice, vegetable stock and coconut milk and bring to a broil. 

3. Reduce heat and simmer for 25–30 minutes until lentils are tender and cooked. 

4. Season to taste and garnish. 

The dahl soup warmed us down to our toes and tasted like what I imagine the sun in India tastes like: heavy, hot and tinged with silky sweet. Eating the meal, sitting on the floor and listening to the tinkling of gamelan music, was as much of a joy as preparing the meal. Thank you thank you, Erin, for sharing your space and talents with me! Check out Erin's clothing line, Unity People, a company aimed to "provide you with clothing that represents cultural unity." Love all around. 


  1. nice! i can't wait to try this recipe and your description about the indian sun makes it all the more delectable!

  2. totally envy that shared time together.

    i haven't had dahl in so long! we can't buy lentils here. but i bought some on our last trip, to Serbia of all places. i plan on making some soon. i've never made it with coconut milk though - will try it!

  3. sounds like a good recipe, i'm definitely going to try it out. great blog! xx

  4. This seems like such a nice day and an even better soup. I would love to try it out sometimes. Though I'm not the best cook I have been meaning to make some new dishes.

  5. Well, now, that soup just sounds PERFECT for a chilly winter day! Spices to warm you up...mmmm...

  6. Thanks for the recipe...I'll need to try this to warm us during the endless winter that is about to set in over here!