Hmm…. A month seems to have passed by without me realizing it.
I do have some good excuses prepared though.
Are you ready?
1) My family( whom I haven’t seen in 2 years!) came over from Canada to see me get married!
2) I got married!
3) I catered the wedding, which took significantly more work and brain power than I had anticipated, but I’m so glad that I did it.
4) I have been showing 4 parents around Southern England.
5) I have been taking a technology vacation to enjoy life in its natural state.
6) It’s summer! (read: I’ve become lazy)
OK, that’s enough of those excuses, you’ve heard them all before.
August is here and the days are definitely shortening. So, I’ve finally climbed out of the ocean, and come back from barefoot walking the English country-side and I’m back in pixel form.
I may or may not have returned a few pounds heavier and with feet as black as pitch.
It was worth it.
To celebrate my return, I’m posting a recipe for one of the main dishes I served at the wedding reception. The theme of the wedding food was “Our Relationship in Food”. It was made up of dishes that meant something important to us and included a little card with a description of our most memorable moment with that food.
This Sri Lankan style dhal was one of mains. It is probably one of the best lentil curries that I have ever eaten. Coconutty, full of flavour with just the right amount of spice and punctuated with a crispy onion tarka, this was a show stopper!
The write up for this recipe read:
“It’s January 1st. We have been engaged for less than twelve hours. We awake to the smell of spices frying and construction workers singing in Colombo, Sri Lanka. As we make our way downstairs, we are greeted with wave of hot, heavily scented, humid air. A feast of traditional Sri Lankan foods, including this dhal awaits us. Spicy, rich, velvety and laced with coconut, my love for Sri Lanka grows with each greedy mouthful.”
- 250g (1¼ cups) red lentils, rinsed, drained
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 TBSP garam masala
- 1 TBSP curry powder
- 6 fresh (or dried) curry leaves
- 1 long green chilli, sliced finely
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk
- 60 ml (¼ cup) coconut cream
- 80 ml olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup fried onions (available from Asian markets)
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 5 fresh (or dried) curry leaves
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- Place the first 10 ingredients in a saucepan with 250 ml water and bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender and broken down; add more water if necessary.
- Season with salt.
- Meanwhile, to cook the temper for the dhal, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until onions are soft and browned.
- Remove from the heat, add fried onions and set aside until the lentils are ready.
- Just before serving, stir the temper into the lentils, then add the coconut cream, stirring to combine.