Comfort. The idea where you are at complete ease. A situation. An event. A meal. The expression “comfort food” is used a lot. Heck, I use it amongst my tags in my blog a lot, but does a meal elicit a sense of ease simply by entitling it such? What can bring comfort? The environment, the company you share the meal with. It can be something new. A sense of wonder. It can be something familiar. A sense of nostalgia. Or it can be something physical within the flavours that force you into a sense of calm.
The bold variety of the flavours in Indian cuisine and the myriad of spices used grab your attention fully so whatever else is around you dissolves. It brings you to the moment, cradles your consciousness into the very definition of comfort. Tonight I brought those comforting spices of abroad into the local lentils of Gold Forest Grains and made a Spicy Daal.
1 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil
1/2 cup August Organics, onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove Peas On Earth garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
1-2 tsp salt
2 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup Gold Forest Grains dried red lentils
In a spice grinder, add the cumin, cloves, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, paprika and 1 tsp salt. Grind into a fine powder.
In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté to soften the onions. When they start to lightly brown, add the garlic, ginger and ground spices. Sauté, vigorously stirring to toast the spices. When the mixture becomes fragrant with toasted spice and garlic, add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the dried lentils, cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 50-60 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the liquid is fully absorbed. Season with more salt if necessary. Serves 2-3 as a snack or as a side to a greater Indian themed meal with rice, naan, or your favourite curry.