When I cook "fusion" dishes, I don't try and force things to go together that don't belong together.
I think that when chefs start doing that, people start to hate the whole idea of fusion. But fusion can be a beautiful thing, and many dishes from one culture are very similar to dishes from another. Culinary cousins, if you will.
Enter the Indian dish Dhal. Dhal is a veggie and lentil side that is spooned over rice. Last time I ate Dhal, I thought to myself, This sort of reminds me of chili!
So I cooked a Dhal recipe, slightly altering some ingredients and spices to make it taste like chili, and the results were fantastic!
The detailed recipe for Chili Dahl can be seen here, but there are some photos of the process below. And, if you want a great pairing with this Chili Dhal, try this Indian-Spiced BBQ sauce
recipe on chicken and serve it with the chili dhal and rice. Super tasty!
First you need to make a garam masala spice blend. The words garam masala literally translate to "hot mixture," but the hot doesn't necessarily mean burn your mouth, it means spice. All garam masalas are different -- today I made a cumin-coriander-mustard heavy mix, and used less clove and fenugreek than normal. This would help the dhal taste more like chili.
Toast the spices in a dry frying pan, then grind them in a spice grinder.
I added some chile to the mix. This is when "hot mixture" actually got hot! If you want this to be less spicy, you can add Mexican chili powder or another type instead of the chipotle.
Lentils are the main ingredient of a dhal, but I used black beans too.
Starting with some onion and pepper in the pot, followed by garlic.
Lentils go in next.
Then the spice. Yum!
Tomatoes and beans into the pot.
Some turmeric and honey finish it off. Simmer this for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add some water if you need to loosen it up.
Serve with Basmati Rice.
Dan Whalen is a blogger at The Food in my Beard; check Dan's Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!