Dharmattie Brush is the owner of the online shop, Spice It Up. She is of East Indian heritage and grew up on the island of Antigua with a mother and grandmother who fostered her love for cooking. Now living Intown, she offers spices and food flavorings on her website, spiceitupatlanta.com. She also offers a variety of dip mixes just in time for summer cookouts – Sun Dried Tomato Herb, Dilly Cucumber, Bloody Mary and more.

Dhal (red lentil soup)

Dahl, which is also often spelled dhal,daal and dal, is essentially a thick lentil soup that is often prepared with ghee or clarified butter, but this recipe uses just a little garlic infused olive oil for depth and flavor in place of the ghee. This simple dahl is one of my favorite go-to recipes as it is a vegetarian delight, it is easy and quick to prepare, and my friends and family love it.  Serve with flat bread or rice. Serves 4.

~Prep Time: 10 minutes ~Cook Time: 35 minutes ~Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tsp. sesame oil or, alternatively, olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger

1/2  tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2  tsp. ground cumin

4 cups water or vegetable broth

2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over

1 tsp. tomato paste

Cilantro for garnish

Preparation:

1. In a 3-quart stockpot or other medium-sized soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.

2. Stirring constantly, add the water or broth, lentils, spices and salt. Bring to a low boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are very tender.

3. Stir in the tomato paste until well combined. Cook several minutes more, or until the soup is desired temperature and consistency, adding more water to the dahl if needed. Serve hot with flatbread or white rice and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.