Sunday, April 03, 2011

Wat is the new Dhal

Dhal is a staple food in the Tropical Vegan household, as I suspect it is in many vegetarian and vegan homes.  It's a great meal to have when we're low on veggies, or don't feel like putting much effort into cooking, or don't have the imagination to come up with something new and exciting but still don't feel like boring or junky food. 

Our go-to recipe has been Peter Singer's dhal (scroll right down for the recipe), but with actual spices added in addition to the curry powder - usually cumin seeds, mustard seeds, sometimes coriander or fenugreek, depending on what we have on hand.

But dhal has recently moved over for a different lentil-based, heavily spiced stew in our lives.  Mesir wat, which I've posted about once before, has recently taken its place as our new go-to recipe.  This Ethiopian red lentil stew has all of the virtues of dhal, with the added bonus that we haven't eaten it so many times that the flavours are boring.  It is thick and hearty, beautifully flavoured, and easy-pants to throw together.

It's not quite perfect without the sour flavour and spongy texture of injera with it, but these wholemeal chapatis do a reasonable job of filling in.

Although we haven't forsaken dhal from our lives entirely, it has definitely taken a back burner to yummy wat.

12 comments:

Hannah said...

Love the wordplay in the title :) I definitely need to make a big batch of wat/dahl now that I'm doing the whole proper full work days thing. I wonder if I could sneak some of my panch phora into it? Now, if only someone would make me injera...

Emma said...

Ethiopian red lentil stew is my go-to as well. I have a big jar of berebere seasoning in the cupboard. It's so easy. Mmmm.

(Haha the word verification is meat. Why is that so amusing?)

Mihl said...

I love dal, but I think this would make for a great change! And it has berbere, which I adore.

Millie said...

I never had this but i would love to try it. It looks good and it would be a good change from the normal soup when I am low on groceries. Thanks you.

M Kurber said...

I've never used berbere before, but am always looking for lentil soup variations. The chipatis look deelish - did you make them yourself?

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Yum! Mesir wat looks fantastic! The ingredients seem a little exotic. I'm going to try Peter Singer's dahl recipe, since I think I have a lot of those ingredients on hand. Thanks for the inspiration!

vegan.in.brighton said...

Yum, that really does look fantastic. I've only had wat at restaurants before but I definitely need to try making it at home Thanks for the link to Peter Singer's dal recipe, I'll be trying that too.

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Gina said...

Thanks for the reminder about mesir wat. Unusually (I live in Dakar), I happen to have all the ingredients so will make this today. Can't wait!

Do you make your own tortillas? They always look so beautiful and delectable in your photos.

Theresa said...

M and Gina - these chapatis were homemade (but the tortillas we use for mexican food are bought). I'll make another batch soon so I can write a post about them!

David J said...

Isn't Dhal great! We just had a dhal soup with Thai chillie and lime juice. Perfect Chapatis too.

vko said...

I love wat- thanks for reminding me that I need to get some Ethiopian food sooner than later!