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Recipe Review: Quick & Easy Red Lentil Dahl ( & a fictional short story!)

Hi. Hello. How are you? If you are new here, welcome. If you have been around for a while, welcome back. Recipe reviews are where we make a recipe from around the web, tell you all about it, and follow it up with a little bit of fiction—written by me! If you’ve been here for a long time, you may remember me from YUMeating, where I created recipes for my family and big brand names. I sold the brand, moved the content here, and continued to grow this site. I am no longer a food blogger, but I still like eating. And, I have a passion for writing. So, here we are.

More Meatless Meals

My partner and I have been pushing more towards trying meatless meals. During one of his Facebook scrolls, he came across a Reel that showcased making red lentil recipes in the Instapot and how good lentils were for various health problems. In this particular Reel, he was making a pot of Dahl. The downfall of that particular Reel is that the creator does not put any of his recipes online. 

I do not have the time or patience to sit there and try to figure out what he did just by watching his Reel, so I hit up Googlie and found this Quick & Easy Red Lentil Dahl recipe by Nora Cooks. 

Adjustments to the Recipe

I followed the recipe with one, well two, adjustments. Instead of all red, I used half red and half brown. Doing that meant I had to increase the cooking time a little because brown lentils take longer to get soft. You don’t have to do this. I only did this because he used different lentils in the Reel we watched. Also, where we live, red lentils were a bit more than brown, so mixing for us seemed like a good idea to get more use out of our lentils. I am unsure if you want to call it an adjustment, but we cooked this in the cast iron skillet. Cast iron is our preference for cooking and I found that no adjustments had to be made for this recipe to be cooked in cast iron. 

The dahl turned out really good—we have zero complaints. However, we decided that next time, we won’t make rice. This dahl turned out really thick, so the only carb we needed was the naan to happily scoop up our meatless meal.

Whispers of Spice and Rain

It was a stormy evening in the small coastal town of Almera. The wind howled through the narrow streets, carrying the scent of salt and rain. Within the cozy confines of her kitchen, Priya worked her magic over a pot of simmering red lentil dahl. The rich, earthy aroma filled the air, weaving a tapestry of spices that seemed to defy the storm outside.

Priya inherited her love for cooking from her grandmother, who had once been the most renowned cook in their village in India. Every meal she prepared carried the weight of family tradition, love, and a pinch of her own creativity. Tonight’s dahl was special, not just because of the storm but also because of her guest.

Across town, Aaron trudged through the rain, his mind filled with apprehension. He and Priya had been friends since college, their bond forged over shared interests and long conversations. Yet, he couldn’t ignore the growing warmth in his chest every time they spoke. Tonight, he was determined to reveal his feelings, come what may.

The invitation had been casual. Priya called him the previous day, mentioning she was trying a new recipe and would love some company. Despite his anxiety about the impending confession, Aaron jumped at the opportunity.

When he finally arrived at Priya’s doorstep, drenched and shivering, he was greeted by her warm smile and the irresistible smell of the dahl. She ushered him in, handing him a towel and a change of clothes.

“Perfect timing,” she said, her eyes sparkling. “Dinner’s just about ready.”

As they sat at the small, wooden table, Priya served the dahl with freshly baked naan and a tangy mango pickle. Aaron marveled at the vibrant colors—the deep orange of the lentils, the bright green cilantro garnish, the golden turmeric hues.

They ate in companionable silence for a few moments, the sound of the storm outside contrasting with the warmth inside. The dahl was a revelation. Each spoonful was a symphony of flavors: the earthy lentils, the heat of the chili, the fragrant cumin and coriander, and the subtle sweetness of coconut milk. Aaron couldn’t help but close his eyes and savor each bite.

“This is incredible, Priya,” he said, finally breaking the silence. “I think this is the best thing you’ve ever made.”

Priya blushed, her smile widening. “I’m glad you like it. It’s a special recipe.”

They continued eating, their conversation flowing easily from topic to topic. Aaron felt his nerves slowly dissipate, replaced by a sense of contentment. As they finished their meal, Priya poured them each a cup of masala chai, the spicy aroma filling the room.

“Aaron,” she began, her tone suddenly serious, “there’s something I need to tell you.”

His heart skipped a beat. “What is it?”

She took a deep breath, looking into his eyes. “I’ve been wanting to tell you this for a while. I… I have feelings for you. More than just as a friend.”

The storm outside seemed to pause momentarily, the world holding its breath. Aaron felt a rush of relief and joy. “Priya, I feel the same way. I planned to tell you tonight, but you beat me.”

They laughed, the tension melting away. The rain continued to beat against the windows, but inside, everything was perfect. They spent the rest of the evening talking and laughing, sharing stories and dreams, the red lentil dahl becoming a memory that marked the beginning of something beautiful.

In the days that followed, the storm passed, and the town of Almera returned to its usual tranquility. But for Priya and Aaron, everything had changed. Their friendship had blossomed into love, and every time they made red lentil dahl, it reminded them of that stormy night when they had found each other.

Together, they continued to explore new recipes and create new memories, their love growing stronger with each meal shared. And the red lentil dahl remained their favorite dish, symboling the warmth and comfort they found in each other, no matter how fierce the storm was outside.

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