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+ servings

Urid Daal Risotto with Herbed Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 cups urid daal, soaked for 8-12 hours if possible as it will cut down the cooking time
  • 5 Tbsp clarified butter, divided (or coconut oil)
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced (white or yellow onions)
  • ½ tsp fine grain sea salt + a heavy pinch when cooking the mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 rind Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan)
  • a generous grating of Pecorino Romano to garnish,
  • 3 - 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, + more if needed
  • 1 ¼ lb mixed mushrooms, cleaned of all dirt and debris, and de-stemmed (I used a combination of trumpet, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, although any type will be great)
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme leaves removed + a few stems for garnish
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, optional

Instructions

  • Rinse and drain the daal until the water runs clear. Set aside.
  • If pre-soaking, add the daal to a small bowl and cover with a few inches of water. Allow to soak for 8-12 hours
  • Melt 2 Tbsp clarified butter in a large stockpot.
  • Add the onions, ½ tsp salt and stir to coat.
  • Cook the onions over medium heat for ~10 minutes, until they've softened and just starting to caramelize. (Keep an eye on them, so they don't brown too much, or they'll color the dish)
  • Add garlic, the daal, 3 cups broth and the cheese rind, if using.
  • Stir well and make sure that the broth is covering the lentils by at least half an inch. If not, add a bit more.
  • Bring to a simmer, stir, and cover.
  • Over the next half an hour or so (the cooking time will depend on whether or not you were able to presoak the daal), stirring the pot every few minutes (this helps release the starch and add creaminess). As it cooks, watch the level of the broth, adding more as needed to just cover the daal.
  • After about 20 minutes, start to prepare the mushrooms.
  • Melt the other 3 Tbsp of clarified butter in a large skillet and add the mushrooms.
  • Turn the heat up to high
  • Stir lightly to coat them and allow them to cook without touching them (!) for at least three or four minutes.
  • Flip and repeat until they're golden on all sides.
  • Add just a little bit more clarified butter, garlic, & thyme leaves to the pan. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until they're fragrant
  • Season with a strong pinch of sea salt freshly ground black pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar, if desired.
  • The daal is done when they are tender, but not mushy.
  • (The consistency of the dish should be very much like a classic risotto: more solid than a soup, but thinner than a stew, so make sure that there is enough stock in the pot)
  • Remove the cheese rind.
  • Divide the cooked daal between the plates, garnish with shredded cheese a little more freshly ground black pepper.
  • Place the mushrooms on top and garnish with a sprig of thyme