Wednesday 26 September 2012

Dhal, darling?

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When I want comfort and a bit of spice I often make dhal. It's simple, it's tasty and best of all all the ingredients are part of my kitchen staples, so I usually don't have to worry about shopping for ingredients. There are plenty of different recipes if you google dhal and I have various different versions in my cook books as well.

This is quite a basic and quick recipe as uses red lentils, which cook quickly, so that I can have it on the table in just half an hour after coming in from work. This dhal is a bit soupy, so if you like your dhal thicker and a little drier just increase the amount of lentils or reduce the water (just watch that it doesn't stick and burn).

Serve it with our without rice and some chapatis for a comforting and warming meal, perfect for these cold, dark and (at least in Manchester) wet autumn nights.

Sorry about the poor picture. It's about time I dug my proper camera out again, especially now that it's getting to that time of year where I'm mainly having to rely on artificial light again.

Dhal (serves 3-4)

1 cup (250ml) red lentils, rinsed well
3cm fresh ginger, chopped finely
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbs butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam marsala
1/2 red chilli, chopped finely (I left the seeds in, but that's up to you)
3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
2 tbs lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp salt
a handfull of chopped fresh coriander

Put the rinsed lentils, chopped ginger, bay leaves and cinnamon stick in a large sauce pan and add 3 cups (750ml) of cold water.

Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook for 12-15 minutes until soft, stirring regularly to stop them from sticking.

Take out the cinnamon stick and bay leaves and set the cooked lentils aside.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. 

Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. You want it to soften but not colour. 

Add the garlic, turmeric, cumin, garam marsala and chilli and fry for a further minute or two, until fragrant.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the spiced onions and lemon juice to the lentils and stir well.

Bring back to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes or so. The lentils should become quite creamy, but still hold some of their shape. It will need to be stirred regularly to stop them from sticking.

Stir in coriander and serve with rice and/or chapati.



Diane J Standiford said...

Thank you. Sounds yummy!

kapgaf said...

Looking for a different Chana Dal recipe to try, I came across your blog (Yahoo, not Google), stayed for a while to look around. I like your recipes, I like your style and you're now in my favourites. I shall return!

oldcrow61 said...

I love dhal and make it often. I will try your recipe, looks good.