curry · Soup · Veg meals

Dal

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This is not a quick cook – you’ll definitely want a couple of hours for this one, but it’s easy and worth it.

Ingredients | Serves 3-4 | About 2 hrs

  • 250g chana dal (yellow split peas, dried)
  • 300g chopped tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • A large thumb of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • A small bunch of coriander
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Plain yoghurt
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped + extra for garnish

Method

  • In a large pan, rinse the dal well under cold water, then fill with fresh water and bring to the boil. Cook for around 40-50 minutes on a gentle simmer.
  • While the dal is simmering away, prep your spices. I used a mortar and pestle to ground up all of the whole seeds I had, but if you don’t have one, just use pre-ground spices instead.
  • When the dal is almost done (you can squish the peas between your fingers with little effort) put all of your dry spices in frying pan on a low-medium heat and gently toast them, tossing them regularly, but don’t let them burn!
  • Pour out most of the water from the dal, leaving around half a cup of water in there with it. return to the heat and add the spices along with the chopped tomato.
  • In the frying pan, add the oil and on a medium heat, sweat off the onion and add the garlic, ginger and chili after a few minutes. When this has started to brown, add it in with the dal.
  • Continue to simmer the dal partly covered for around another hour or so, stirring regularly and adding about half a cup of water if it is looking a bit dry. I added about 4 half cups throughout the hour that it was simmering. Just before taking it off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve in a bowl with a blob of yogurt (when it is not on the boil so it doesn’t split – I made this mistake before!), some coriander and fresh chili.
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