Inspired by Camilla A-D, a friend from school, we have had dhal a couple of times in the last two weeks. The first time I used curry powder and the second, spices given to me by Sapna who I met in Borneo a couple of years ago. That was a once in a lifetime holiday since which not only have we gained friends, but a Spice Box too!
Serves 2 -3
200g red lentils
500 ml water
1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp plain oil such as sunflower, vegetable, groundnut
1 onion, finely sliced
1 1/2 tsp tumeric
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish
garlic, crushed with salt
1. Rinse the lentils a few times until the water runs clear.
2. Put them in a pan with the tamarind paste and simmer until they are tender – about 20 minutes.
3. Put the oil in a separate pan and fry the onions until they are translucent.
4. Stir in the spices and let them cook out for a minute or two, stirring now and then.
5. Add a little salt and then pour the lentils on top of the onion spice mix.
6. Simmer together for about 5 minutes and set aside until you would like to eat it. This benefits from being made in advance so the flavours have time to marry.
7. I like to serve this with plain rice and aubergine, sliced into circles, mildy salted, and fried on a griddle pan in plain olive oil until tender.
8. A plain yoghurt mixed with crushed garlic and salt is also a wonderful accompaniment, and some good mango chutney.