A Dal (Lentil) is quite a staple food at home – not only is it nutritious and health and full of protein, both I and Meenakshi love it. Now the way we usually make it at home is a little different that the version I came across from Yotam Ottolenghi. I tried it and was excellent – different from what I am use to cooking.
The ingredients you need are:
- 200g split red lentils (Dhuli Masoor dal in Hindi)
- 1 bunch fresh coriander
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 40g ginger, peeled
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 mild green chilli
- 1½ tsp black mustard seeds (which is called either Rai or Sarsu in Hindi)
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1½ tsp ground coriander (Dhania in Hindi)
- 1 tsp ground cumin (Jeera in Hindi)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric (Haldi in Hindi)
- ½ tsp paprika (Lal Mirch in Hindi)
- 10 curry leaves (Kadi Patta in Hindi)
- 300g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp fenugreek (optional) (Methi seeds in Hindi)
- 1 pinch asafoetida (optional) (Hing in Hindi)
- 150g Greek yogurt
- 75g finely diced cucumber
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 70g unsalted butter (I skipped this)
- 1½ tbsp lime juice
- Wash the lentils in plenty of water, drain and soak in 350ml of fresh water for 30 minutes.
- Cut the coriander bunch somewhere around its centre to get a leafy top half and a stem/root bottom half. Roughly chop the leaves.
- Put the stem half in the bowl of a food processor, add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli – all roughly broken – and pulse a few times to chop up without turning into a paste.
- Put the mustard seeds in a heavy-based pot and place over medium heat. When they begin to pop, add the onion mix and sunflower oil, stir and cook on low heat for 7 minutes.
- Add the spices and curry leaves, and continue cooking and stirring for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add the lentils and their soaking water, the tomatoes, sugar, fenugreek, asafoetida and a pinch of salt.
- Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked.
- Before serving, whisk together the yogurt, cucumber, oil and some salt.
- Stir into the lentils the butter, lime juice and chopped coriander leaves, taste and season generously with salt. I skipped the butter as there was enough oil originally put.
- Divide into bowls, spoon yogurt on top and garnish with coriander.
Here are the results (Yum):