When it’s cold outside what do you fancy yes a Dhal, I love Indian food and having just come back from Kerala I am really feeling the love for it at the moment. This Dhal is by a wonderful Indian chef Udit Sarkhel and can be found in the River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook. Had it last night just superb and perfect midweek supper
250g red lentils
1 teaspoons ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced.
To Finish but optional:
A small bunch of parsley, coriander or mint.
You can also add any vegetables you would like to this Dhal, last night I added spinach
Cooked brown rice
Put the lentils in a pan with 800ml cold water and bring to the boil. Skim off any scum, then stir in the turmeric and salt. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring or whisking vigorously every now and then, until the lentils have broken down completely and you have a puree - the consistency of a thick soup or thin porridge. You can whisk in a little hot water from a just-boiled kettle if you need to thin it a bit. Keep warm in the pan.
When the dhal is just about done, heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a couple of minutes until browned and fragrant. Add the onion and fry fairly briskly for 5-10 minutes until golden brown, even just a smidge burnt.
Tip the mixture on to the hot lentils in the pan, cover and leave for 5 minutes, then stir in the onions and cumin. Taste and adjust the seasoning. As mentioned above this is good with parsley, coriander or mint sprinkled on top, or add some spinach and let it wilt into the Dhal…… delicious.
“Indian food is a luxury on tour” - Mahesh Bhupathi