This is one of those recipes where the amounts are not exact, as I throw in whatever seems right at the time. A good dhal always happens like that.
And I can’t find my photos of it, so here’s a link to a Google image search for Aloo Dhal. It’s supposed to look like them. Well, most of them.
1 cup Toor dhal or yellow split peas
1 cup red lentils
4 french shallots, diced
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
4 potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ground tumeric
4 long dried (Kashmiri) chillies, rehydrated in boiling water, chopped nely
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
10 curry leaves (or there abouts)
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup loosely packed coriander leaves
Fresh chopped chilli for garnish (if so desired)
Basmati rice, to serve
1. Put the Toor dhal on to boil in about 3-4 cups of water (sorry, I can never remember exactly how much),
2. If you’re lazy like me, you’ll chuck the red lentils the same pot in once the Toor dhal starts to soften up.
3. Put the potatoes on to boil in a separate pot. Drain when cooked, but still quite firm.
4. In a small frying pan, dry fry the cumin and coriander seeds until they become fragrant. Bash them up in a mortar and pestle. Or grind them in a coffee grinder. Or crush them with the flat of a knife. If you have none of these things, you’ve obviously not in a kitchen and should probably stop trying to make dhal in the bathroom.
5. In a frying pan, add the crushed seeds, mustard seeds, rehydrated chillies, curry leaves, cinnamon stick and fry on a medium heat.
6. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, then reduce the heat slightly (just so they don’t burn) and add the garlic and
shallots. I tend to add a fair bit of oil (possibly more than two tablespoons) and simmer for a little while,
so that the oil carries the flavours. Add the tumeric in last.
7. Once the spices and onion look paste like, tip the entire contents of the fry pan into it and stir it around good.
8. Add the tomatoes. Reduce the liquid if it appears too runny.
9. Add the potatoes.
10. Add the lemon juice and stir.
11. Season like a motherfucker. Lentils have no taste. They need salt, my friend. SALT.
12. Serve with rice, coriander, fresh chilli, and lime pickle, if you’ve got any (I do. MUWAHAHAHAHAHA).