Daal (dāla – दाल)

I know, Daal comes in many forms, this uses everyday red lentils that I expect most British households have only ever used for lentil soup. Here they couldn’t be further away from lentil soup if they tried. My favourite way to eat this is with plain boiled rice and coriander salad, unless it is for lunch the next day when it is really good with a bit of mango chutney on the side.

Oh yeah … it is really really easy too.

Serves 6 as a main course (with rice and salad).

The ingredients:

Red lentils – 1cup
Onions – 4
Turmeric – ½ teaspoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Whole red chilli – 2
Cumin seeds – 1 heaped teaspoon
Black mustard seeds – 1 heaped teaspoon
Garlic – 2 cloves
Ghee – 1 teaspoon

The recipe:

  • Place the lentils, turmeric and salt in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer until the lentils are pretty much cooked through and nearly all the water has been absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a large frying pan and fry the cumin and black mustard seeds until they pop.
  • Now thinly slice the onions and add to the frying pan with the spices, along with the garlic and chillies (top and tail them, but keep them whole so that you can fish them out at the end; you want a gentle warmth, not to have your socks blown off).
  • Once your onions are soft and golden add the lentils and combine. You might want to add more water, it depends on the texture you like; I don’t like thin daal, but not so thick it can be sliced either, it has to be like a thick curry sauce consistency.

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