Monday, September 7, 2009

Yellow Dhal (Lentil) Curry

This post is also available on Chowhound

Dhal Curry Ingredients
2 cups of dhal (this is half-split pink-red coloured pulse, called Masoor dhal or lentils).
Depending on your taste for it, this could be sufficient for 2-6 people.
Two pods of peeled garlic, diced.
Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
Half a tablespoon of mustard seeds
Half a tablespoon of cumin
Half a tablespoon of fennel
Half an onion, sliced
Five red dried chillies, broken into smaller pieces
Difficult to get ingredients
Ten curry leaves (these about 2 cm-long green pinnate leaves have a strong aroma. You can use the thumb and index finger to hold one edge of the pinnate, and hold the closest leaves on either side of the axis with the thumb and index fingers of the other hand and pull all the leaves down to separate them from the axis)
Two tablespoons of coconut milk (you can use either canned unsweetened coconut milk or, in the absence of it, dried unsweetened coconut powder with water)
Cooking Method
Wash the dhal thoroughly and boil, with four cups of water. Remove the scum that forms on top as the dhal begins to boil. When the lentils start turning yellow (half cooked), add the diced garlic.
When the dhal is cooked, remove it from the cooker. Take a separate pot and add oil. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start popping up, add the fennel and cumin. Add the onions, the curry leaves and the dried chillies (split).
Add the dhal curry to the hot mixture. Add turmeric powder, and coconut milk. Add salt.
Dhal is a very versatile dish and in some South Asian cultures is almost a must for any special occasion meal, particularly if it is a vegetarian rice and curry meal. You can also enjoy a simple meal of dhal curry, pickles and yoghurt. Alternatively, dhal can also be a companion for a meal with bread, roti or stringhoppers.

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