Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Inching closer to my Didi’s dahl bhat

on December 9, 2010

Soon after I made the turkey dahls, I found this recipe on Delia’s blog and I’m quite impressed as to how similar it is to my didi’s dahl.  The only thing I’d say is, I’m not sure the spices are quite right-  but I keep trying.  And despite the  spices in my Didi’s being different, this is still delicious.

It’s  a great comfort food recipe and very warming for these cold days (and nights).  And the chilli in it is great for clearing out the coughs and colds that seem to keep lurking at this time of year.

You can find the original recipe here http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cuisine/asian/indian/dhal-curry.html

I have, as usual, altered it from the original.  I reduced the amount of lentils as I thought the original recipe uses too many and even reduced it was far too many.  So in the recipe below, I’ve reduced it further.  I also swapped ground ginger for fresh ginger, added some chillis, and changed how it was cooked!  It’s vegetarian and vegan (providing you don’t serve with the yoghurt as Delia suggests) so another healthy option and great for veges. I’d also say, it’s another good store cupboard, thrifty option for when you’re skint or can’t be bothered to go shopping.

Dahl Bhat (Delia style)

Serves 4

1 tbsp oil (I used chilli oil)

1 large onion roughly choppped

1 garlic clove finely chopped

1 inch fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

2 small red chillis finely chopped (de seed if you don’t want too spicy, or leave out all together)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp hot madras curry powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 green pepper, roughly chopped

1 tin of tomatoes

150g red split lentils or masoor dahl

2 potatoes peeled and chopped in to 1 inch cubes

300ml water

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok.  When it’s hot, fry the onion until browned.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, chillis and spices to the pan and fry until they become quite fragrant.
  3. Add the pepper and fry again for a couple of minutes.
  4. Then add the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Stir them well into the spic mix and cook for a couple of minutes until broken down a bit.
  5. Add the lentils and the potato and stirl well to coat in the spice and tomato mix.
  6. Add the water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes until the lentils and potato are cooked.  The lentils should be mushy.  This is not the kind of dish for al dente!  Add more water during the cooking process if the pan starts to become too dry.  You should check the pan every 5 minutes or so, to make sure the lentils aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Serve with plain boiled rice and eat immediately to feel all warm and fuzzy again.
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