Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Post-cake detox: Griddled aubergine dhal

on September 29, 2011

Having eaten far too much cake batter and icing and all sorts over the weekend, I felt sick and bloated!  So it was definitely time to return to the detox.  My stomach has never been great with too much dairy fat or processed sugar – and it got a bit overloaded.  That’s growing up in Asia for you – I’ve just never adjusted well to a rich diet.  When I did the Atkins diet, it nearly killed me (and I didn’t lose any weight either!). 

After a workout at the gym and then eating this delicious dhal, I felt so much better and the bloating subsided almost immediately – that’s the power of ginger!  I absolutely believe in overdoing the ginger, garlic and chillis (and of course, the now obligatory turmeric, cinnamon or paprika!) to sort out pretty much any ailment – from colds to stomach upsets.  Although, if your stomach is very upset – go easy on the chilli!  And chuck in some mint instead. 

I didn’t really taste the tamarind in this, and you know how I love tamarind, so I think I’d add 2 tablespoons in future, and not just one.  But apart from that, it was beautiful.  I also used yellow lentils (mong dhal) instead of red ones (masoor).  Apart from taking longer to cook, I don’t think it made much difference.  Served with boiled rice, but chapattis or naan would also be lovely.

The original recipe is here, but just looking at it, it seemed boring so I upped the flavour factor somewhat!  Part way through, despite my interventions, it still didn’t taste brilliant, so I added some chilli powder, tomato puree and some chopped fresh tomatoes – which did the trick.  I’ve included these in the recipe below.  But leave out you if you’re wanting a milder, watery-er flavour.

Griddled aubergine dhal

Serves 2

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • knob of root ginger, grated
  • 4 whole green chillis
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp hot madras curry powder (use mild if you’re not into chilli)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g red or yellow lentils, rinsed
  • 500ml water
  • 1 medium aubergine, sliced into 2cm rounds
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander
  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan.  When it’s hot, add the onion and cumin and fry together until browned.
  2. Then add the garlic, ginger and 2 whole chillis.  Fry for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Then add the spices, tamarind, tomato puree and salt.  Mix well to combine for 30 seconds.
  4. Tip in the lentils, mix well to combine and cook for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add about half of the water, to cover the lentils.  Bring to the boil and then reduce to a low simmer and cover. 
  6. Check the lentils periodically and top up with water as needed. 
  7. Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan til smoking hot. 
  8. Brush the aubergines with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place in the griddle pan and cook on either side until chargrilled.  Set aside until needed.
  9. When the lentils are nearly done (the sauce is starting to go creamy) add the tomatoes, remaining chillis and coriander.  Stir well to combine.  Only add water if absolutely needed to prevent sticking as the tomatoes will break down somewhat.
  10. Cook for a further few minutes until the lentils are nice and mushy.
  11. Serve over rice with the aubergines piled on top.
  12. Enjoy the healthiness and punchy flavours 🙂

3 responses to “Post-cake detox: Griddled aubergine dhal

  1. I wish more people would write blogs like this that are really fun to read. With all the fluff floating around on the net, it is rare to read a blog like this instead.

  2. HCG Recipes says:

    Awesome info. Thanks for the post. I have added your Feed to my RSS Feed Account. I will gladly post a trackback upon comment approval.

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