Aubergine dal

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - FOOD EXCLUSIVE -

A won­der­ful dish for a crowd if you in­clude all the trim­mings in the full-on menu (in­clud­ing crispy cau­li­flower, green chut­ney, dosas and a crunchy salad, see left). Make a quar­ter of the amount of just the dal for a quick week-night din­ner for two, or go the whole hog with all the sides if en­ter­tain­ing. SERVES 6-8 1 tbsp co­conut oil 2 onions, chopped 5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated 4 cloves gar­lic, sliced 2 cin­na­mon sticks 1 tbsp cumin seeds 2 tsp co­rian­der seeds, crushed 1-3 (de­pend­ing on how hot you like it) bird’s eye chill­ies, de­seeded and chopped 20 curry leaves large bunch of co­rian­der, stalks chopped and leaves kept whole 1 tbsp ground turmeric 1 large aubergine, cubed hand­ful of dried apri­cots, chopped 1 x 400g tin chopped toma­toes 1 x 400ml tin co­conut milk 500ml chicken or veg­etable stock 350g lentils (use a mix­ture of red, or­ange and yel­low) squeeze of honey (op­tional) salt and pep­per

FOR THE TARKA TOP­PING 1 tbsp co­conut oil 4 cloves gar­lic, sliced into thin chips 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp nigella seeds 1 large red chilli, thinly sliced small bunch of curry leaves

1 Heat the co­conut oil in a large pan and cook the onions, ginger, gar­lic and cin­na­mon over a low heat un­til the onions are translu­cent. In­crease the heat then add the cumin and co­rian­der seeds, bird’s eye chill­ies, curry leaves and chopped co­rian­der stalks, and fry for a good 5 min­utes, stir­ring to stop it catch­ing. 2 Next add the turmeric, aubergine and apri­cots and cook for a fur­ther 5 min­utes, al­low­ing the aubergine to caramelise a lit­tle, fol­lowed by the toma­toes, co­conut milk, stock and lentils. Leave to sim­mer for 45 min­utes, then taste and sea­son with salt and pep­per and a squeeze of honey, if de­sired. 3 When you are al­most ready to serve, make up the tarka for the top of the dal. Melt the co­conut oil in a pan and add the gar­lic, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, chilli and curry leaves. Cook over a low heat, stir­ring, un­til the gar­lic turns golden. Add this, still siz­zling, to the top of the dal. Scat­ter the dal with the co­rian­der leaves and serve.

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