By Karam Sethi
Prep Cook Serves 15 min 2 hr 4
200g split Bengal gram lentil (or chickpea lentils/chana dal)
2 black cardamom pods 4 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground turmeric 10g ghee
To temper the dal 20g ghee
10g garlic, chopped
1 pinch asafoetida, known as hing 20g ginger, finely chopped
7g green chillies, finely chopped 70g onion, finely chopped finely also 140g tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp garam masala 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
Wash the dal under cold running water until it runs clear, then transfer to a pot. Add three times the volume of water, all the whole spices, salt, turmeric and ghee, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until tender – about two hours.
To temper the dal, heat the ghee in a small kadhai or wok. Add the garlic, asafoetida, ginger and chillies, and fry until they start to brown. Add the onion and fry until light brown, then add the remaining ingredients except the coriander leaves. Cook until the tomatoes are very soft – about 10 minutes.
Put the tempering into the dal pot and stir to mix. Stir in the chopped coriander leaves, season to taste and serve with basmati rice or roti. Prep Cook Serves 15 min 40 min 4
200g arhar dal (split yellow lentils)
100g strained yoghurt
– about 140g natural yoghurt, strained for five hours
½ tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp yellow chilli powder Salt
15g garlic paste (peeled, finely chopped and ground to a paste) 10g ginger paste (peeled, finely chopped and ground to a paste) 45g ghee
To temper the dal 15g ghee
4 red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds 16 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced Wash the lentils under cold running water until it runs clear. Put in a bowl, cover with warm water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the yoghurt in a small bowl and set aside.
Drain the lentils and put in a pot with the turmeric, chilli powder and two teaspoons of salt. Cover with about 800ml warm water, bring to a boil, then stir in the garlic and ginger pastes. Cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender – about an hour.
Stir in the yoghurt and ghee, cover the pot and leave to simmer for five minutes. Remove the lid, then season to taste.
To temper the dal, gently melt the ghee in a frying pan on a low heat. Add the whole chillies and stir until they begin to darken, then add the cumin and stir until it starts to crackle. Add the garlic and fry until it turns golden-brown.
Pour the tempering into the dal, cover again and simmer for 10 minutes, so the lentils take on the flavours. Adjust the seasoning to taste, and serve warm with roti or rice.