11 June 2012

Ab Fab dahl-ing

It's been a while.  I've been pretty unadventurous lately, cooking-wise.  Old favourites have been making beloved reappearences, which whilst gastronomically satisfying hardly make for good blog-fodder.  I mean, who want to read a blog entry that says "I remade xyz.  It was good.  I used yellow capsicum in place of green, to give it some colour."  Woop.  So, now you know why it's been so quiet on the bloggery front.  Not because nothing's been a-happening nella mia cucina, but because I've been visiting with old friends. 

However, perusing an Indian cookbook I received for Christmas a couple of years back, I was reminded of the fact that I really like lentils.  I never cook lentils, which smacked me in the face as patently ridiculous.  So, lentils were added to our Friday night menu, in the guise of parippu. 

Parippu is a dhal (lentil curry, also spelled dal, daal and dahl) from south-India, flavoured with coconut and a tarka (seasoning) of fried onion and spices.  The one I made used masoor dhal, which are red lentils.  Because they are split they cook faster than other lentils and don't usually require any pre-soaking (other lentils do, so always check your recipe/packet). 

We took the prepared dhal to KB's mum and dad's for dinner, along with rice and garlic roti, and it was tasty.  I think next time I'll add in a little more salt, and perhaps a teaspoon of sugar, but other than that, it was fabulous dahling!!   

225 g masoor dhal
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tomato, roughly chopped
400 ml coconut milk
2 green chillies, chopped
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander (I used garam masala, as ran out of ground cori)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (I used yellow)
1 onion, finely chopped
fresh coriander leaves
rice + roti, to serve
  1. Put lentils into heavy-based saucepan with 500 ml water.  Add roughly-chopped onion, tomato, coconut, chillies and ground spices. 
  2. Bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are cooked to soft mush (these lentils don't hold their shape when cooked).  This takes about 30 minutes.  If all the liquid has evaporated before your lentils are sufficiently cooked, add boiling water. 
  3. For the tarka, heat oil in small saucepan over low heat.  Add the seeds, cover and allow the seeds to pop.  Add finely-chopped onion and fry over low heat until golden brown. 
  4. Pour seasoned onions into simmering lentils, season with salt (and maybe stir through a little sugar) and cook for further 5 minutes. 
  5. Serve with rice and roti. 

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