This is the way that I make Dal.This has to be one of my favourite comfort foods. I love it served with a potato mash with chilli and garam masala. Sometimes I don’t even bother with the potato.
Melt the butter in a saucepan with the oil, add the onions, garlic , chilli, asafoetida (if using) and a pinch of salt.
Cook on a low heat until the onions are soft.
Add the lentils and stir around for a few seconds and add about ¼ of the water, simmer slowly until the water has reduced and been absorbed into the lentils.
Add some more water, cook again and repeat the process until the lentils are cooked and the water has all been absorbed into the dal.
Add the cumin to taste, the turmeric, chopped coriander and another pinch of salt if it needs it.
This can be reheated over a low flame.
Chilli and Garam Masala Mash:
Scrub the potatoes in their skins and put into a saucepan, fill up with water and a good pinch of salt and bring up to the boil.
After 5 mins of boiling, pour off most of the water, leaving about 3cm of water in the bottom and continue cooking on a lowish heat now, checking every so often that the water has not evaporated and leaving you with a burnt bottom!!
20 mins after the potatoes have gone in to cook, put the whole garlic cloves into the saucepan, they should be cooked by the time the potatoes are.
When they are all cooked, take the potatoes out and peel them with a knife and mash the potatoes and garlic.
Add butter, a little boiling milk, the chilli, garam masala, some salt and chopped coriander.
Check for seasoning and add more milk,or spices as required.
Serve with the dal and a bowl of red onion raita , or cucumber raita (See my other recipes) and scatter coriander leaves over the top. Chilli bread is excellent with this, particularly if you are leaving out the mash.
* Make sure the potatoes are completely mashed before adding the boiling milk otherwise they will stay lumpy.
* Garam masala is one of the many Indian spice mixes, and you can buy it ready made and there are many different recipes for making it. This is one that I normally use so if you want to make it yourself just keep any leftover in an airtight container. Whizz up 2 tsp of green cardamon seeds,1/2 tsp each of cumin seeds, cloves,black peppercorns, nutmeg and a 2cm piece of cinnamon,until nice and fine.
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