Sunday, 6 July 2014

Recipe: red lentil and potato dhal

I made this up this morning, just tossed things in on impulse really.  Beth loved it.  I did too.  It all got eaten up which is always a good sign.

It's not hot in the chilli sense of the word.  I wanted something that was fragrant and aromatic but not hot, as the other curry was hotter and I wanted contrast.  You could add some chilli.

Here it is.

1 smallish onion, peeled and finely chopped
a knob of butter
100g - ish of red lentils
4 or 5 value tinned potatoes, more if they are small, (they don't have to be value or tinned, of course, but that's what I used) finely diced.

1/2 tsp each of crushed garlic, crushed ginger, turmeric, garam masala
a good pinch each of cumin, coriander and cinnamon (all ground)
4 or 5 cardamom pods, slightly squashed with a knife blade
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp marigold bouillon powder
a little splash of white wine (needed using up) - optional

Melt the butter and saute the chopped onion gently until soft.  Add the potato and the red lentils and stir well.

Increase the heat a little and add all the spices.  Cook them out, stirring continuously.

Add the bay leaf, some salt and pepper, the marigold powder and some water to cover .

Bring to a simmer, almost cover and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until everything is very soft and thickened.  Add more water, if necessary.  Check the seasonings and add more water if necessary.  Long, slow cooking is the name of the game.

Before serving, remove the bay leaf and the cardamom pods (if you can find them)

It is gorgeous, it's dead easy and, assuming the spices, etc, are store cupboard ingredients, pretty frugal too.  I shall make this again!

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