The fact is, that when I go into the kitchen to cook, I’m only ever a step away from making a curry. I always seem to have the right sort of ingredients, and the lines of jars of indian spices draw me like a magnet……because I just love a curry. There’s a magic in those spices that is endlessly enticing.
So. In a word (or three), here’s another curry 🙂
A mixed lentil dal with a sweet pepper and onion sizzling tarka. Irresistible…….
MIXED LENTIL DAL WITH A SWEET PEPPER TARKA
- 4 tbs. hot oil suitable for frying / or vegetable ghee
- 300gms. mixed lentils ( I used an equal split of green puy lentils, black lentils and red spit lentils)
- approx. 150gms. sweet red pepper
- 1 large yellow/or white onion
- approx. 150gms. tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 cm. fresh ginger
- 0.5 tsp. black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsps. cumin seeds
- 2 tsps. coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. chilli powder
- 1200ml. water
- Juice 1 lime
- Wash lentils.
- Wash and dice sweet pepper ( remove pith and seeds).
- Peel and finely chop onion.
- Cut a cross in the top of the tomatoes and immerse in just-boiled water for 10 mins.
- Remove tomato skins and discard.
- Dice tomatoes.
- Peel and crush garlic cloves.
- Peel and finely grate ginger.
- Grind salt, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric and chilli powder to make a fine powder.
- In a deep-sided pan, on a medium-high heat, add 2 tbs. oil or ghee.
- When hot, add mustard seeds.
- When mustard seeds sizzle, add rinsed lentils. Sauté for 5 mins, stirring from time to time.
- Add ground spices and sauté for 1 min. Avoid burning.
- Add 1200ml. water. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 7 mins.
- Reduce heat to minimum, (use a heat diffuser if necessary), cover, and cook lentils for 60 – 75 mins., until the dal is thick and the lentils are tender.
During the last 15 mins. prepare the tarka:
- In a wide pan, on a high heat, add 2 tbs. oil/ or ghee.
- Add diced onion and diced sweet pepper and sauté for 6-8 mins.
- Add crushed garlic and grated ginger. Sauté 2-3 mins. Keep the heat high and stir occasionally to avoid burning.
- Add diced tomatoes. Sauté until sizzling.
- Add juice of 1 lime. Sizzle.
- Tip the sizzling tarka into the lentils. Stir in for a few minutes.
Serve immediately…. with rice or flatbreads, non-dairy yogurt, chutneys and freshly chopped coriander leaves.