2 tbsp / 30 g ghee , or 1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp/15g butter
2 green cayenne chillies , deseeded and cut into chunks (optional)
1 medium onion , finely chopped (brown or yellow)
6 garlic cloves , finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger , finely chopped (1.5cm / 3/5″)
8 fresh curry leaves , or 6 dried
1 tomato , chopped
1/2 tsp Handi ground cumin
1 cup dried chana dal , yellow split peas or other yellow lentils
4 cups / 1 litre water
1/2 tsp Handi turmeric powder
1/8 tsp Handi garam marsala
3/4 tsp Handi salt
1 1/2 tbsp / 20g ghee , or half each butter + oil
1 eschalot or 1/4 small onion , halved lengthways and sliced
1 tsp Handi cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)
3 dried chillies , broken in half, seeds removed (optional)
Soak Lentils: Rinse lentils and leave to soak in plenty of water for 1 hour. Drain in a colander.
Heat ghee/oil in a heavy based saucepan over high heat. Add green chilies and fry for a minute until it starts to blister.
Add onions and fry until softened.
Lower heat to medium, add garlic, ginger and curry leaves. Cook for 1 minute until garlic starts to turn golden and smells amazing.
Add tomatoes and cumin, cook until tomatoes start to break down and thicken to a paste – which will take about 2 minutes.
Add lentils, water, turmeric and salt. Stir, bring to simmer, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. Stir two or three times during the hour.
Remove lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes to thicken, stirring every now and then. The daal is ready when it has a consistency like porridge – some lentils should be intact but some have broken down to thicken the sauce.
Stir through garam masala at the end. Adjust salt if desired.
Pour over Tadka (if you are using it) and stir through.
Serve Daal over Handi rice, garnished with a sprig of coriander if desired.
For Tadka – sizzling spices (if you opt for it)
Heat ghee in a small pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
Add cumin and mustard seeds, stir until cumin is slightly golden.
Then add chilies and cook for 20 seconds, then add eschalots and cook until tinged with gold. Don’t let the spices burn!
Immediately pour into Daal.
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