Dhal, Dal, Daal, Dahl... They're all the same thing you know!
And that's tasty, cheap and healthy - no wonder they gave it so many names :)
I asked a friend to get me some dried chickpeas the other day - I've had an urge for home-made hummus since I had some at another friend's recently. But instead of chickpeas, I got a pack of chana dal (dhal, daal, dahl...)! There was a rationale - but I can't remember what it is now.
So I decided to make a dhal. As in the thick, spicy lentil stew - rather than the pulse itself...
And some naan bread to go with!
- 1.5 cups chana dal
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 slices fresh ginger (skin on)
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 100g spinach, washed
- 1 tsp garam masala
Place the chana dal in a pot with twice as much boiling water and simmer for 30 minutes. (Alternatively you could pre-soak them for 2/3 hours... if you remember!)
Melt the ghee in a saucepan, and fry the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garlic and ginger for 2/3 minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop.
Add the chana dal, the rest of the spices (except the garam masala!) and the tomatoes. Top up with boiling water and simmer, covered for 45 minutes to an hour - or until the chana dal is tender. Top up water as required, and stir every so often to prevent sticking.
When the chana dal is tender, remove the ginger slices and use a fork to mash some of the dal against the side of the saucepan. This gives a more interesting texture and consistency - don't skip it!
Add the spinach and garam masala and cook for another 3/4 minutes until the spinach is wilted.
Serve with rice - either plain or pilaf, or with naan bread!