Considered to be one of the oldest domesticated crops; lentils have been part of the human diet since Neolithic times. Lentils are a great source of protein. There are many varieties of which can be used for this recipe.
Tarka simply means seasoning or tempering; this involves frying the spices in hot oil to release essential oils and bring out the full flavour.
Curry On Cooking Curry Kit of your choice or
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried chilli
400g washed lentils
3 tablespoons oil/ghee
1 litre of cold water
3 tablespoons of oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
250g tin tomatoes or 2 fresh
1 chopped chilli optional
Chopped fresh coriander to garnish
400g cooked lentils
TIME: 40 minutes. Makes/Serves 4-6.
- If using uncooked lentils wash and soak the lentils in cold water for an hour.
- In a large saucepan heat the oil until hot, add the cumin seeds, wait until they change colour and begin to crackle.
- Add the onion and garlic cook until golden brown; add the fresh ginger along with the tinned tomatoes. Mix and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Next add a Curry On Cooking kit OR the following spices, turmeric, salt, garam masala, black pepper, fenugreek leaves and chillies. Cook for 1 minute.
- Drain and rinse the lentils add to the pan, along with the litre of water, stir, taste the liquor for salt and seasoning.
- Put on a medium heat, cook until the lentils are soft. Every so often check the seasoning and liquid, add more as and when needed.
TIP: Serve with sliced onion and a squeeze of fresh lemon/ lime juice with a dollop of plain yoghurt. Great with naan, rice, couscous or quinoa. Use leftover dahl to make a veggie shepherd's pie.
The Spice Sisters; Veena Josh and Nilam Wright are available for talks, cookery demonstration and Indian cookery workshops. Join us in November for hands on Indian cookery course at the fabulous Akinon Retreat.
Please get in touch for further information.
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