Red Lentil Dal


250 grams Dried red lentils, Washed and soaked overnight
1 Medium Onion
3 teaspoons Ginger, Finely chopped
2 teaspoons Garlic, Finely chopped
1 tablespoon Garam masala
10 Curry leaves
2 Chilies, Seeded and finely chopped
400 grams Tomato, Skinned, deseeded and chopped
8 Cardamom pods
250 milliliters Coconut cream
3 tablespoons Fresh corriander leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil



1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and add the chopped onions. Cook until the onions are well caramalised. Add the chopped ginger and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, and add the spices. Stir through and cook for 5 minutes.

2. In a second pot, bring 500 mililiters of water to the boil. Add the soaked lentils. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes until the lentils are just cooked, not mushy. Remove from heat and strain the lentils.

3. Add the chillies, curry leaves and tomatoes to the spice mix and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking or burning. Add half the coconut cream and continue cooking until the oils separate. If you prefer a smooth sauce, use a stick blender or food processor to blend the sauce to the desired consistency. If not, add the lentils straight away.

4. If you have blended, the sauce, return the sauce to the pot and reduce to heat to low. Add the cooked lentils and cook for 10 minutes. Season  with salt and black pepper. If the dal requires more flavour, add a little more garam masala and cook for 5 more minutes until the spices are cooked though. Finish the dish with the chopped coriander and the remaining coconut cream. Serve with cucumber and tomato raita and chappati (flat bread) or rice.


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