BLACK DAHL (LENTILS) RECIPE
HOMEMADE FLAVOURSOME INDIAN DAHL OR LENTIL SOUP RECIPE
I have been wanting to share some recipes on my blog for a while now and I am so happy that I have finally made it there. I absolutely LOVE food and everyone that knows me knows that. I love cooking and believe that healthy meals do not have to mean tasteless meals especially when you’re vegetarian!. I mean, why do meat eaters think that we survive on leaves and steamed veg?I grew up in India and my family was all about delicious meals. I have always been a vegetarian and really love all vegetables (maybe a few I don’t particularly like - brussel sprouts). The ones i find that I do not like are the ones I have not found a good recipe for. I must ring my mother to learn. Anyway, I am glad to have been brought up in an Indian family because I feel like the meals have always been full of flavour and the the key to everything is the right spices and knowing how to cook all vegetables. Once when I was at the checkout at Aldi, I had 2 cans of kidney beans and a pack of tomatoes. The assistant at the checkout was so confused at the meal I was making. If only he tried what came of it! It definitely wasn’t just kidney beans in water and chopped tomatoes (haha!).
The reason I wanted to share these recipes with you is because I find that it is quite a job to find nice Indian recipes online. While there so so many of them, I have collated mine in cook book along with recipes from my home. I am most excited about sharing my home recipes but I will also be sharing some of my favourites from across different blogs. I am really hoping you like these :)
LET’S START SHALL WE?
Black Dahl literally means black lentils. This recipe calls for kidney beans too which adds to the flavour and texture. What makes all Indian dishes so delicious is the base sauce filled with spices(yummy!). Spices are a must! I have a shelf full of them. I usually buy mind from Indian stores in 1kg bags as all my recipes call for these and you can never enough of them! There are a lot of varieties of lentils in the market and this one is one of my favourites (but I will be adding more). All my recipes are full of flavour so I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed.
FOR THE LENTIL PREPARATION:
GINGER GARLIC PASTE - 1 TABLESPOON ( I used 3-4 garlic cloves and 1/2 inch of ginger)
TURMERIC POWDER - 1/4 teaspoon
SALT - to taste
BLACK LENTILS - 1/2 CUP SOAKED OVERNIGHT**
RED KIDNEY BEANS - 1/2 CUP SOAKED OVERNIGHT**
FOR THE SAUCE :
4-5 TOMATOES (FOR PUREE)
TOMATO PUREE (OPTIONAL) - 1 TABLESPOON
CORIANDER POWDER - 1 HEAPED TEASPOON
CHILLI POWDER - 1 HEAPED TEASPOON (ADD MORE OR LESS AS PER TASTE)
1 TEASPOON OF BUTTER
Add the garlic and ginger in a blender and make a paste. I tend to add a little bit of water so it creates a smooth paste.
I ALWAYS use fresh ginger and garlic but I ran out of ginger (an ashamed Indian woman here!) so I used chopped ginger instead. Both are good.
Add the soaked lentils in a pressure cooker with ginger garlic past, turmeric powder and salt.
Add a generous amount of water (lentils are meant to be soupy not dry).
Ignore the look of it when the ingredients are added. I promise it will taste amazing when it is all put together.
Cook it for about 1/2 hour (after the first whistle, simmer it). Don’t worry if it it goes over for a little longer.
Transfer the tomatoes to a blender and blend, blend, blend. Transfer the onions to the food processor (chopper) and finely chop them (can do so by hand too).
If you have used a can of kindey beans instead of dry ones, once the lentils are cooked, add the bowl of Kidney beans and stir.
Warm a tablespoon of olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat.Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent. Add a tablespoon of Tomato puree paste (this is optional**) We usually only use fresh tomato puree in India, however, the tomatoes are tastier there so this adds a bit more flavour.
Indian recipes use quite a lot of oil and butter but I only use a tablespoon of oil and 1/2 tsp of butter.
Pour in the fresh tomato puree and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until the water from the tomatoes has gone and the mixture has thickened.
Add all the spices : chilli powder, coriander powder and salt and stir.
Add the mixture to the pot of lentils and mix everything together. Let the dahl cook on medium-high heat for 1 whistle and then let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes. This will blend all the spices in with the dahl and also mash the dahl up a little. Add more water if necessary.
In a small bowl, add a few tablespoons of yogurt and beat it. This dahl usually consists of a mix of yogurt and cream, however, the healthier option would be to avoid cream :)
Add the yogurt to the dahl and stir. Taste and season with more salt if required.
Serve while hot. Garnish with coriander and more yogurt. Yummy!
It tastes great with rice or pilau and some naan. All my dry dishes are accompanied with dahl and jowar rotis :)
I hope you enjoy this recipe. I would love to hear your thoughts of how it turned out.