Tadka Dal - yellow lentils and tomatoes with Indian spices


Tadka Dal - yellow lentils and tomatoes with Indian spices

This weekend I decided to enjoy all the things I can't when husband is home. He is still away visiting family and this is my last weekend as a single lady. Next weekend he is still away, but I will be in Finland. So to make most of it, I bought a couple of fresh chillies, a bunch of coriander and checked Netflix for period drama.

I watched the film Vanity Fair and BBC TV-series Daniel Deronda and Emma. And just now I finished an excellent Danish drama A Royal Affair, a film based on the late 18th century true story of the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark and Norway, and the love affair between his unfortunate and enlightened Queen - an English princess, sister to King George III of England, Queen Caroline Mathilde and the King's handsome and political physician Mads Mikkelsen. Really not husband's cup of tea even with a Bond villain in it. You don't need to be a genius to guess that with this set up the story isn't going to end well. So not a real feel good story to be honest, but it puts things into perspective. So at least going into my Annual Feedback Meeting with my boss tomorrow, I can feel reasonably confident that I most likely won't end up beheaded or in indefinite house arrest in a strange German village.

On the food front there may have been a red-wine marinated venison steak again somewhere, but I also made an excellent tadka dal with loads of fresh chilli and coriander. And I pickled some eggs just for the heck of it.

Tadka Dal - yellow lentils and tomatoes with Indian spices

The Tadka Dal idea came from the Indian restaurant Copper Chimney in Westfields that we have visited a couple of times with a friend and this is one of the dishes we always get. It is amazing. My version didn't really completely match the Copper Chimney's version, somehow just less shiny and creamy. I suspect an amount of ghee might be included in theirs. But mine was very nice and super hot, which I love. I would make it less hot if husband was anywhere in vicinity.

And I made some of my baked masala cauliflower florets to go with it for a healthy vegetarian lunch.

Tadka Dal - yellow lentils and tomatoes with Indian spices and chaat masala cauliflower

Tadka Dal

1 cup yellow lentils
1 brown onion
1 red chilli
2 cloves of garlic
2cm piece for fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
3 tomatoes
Bunch of fresh coriander leaves

Rinse the lentils well. Put them in a sauce pan and cover with plenty of water. Add a little salt and bring to boil. Skim off any foam that forms on top. Cook until done, but not mushy, about 15-20 minutes. They will continue to cook in the spice and tomato sauce later. Strain.

Chop the onion quite finely. Add a little bit of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and add the onions. Fry for some minutes on medium heat. Chop the red chili, grate the garlic and ginger and add to the pan. Keep frying for a few more minutes and then add the spices stirring well for a minute or two. Chop the tomatoes and add to the pan, season with salt and pepper and continue stirring until the tomatoes soften. Add about a cup of water and leave to cook for 5-10 minutes. Check the seasoning.

Add the lentils into your tomato sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add water if it looks too dry and depending on how thick you want it. Chop a bunch of fresh coriander. Mix most of it into the dal leaving a sprinkling for garnish.

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