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tahir

Tarka dhal

nick asked for a dhal recipe, like all of mine its a bit freestyle, and that really is how its supposed to be, its peasant food; use whats avaiable!

Get some dhal, preferably a mix of split chick peas, red lentils, green lentils, green moong, any one of the above on it's own will work.

Boil in quite a lot of water till soft to your liking, some people like it smoother than others, add your salt and chilli. (You can add some tomato and onion at the boiling stage if you like, I mostly don't, but up to you, turmeric too). If you have some fenugreek or other spicy green you can add that finely chopped and just stir in at the end if you like.

The important bit is the tarka:

veg oil (good splosh, enough to cover the base of the pan at least a couple of mm)
heat till hot (not smoking)
add spices: (any/all of)
fenugreek
cumin
black cumin
black mustard seed
onion seed
caraway seed
fennel
once these have fizzed a bit (be careful not to burn)
add a good dollop of butter and (prechopped v fine) garlic and ginger
give it a sizzle then stir it into your dhal
after this you can if you like garnish with fresh coriander, a squeeze of lemon juice is also nice

There is no wrong or right, some people like it runnier than others, some people don't like a very brown looking dhal, some don't like a strong tarka others do, some like the whole thing to be smooth like soup...

As Nick found out fenugreek can be quite powerful so go easy
earthyvirgo

Great, thanks Tahir - my dhals are pretty freestyle too but good to see the spices you use.

Yup, fenugreek can be pretty pungent the day after!

EV
Nick

Yep, had this last night. Was great. Yellow lentils, 45 minutes boiling in salt water, some chopped onion and turmeric in for the last ten minutes, drained and threw in the tarka.

Used cumin, black pepper, fennel, nigella seeds, black and yellow mustard, and some tiny bitter seeds, I forget the name of, bought for 20 rupees.

I forgot to add coriander, but did add lemon juice.
sean

I used asafoetida in my tarka a couple of days ago. That was good. Smile
Pilsbury

And fenugreek leaves are available chopped and dried in most supermarkets but are called methi.
Something my Indian assistants at work taught me.
Bodger

I'm a peasant, I'll get the Mrs to rustle some of this up for next weekend. Many thanks for this one.
Pilsbury

It's delicious and easy to do once you understand it. Cook the dhal, any lentils you like, cook the tarka, onions garlic and spices and mix the 2 together.
yum
Treacodactyl

When do you add the otter?
Nick

I tried so hard not to make that joke. So hard.
Pilsbury

When do you add the otter?

If you want to you can fry the chilli in with the onions, green ones are 'otter than the red normally.
mochyn

You rotten lot. WHile I'm away someone grabbed the punch line.
Treacodactyl

I tried so hard not to make that joke. So hard.


I did resist asking if I can substitute beaver for otter.
mochyn

Can you put chilli in this? If you can, that would make it 'otter. Pilsbury

My mum and dad used to tell us a story about a pub thst had a big tank in the garden full of water and various bits and peices in the bottom with a sign saying 'to see water 'otter pull chain) and when you tugged the chain an old rusty kettle bobbed up and down on the bottom of the tank.
no ideas if it's a true story but itscertianly one I remember well
12Bore

I am so proud of my self restraint today! Laughing Laughing jema

bah, I only opened the thread to make an otter comment Rolling Eyes vegplot

Tarka, the 'otter curry.


No otters were harmed in the making of this strapline (and very little energy expended).
Nicky Colour it green

I usually put curry leaves in my dhal - not traditional?

I like it
tahir

I usually put curry leaves in my dhal - not traditional?

I like it

I've never used em, nor my mum, maybe not something punjabi? India is a big continent, dhal is eaten all over, must be huge variation
dpack

iirc my "shopping in tamil" days in tooting curry leaves are a south indian/srilankan type of ingredient as was tamerind,and various coconut products Nicky Colour it green

I usually put curry leaves in my dhal - not traditional?

I like it

I've never used em, nor my mum, maybe not something punjabi? India is a big continent, dhal is eaten all over, must be huge variation

absolutely. Going to try your recipe next time, I have all the ingredients - apart from black cumin - which I have not seen for sale round here - but do have cumin seeds.
dpack

black cumin seems more popular than the paler type in west yorkshire's "currypowder"shops as the locals often have northern culinary links

i rather like it ,they are similar but not identical i spose a bit like flat or curley parsley are similar but different.
mochyn

We had that story in my family too, Pilsbury Smile South London for us (Greenwich). Pilsbury

We had that story in my family too, Pilsbury Smile South London for us (Greenwich). well my mum and dsd were from epping and Walthamstow but my dad rode a bike so Greenwich was certainly in range. Nick

Trying this tonight with pub lentils as an accompaniment to confit duck. sean

Pub lentils? Cooked in beer? tahir

Delish Nick

Puy. Bloody spellcheck. tahir

This looks intersting earthyvirgo

This looks intersting

I think I might have just impulse bought that Smile

I love lentils of any kind - hugely under rated.

EV
Gervase

This looks intersting
Curse you, you lentil porn-peddler! That's another book ordered. I've become a dahl addict since trying about five different varieties staying with a Dutch friend in France. Tomorrow I'll give your recipe a whirl.
tahir

Very Happy dpack

a slight aside but are lentils a sensible crop in the uk ? tahir

No. Miffy and v fiddly to harvest Nick

Miffy? tahir

They grow OK but pigeons and slugs love them and they really need a long hot summer to actually crop and ripen. Mum used to grow them occasionally as greens to add to saag (feels like years since I've mentioned saag Wink ) sean

Saag's *so* last year. We're all about the lentils now. Nick

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/daalsaag_74848 tahir

Saag's *so* last year. We're all about the lentils now.

Any peasant food is good by me.
tahir

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/daalsaag_74848

Moong dal is not split eyellow lentils, it's mung beans
mochyn

Is the daal book any good? tahir

Is the daal book any good?

I haven't seen it, reviews on amazon are mostly positive thoughh
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