#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | IMBB#14: Moroccan carrot dip » | IMBB#14: German carrots cooked in beer » | SHF#7: Dense gingerbread » | The World's 50 Best Restaurants » | Snapped: The Bridge by Night » | Killing Heidi, Tumbalong Park » | Northside Produce Market » | bills2, Surry Hills » | Saigon Village, Haymarket » | WBW#8: Vini Siciliani Rossi.... er... Bianco »

Sunday, April 24, 2005

IMBB#14: Tarka dhal

I've been craving dhal for some time now. There's something deliciously comforting about a spoonful of steaming hot, spicy dhal with rice.

I've never made it before though, and IMBB#14: Orange You Hungry seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.

A couple of clicks later on the Internet and I found what looked like an authentic recipe from someone who had visited a friend's mother in New Dehli. Wow I love the Internet.

I added coarsely mashed carrot to this recipe for extra sweetness, texture and yes, orangeness too.

Amit's Mum's Tarka Dhal (Lentils)
For 2-3 people

1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 large carrot, steamed and roughly mashed [my addition]
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup red lentils (lal dhal) [I used chana dhal, or yellow lentils]
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sunflower oil, or for special occasions 50g butter
Water (to cover lentils at step 4)

1. In a saucepan, fry the onion and tomato in oil (or butter) for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add salt, cumin seeds, coriander and garam masala and fry for 1 minute.
3. Add the lentils and fry for a further 1 minute.
4. Cover the lentils with water and bring to the boil.
5. Slowly boil lentils for 15 minutes (add a little water if they go dry).
6. The lentils should turn yellow and mushy.
7. Boil off the excess water and serve.

Maybe I was doing something wrong but I ended up cooking my lentils for about 2 hours and though it was cooked, it still wasn't quite mushy enough for my liking. However I was cooking a whole bag of lentils (probably about 3 cups) which may have had something to do with it.

Still, it tasted good, and the carrots did add a nice touch of natural sweetness.

For a full summary of all the orange-themed recipes, check out ladygoat's wrap-up at Foodgoat.

Related GrabYourFork posts:
IMBB#14: Moroccan carrot dip
IMBB#14: Germans carrots cooked in beer
7 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 4/24/2005 02:00:00 pm


  • At 4/25/2005 12:05 am, Blogger mrstweety said…

    The Dhal that i'm used to.. is quite watery...not as thick as the one you cooked here.
    Very interesting..!

  • At 4/25/2005 8:54 am, Blogger deborah said…

    The dhal looks great. And most probably the thickness as Mrstweety refers to and the 2 hours cooking time may have to do with the type of lentil you used. We use a split pea type lentil, and the actual lentil is like a peachy orange colour, and about the size of half a smartie.. This lends to a mushy type consistency where you dont even see the round lentil by the 15 -20 minute cooking time. My favourite additions are spinach and red hot chilli. Dhal is one of my comfort foods too :)

    Another type to soften this tye of lentil, is to soak over night. For another dish we make, called vadai (which is fried balls of lentil, mashed up with chilli, spices, bayleaf, onion etc) we soak overnight and nearly half a day.

  • At 4/25/2005 1:27 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi MrsTweety - I do like my dhal thick, but I also like it quite soft. Seems like Saffron has some great insider tips above.

    Hi Saffron - Thanks for the tips. It was a last minute shop unfortunately and I could only find yellow chana dhal (which sounded like the right thing anyway from the name).

    So maybe orange cooks faster? The yellow lentils were split but they seemed to be taking forever to get mushy! I know for next time!

    Thanks for the tips. I've always been a bit intimidated to cook Indian due to all the spices but I should definitely have another go. Vadai sounds scrumptious too. I'd love to see some posts on these homecooked foods on your site *hint hint* =)

  • At 4/25/2005 9:37 pm, Blogger deborah said…

    I think you did a wonderful job AG. And you're on, I'll try my hand at a few curries and what not. The vadai I was referring to is not the vadai used with the ground lentil flour, but rather in chickpea form, soaked and pulsed in a blender, all still moist. You then add chopped white onion, chilli, curry leaves (smaller variety of bay leaf), salt and pepper and other sri lankan spices. Make into bite sized balls and deep fry. This is often served before dinner as guests arrive. Goes well with beer and other alcohol. :)
    I'll look for a good recipe for you.

  • At 4/26/2005 11:41 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Saffron - Excellent. Sounds great! I'm always interested in home-cooked traditional foods. I also love deep-fried goodness =P

    Looking forward to your posts...

  • At 6/01/2005 11:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hehe tharka daal is awesome! ok you hafta see this site..its 1 of my favs: http://www.indian-recipe.net

  • At 6/01/2005 11:46 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anonymous - Thanks for the tip. This site looks great. And glad you enjoyed this post. Hope you enjoyed the rest of the site too!


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts