Best Dal Recipe

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by catchyerselfon, Mar 3, 2009.

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  1. Guys,
    Over to you please. I just cannot it right, never takes like i have had it from our little fellas from Nepal.
    Even the recipes in the Arrsepedia aint doing it for me.
    What d'ya reckon?
  2. Lots and lots, and lots and lots, and lots and lots, of garlic.

    Here's my recipe, seems to put smiles on faces round the table:

    Cup of red lentils
    4 cloves of garlic
    1 White onion
    tspn Cumin
    tspn Ground Coriander
    1/2 tspn Tumeric
    1 Birds Eye chilli

    Chop everything very very small, and fry off in plenty of oil, whilst the lentils and boiling. Drain the lentils well, stir in the fried mixture and reheat. A handful of fresh coriander torn over the top makes it look pretty to serve, and tastes good too. Hope that'll help!

    Edited to add: This is from the Gurkas that me dad met whilst working in Nepal!
  3. There are hundreds of the little Khukri waving buggers around here, ill ask someone tomorrow.
  4. Just got the old man to e-mail me his recipe, turns out I have a crap memory:

    Fry loadsa chopped garlic in veg oil and butter but before it turns brown add cumin seeds, ground coriandder seeds, teaspoon turmeric, some curry powder if you have it, and then several teaspoons Crispy Fried Topping Onions - these are the secret ingredient, you can add up to 6oz of these!

    Stir this into the cooked lentils along with some Garam Masala, if you like - but it's not essential and can sometimes make all your curries taste the same (because you always use the same Garam Masala to season at the end). Salt to taste, or add a good few knobs of butter to loosen the mix and let the salted butter do it all.

    You want it a bit sloppy but not a soup. And the lentils will set when they cool so be careful if you leave it to stand.
  5. I use 1 cup lentils to 6 cups water (or similar measure).

    Make sure you rinse the lentils well then bring to the boil. Once boiling turn down and allow to simmer uncovered for about 20 mins, skimming any scum off. Then cover and simmer on low for about another 40 minutes. This should turn yer lentils into a nice thick soupy consistency.

    Everything else pretty much as per dhgrainger's recipe.
  6. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    Preperation is fairly important.

    Go through your Dall grain by grain. If it feels like Dall, chuck it in the bowl. If it feels like a small, Dall looking, Dall coloured teeth breaking stone, throw it in the bin.

    Alternatively, pour your Dall into a bowl of ice cold water and swish it. Like you are panning for gold. Gradually pour the floating Dall into another bowl, then poke about in the bottom, seeking little bastard tooth breaking bits of stone that look exactly like Dall, and chuck them in the bin.

    Alternatively, hire someone who knows what they are doing. They will not only sort stones from your Dall, they will make you little, hairy chapattis with which to eat it.
  7. Lentil soup (dal)

    Dal can be made like a smooth soup, or it can be made into a thick vegetable stew. Here is a recipe for a very basic dal, which will be the basis for future recipes.


    1 tsp cumin seed
    1 tsp whole mustard
    1 tsp whole coriander seed
    1/2 tsp red pepper flake [optional]
    1 cup lentils
    1 tbsp turmeric
    2-3 tbsp cooking oil (canola or vegetable)
    1/4 cup diced cooking onion [optional]
    4 cups water
    Salt and black pepper to taste


    In a spice/coffee grinder, grind the cumin seed, mustard, coriander seed, and red pepper flake. Remove the mix and set aside. [It's okay if you are missing some of these items, but try to at least have cumin.]
    In the same grinder, grind up the lentils in one or more batches and set aside. NOTE: Some imported lentils must be washed to remove stones, husks and other inedibles. In this case, you should either completely dry the lentils before grinding, or use a blender with a cup of water.
    Heat cooking oil on high in a medium sauce pan or a ceramic cookpot, if possible.
    Turn the heat down to medium high. Add turmeric and the freshly ground spice mixture. Roast the spices for about a minute.
    Reduce the heat to medium. Add the ground lentils and roast for about 2 minutes.
    If using, add the onions and saute for about 1 minute.
    Reduce the heat to just above low. Add the water, stir and cover partially. Let simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent burning on the bottom. Add extra water a little at a time if the consistency is too thick, then simmer for a few more minutes. Lentils can burn very easily and ruin your pots - not to mention stink up your place because of the high protein content. So watch the dal carefully.
    Normally, you would not grind the lentils. However, I tried this to speed up the cooking time and it actually worked rather well. If you do not have a coffee/spice grinder, you can still use this recipe. In which case, turn the heat down to low, add an extra cup of water, and let the dal cook an extra 10-15 minutes, uncovered.
    Whether you use ground lentils or not, if you find the dal getting too thick but the individual lentils are still hard (uncooked), add another cup of water, stir gently, and let simmer. With lentils, until you get the hang of them, keep tasting a spoonful at different times until you find it has a satisfying texture. I like a very smooth dal, while others like to use non-ground lentils that do not fully dissolve.
    When you are satisfied with the texture of the dal, remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle on salt and black pepper to taste.

    Serve on rice or with flatbread toast points
  8. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    Can you run the concasse bit by me again? I didnt have a pen.

  9. I can sort out a recipe for the Concassee for you, but what happened to the fried currt chicken, I was looking forward to knocking that up this weekend.

    Serve with glasses of light beer (lager) or with a jug of chilled water with a few lemon slices floating in it. This dish should not turn out to taste very hot.

    This recipe will make enough for 8 good sized portions. Divide everything by 2 for a standard meal.


    2 kg chicken meat
    200 g onions
    200 g tomatoes
    75 ml vegetable oil
    4 cloves garlic
    25 g ginger
    50 g garam masala
    25 g coriander
    salt to taste


    1. Cut the chicken meat into small pieces.
    2. Cut the tomatoes into a concasse. See Tomato Concasse
    3. Wash, then finely chop the coriander (or cheat and use dried and powdered coriander).
    4. Peel the tomatoes and bring them up with the garlic and ginger to make a paste.
    5. Sprinkle the garam masala over the chicken and then put it into a frying pan of hot oil.
    6. Fry the chicken pieces until they are golden brown, then take them out and put to one side. Reheat the oil until it is hot.
    7. Add the onion, garlic and ginger paste to the oil and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt. Continue to fry the mixture for another 4 minutes.
    8. Now place the cooked chicken meat in the pan with the mixture and cook over a low heat until the meat is really tender and most of the liquid has boiled away. Take care the mixture does not burn.
    9. Put the chicken into a heated serving dish and garnish with a little chopped coriander.

    This is nice served on a bed of rice - or with a salad - with bowls of chopped onion, tomato, chutney, cucumber etc. on the table.



    Olive oil (extra virgin if possible)
    1 onion
    2 cloves garlic
    2 tsp dried oregano
    1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    1 tbsp cooking wine/sherry
    2 tins of tomatoes
    1 ½ tbsp tomato puree
    1 ½ tbsp tomato sauce
    2 tsp sugar
    1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


    1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the chopped onions and the garlic. This will take about 10 minutes or so.
    2. Add the oregano, the Worcestershire sauce and the sherry. Fry for another 2 or 3 minutes. The mixture should be fairly thick and brown in colour.
    3. Now add the rest of the ingredients and continue to cook on a low heat, stirring occassionally, until everything is well mixed.
    4. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  12. Ration, instead of finishing dish on stove top suggest finishing through the oven in a lidded dish thus avoiding the chance of burning it and the dish will retain a much fuller flavour.
    I'll be giving it a go cheers.
  13. My recipe is similar this but I add 4 fresh, de-skinned and de-seeded tomatoes. It gives it a smoother sweeter taste.

    I tend to dry fry the cumin and coriander first to bring out the smokey taste that you would get from a decent Garam Marsala.. I also add green cardomen pods
  14. You dont know who 'ration' is, do you? Advise you don't interact with it. :wink:
  15. Nope but noted.