Friday, 29 May 2009

Tarka Dhal -- Food of the Gods

Embedded Recipe Image (Unsupported on IE 7 and earlier)
Tarka Dhal -- Food of the Gods

The classic. Full of protein, cheap as chips. The 'Tarka' is what gives this dish its oomph.

Ingredients

  1. 200 grams red lentils
  2. 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  3. 1 teaspoon turmeric, heaped
  4. 1 onion, finely sliced
  5. 1 teaspoon asafoetida, heaped
  6. 3-4 tablespoons ghee
  7. Salt & (optional) lemon juice
  8. 3-4 tablespoons ghee
  9. 4-6 cloves garlic, roughly crushed
  10. 2-4 shallots, sliced finely
  11. 1 teaspoon asafoetida (or, easier, garlic salt).

Directions

  1. To make the Dhal:
  2. Heat the ghee/oil in a saucepan
  3. Add the onions, garlic and fry for 3-5 mins.
  4. Add the asafoetida and turmeric. Fry for a further 5 mins.
  5. Now add the lentils (picked over to remove any grit/stones) and enough boiling water so you've got at least twice the depth of the lentil/onion mixture. bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered for about 30 mins, stirring occasionally. You'll be surprised how much the lentils expand in the is time.
  6. You want to keep simmering until the lentils have almost all disintegrated and you have a soupy consistency.
  7. Taste and add salt to taste and lemon juice (optional)
  8. What I do, additionally, is throw in some roughly chopped coriander leaves until they wilt, and even fresh chopped green chillies. I also cheat and use garlic salt to give it a bit more 'oomph').

  9. To Make the Tarka:
  10. In a small frying pan, heat the Ghee (OK, you can use oil, but it won't be any good)
  11. When it starts bubbling, throw in the shallots and garlic, and separate the shallots, as much as possible, into individual rings in the pan.
  12. With a medium heat, keep watching. You want it so that the shallots and garlic both turn darkish brown, but don't burn. They'll start to have a wonderful, nutty, sweet taste.
  13. Then throw in the asafoetida compound, or garlic salt, stir around, and pour the mixture over the dhal. It will float on the surface. Sprinkle over some coriander leaves for garnish.
  14. Additionally you can later add dried red chillies, curry leaves, fennel seeds or black mustard seeds to the tarka
Search, share, and cook your recipes on Mac OS X with SousChef!

Basic Curry Sauce

Basic Curry Sauce

This is the basis for any type of Bangladeshi-style 'curry'. It'll make around 300ml of Sauce which is enough for 2 main course curries or a main course and some side dishes. If you have some sauce left over it will keep in good condition in the freezer for a few weeks (try storing it in ice-cube-sized portions). Even small amounts are useful for making a quick one-portion curry.

Ingredients

  1. 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  2. 4 cloves garlic - peeled and sliced
  3. 3cm piece root ginger - peeled and thinly sliced (about the same volume as the garlic)
  4. optional) 2 mild fleshy green chillies - de-seeded and veined then chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  7. 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  8. 0.5 teaspoon medium chili powder (or to tase for hotter sauces)
  9. 80-100ml plain passata or 1 tablespoon concentrated tomato purée mixed with 4 tablespoons water
  10. 50-75ml ghee (clarified butter)
  11. 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  12. Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Mehti).

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy pan then add the chopped onion and stir for a few minutes with the heat on high.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli (if using). Stir for 30 seconds then put the heat down to very low.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes stirring from time to time making sure nothing browns or burns.
  4. Add the turmeric, cumin and coriander and cook, still very gently, for a further 5 minutes. Take care not to burn the spices or the sauce will taste bitter - sprinkle on a few drops of water if you're worried.
  5. Take off the heat and cool a little. Put 50ml cold water in a blender, add the contents of the pan and whizz until very smooth. Add the passata and stir.
  6. Put the puréed mixture back into the pan and cook for 20 - 30 minutes (the longer the better) over very low heat stirring occasionally. You can add a little hot water if it starts to catch on the pan but the idea is to gently fry the sauce which will darken in colour to an orangy brown. The final texture should be something like good tomato ketchup. You'll need a splash guard.
Search, share, and cook your recipes on Mac OS X with SousChef!