My easy Keralan lentil dal recipe is as genuine authentic as it gets. I went on a Kerala cookery holiday which was held at an organic farm about an hour inland from Cochin and the resident chef was good enough to share this recipe with me.
The only real difference between how he cooked it and how I've done it is the fuel. I'm cooking over charcoal on my Monolith ceramic grill whereas he cooked over methane gas delivered via a waste recovery system from the cows in the adjacent barn.
What I like about it is that it has a natural sweetness, there's a very subtle bitterness from the turmeric and then everyything is rounded off with a mild chilli heat.
You'll see in the ingredients that my lentil dal recipe requires Kasuri Methi which are chopped dried methi (fenugreek) leaves. They look like dried mixed herbs and you'll be able to get them down at your local Asian foodstore.
Serves:- 2 people as a main or 4 as a side
Preparation Time:- 10 minutes
Cooking Time:- 60 minutes
Total Time:- 1hr 10 minutes
This recipe contains coconut which can cause an allergic reaction, most folk allergic to tree nuts can however eat it without problem but you know your body best. Other than that, it's all fresh ingredients so no allergens to worry about.
Place your dutch oven over the grill fire and add the solid cocunut oil. When it has melted, add the onion, ginger garlic and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
While these onions are cooking, rinse the lentils in a fine collander or sieve.
Add the chilli chunks, tomato chunks, kasuri methi and stir for a further 2 minutes.
Now it's time to add the turmeric. Stir until the spice coats all the veggies evenly with an intense yellow.
Finally add the lentils and water. Stir to ensure that everything is mixed then lower the lid on your barbecue.
The water will reduce as the lentils cook and once up to temperature you can taste and add the salt and pepper to your liking.
If you're being traditional then it's going to be rice and a naan bread, but there nothing wrong in my book if you want to ladle it over a plate of freshly cooked chips (French fried potatoes).
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