Remember to soak the pulses overnight first. You can cook them in their dried state but it can take a long time. The secret is to cook the pulses down until you end up with a thick stew, so the flavour and texture are at their very best – I dislike dal that is too liquid. Sultanas are included as I once had a dal with them added in India; they bring a sweet edge to the final dish. If you can’t find asafoetida, try fresh or dried curry leaves; if you don’t have either, no problem, it just adds a rounded flavour to the finished dish.
PREPARATION TIME 30 MINUTES
COOKING TIME 40 MINUTES
100g yellow split peas
100g red lentils
75g green lentils
75g mung beans
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
10g reduced-salt vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp tomato purée
½ tsp asafoetida
5-6 curry leaves (optional)
50g juicy sultanas
4 tbsp roughly chopped coriander, plus extra to serve
FOR THE ONION SPICE MIX
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
6 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp fenugreek
½ small green chilli, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1. Wash all the pulses really well in cold water, then pop into a bowl, cover with cold water, add the bicarb and stir well. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
2. The next day, rinse really well and place in a clean saucepan. Just cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Skim well, turn the heat down and add the stock cube, tomato purée, asafoetida and curry leaves, if using, and simmer gently for 40-50 minutes. You may need to top up a little with boiling water.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a nonstick sauté pan. Add the spices and chilli and cook for 1 minute over a high heat. Next add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 5-6 minutes.
4. Once the pulses are cooked, stir well and break up so the mixture thickens slightly. Add the sultanas and coriander to the pulses and remove from the heat, then leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
5. Serve in deep bowls topped with the onion spice mix and coriander.
ENERGY 392kcals PROTEIN 25g FAT 3.8g SATURATED FAT 0.5g CARBOHYDRATE 68g
TOTAL SUGARS 13g SALT 1g SODIUM 394mg FIBRE 11g
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