RECIPE: DAL BY MANDIRA’S KITCHEN
This fragrant, sunny Dal recipe is a classic of Indian cuisine. It’s simple to make, but goes with just about anything and makes for a supremely soothing comfort food-fix all by itself.
Mandira Sarkar, of Surrey-based Mandira’s Kitchen, says “Nutritious, delicious and filling, Dal (or Lentils) is the perfect soul food for me. It can be dressed up or down, used as an accompaniment to steamed rice or an Indian bread like Naan or Chapatis, enjoyed on its own with vegetables or even with a meaty addition, like some smoked sausages, added to it.”
1 cup / 150g of yellow split lentils (“moong dal”)
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt to taste
2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee
1/4 bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
Optional: 1 packet fresh baby spinach leaves or 1 cup of mixed vegetables of your choice, cubed into small pieces. You could even add some fried sausages or chorizo if you wish.
1.Wash the lentils in cold water, add 3 cups of water and put to boil in a large pan on low heat along with the turmeric powder, salt and tomato for 20 minutes.
2.In about 15 – 20 minutes the lentils will start losing their shape and, combining with the water, achieve a thin porridge-like consistency. Mix with a wooden spoon and add the mixed vegetables (if you are adding these) and leave to simmer on low heat.
3.In a separate frying pan, heat the oil/ghee and add the whole cumin seeds until they splutter.
4.Add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry for a few minutes till the onions become a very light brown.
5.Now add this to the dal mixture, using a little hot water to wash the frying pan, and adding this to the dal as well to loosen it up if required.
6.Mix everything well, add the juice of the lemon and coriander leaves. Taste and add more salt if you wish, and some butter if you want it a little more decadent.
Following from her award-winning caterers and Indian cookery school, Surrey Spice, Mandira’s Kitchen represents an evolution of her bold mission to bring truly authentic Indian food to the Home Counties. Launched in May this year, Mandira and her team offer the UK’s first Indian freezer meal service – a simple, fuss-free way to enjoy real homemade Indian food – by subscription or to order whenever you like. You can also buy them in many farm shops and other stockists. Each meal is made from family recipes that use only fresh produce and contain no additives, preservatives or gluten.
In addition, Mandira’s Kitchen also offers fun and fascinating Indian cookery classes and workshops that demystify Indian cuisine, ingredients and techniques and get you filling your home kitchen with the irresistible aromas of the Sub-Continent.
Able to cater for events large and small, Mandira’s Kitchen’s menus are tailored to suit any occasion and event and give you and your guests something to remember.
Find out more at www.mandiraskitchen.com or pop in and meet Mandira and her team in person at their new state-of-the-art kitchen at Silent Pool, Shere Road, Albury, Guildford, GU5 9BW