We all know (and some of us love) dhal made with little red lentils. It’s fast and simple to cook and immensely gorgeous. This curry takes longer to prepare as the green (or you can use brown) lentils need about 45 minutes to an hour of cooking to become tender and delicious. It’s worth the wait though, I promise.
The recipe comes from Anjum Anand’s book Anjum’s New Indian and is perfect as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish in a larger meal. Economical to make and if you make curries regularly you’ll have most of the ingredients to hand. Delicious eaten with naan bread and/or plain boiled rice – I added a dollop of creamy yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped fresh coriander.
Ingredients (to serve 4-6 as a side dish)
- 250g green lentils
- A paste made from about 6g of peeled fresh ginger and about 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ small onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 rounded tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 3 small tomatoes puréed or grated or finely chopped
- Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and stalks
Rinse the lentils and simmer in plenty of water until soft (about an hour).
Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds until they give off their scent then add the onion and cook until golden brown. Pour in the garlic and ginger paste and cook until this turns golden then add the salt and powdered spices and cook for 10 seconds.
Pour in the tomatoes and simmer until the moisture has cooked off and the oil has separated from the mix to form the masala. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the masala to the lentils and simmer for about 10 minutes. Check the seasoning again, sprinkle with coriander and enjoy.