An easy dhal that can be served as a side dish to any curry or as an accompaniment to mantu.
- 200 g red lentils
- 1 litre water
- ¼–1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee) or vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, bruised
- 1–2 dried chillies
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the lentils and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Cover and simmer for 40–50 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the water has been absorbed. Stir in the chilli powder, ground coriander and salt.
Heat the ghee or oil in a small frying pan until very hot. Add the garlic and dried chillies and fry until the garlic is golden, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Stir the garlic, chilli and oil into the lentils. Cover the dhal to retain the aromas until serving.
• To reduce cooking time (15–20 minutes), soak lentils overnight.