There are many different types of dhal and dhal recipes. This is an easy and quick to cook recipe, so I am sharing it with all you time poor people like me. This is my version of the dish. I cannot remember what this is called in Hindi/Punjabi, not surprising since my Punjabi was never any good! I can still remember my grandpa getting upset with me as I would only answer him back in either English or Malay when he spoke to me in Punjabi.
Anyway, back to my dhal. I’ll just call it split pea dhal for convenience.
If I had a choice, I would have been happy eating dhal with some Indian mango or lime pickles and chapattis. But Mr G and the kids, being raised on meat and 5 veg , have to have their daily quota of some kind of meat with their meal. So I compromised and made TINNED MACKEREL IN TOMATO SAUCE MASALA FRIED (ground spices is called 'masala' in Hindi).
SPLIT PEA DHAL
2 cups of split pea – soaked for ½ hour if possible – this will quicken the cooking time
1 heaped tsp chicken stock (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
1 large onion – diced
1 tomato – diced
4 cloves garlic – minced
2 cm fresh ginger – minced
6 dried chillies – torn into half
Veg of choice such as carrots, potatoes, eggplant – cut into big chunks
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tsp brown mustard
2 spring onions and a sprig of coriander – chopped for garnishing
Veg oil or ghee
Wash dhal, put into a pot with 10 cups of water and bring to the boil. Add in turmeric, dried chillies, salt and chicken stock and simmer on medium heat. Skim off any scum that develops.
When peas have split, add in vegetables and adjust water if needed. It is up to you if you like a thick or runny dhal. Cook until veg is done and peas have split completely. It would normally take about 30 mins in total to come to this stage. Turn heat to low.
In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and put in mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the seeds start popping, add in onion, garlic and ginger. Fry till golden brown and lastly add in tomatoes. Fry for a minute and then add this mixture to the dhal. Turn up the dhal heat, bring to the boil and add the garnish. Mix well and the dish is ready to serve with rice, CHAPATTIS or even crusty bread.