Servings : Serves 4
This yummy dish made of a mixture of several lentils is both delicious and healthy. It takes very little effort to make and goes so beautifully with either steamed rice or chapatis/rotis or toasted bread.
- 1 cup mixed daals/lentils (I combined urad daal, channa daal and masoor daal to make up 1 full cup)
- 4 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. methi/fenugreek leaves, chopped
- 1 green chilli, chopped
- 1 whole star anise/badiyan
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp whole jeera/cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 3-4 whole black pepper
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 lemon's juice
- 1 potato, peeled and cubed, then boiled until tender (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander for garnishing
Wash the mixed lentils thoroughly then soak them in water for about 2-4 hours. Drain the water, rinse them out well and boil the lentils in about 5 cups of water with half a tsp each of salt, garlic and one chopped green chilli. Simmer on low heat until the lentils are soft, skimming off any foam that forms on the top. Turn of the heat, allow them to cool, then blend the lentils in with whatever water/liquid is still remaining from boiling them. I prefer leaving the consistency a bit coarse, but you can blend them to a smooth consistency if you like.
Heat the oil in a pan, then add the methi and star anise. Then add all the whole spices, let them splutter, and add the onion. Fry until onions are golden but not dark brown, then add the garlic paste, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder chopped tomatoes, chopped green chilli and tomato paste. Cook these on low heat until the tomatoes are mushy and well cooked (you can add a bit of water if they stick to the bottom of the pan before they are fully cooked) and the oil begins to be released from the sides.
Add the blended daal and a cup of warm water (or less water for a thicker consistency, although bear in mind that it will thicken some more as it cooks) and let it simmer on very low heat for as long as you can allow. The best thing about this dish is that the longer you cook it the more flavourful it gets. So if you have the time, let it simmer for up to an hour or more.
If you’re stretched for time, just simmer until the colour looks good and flavour has developed nicely. Adjust water, salt and you can add the boiled cubed potatoes if you are using them at this point so they take up the flavour. Right before turning off the heat, squeeze juice of half a lemon and sprinkle 1 tsp. garam masala. Stir, garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with accompaniments of your choice!