Servings : Serves 4
- 1 cup yellow channa/chickpea lentils/dal (soaked overnight or at least 4 hours)
- 1/2 cup boiled and shredded meat (you can use any...chicken, beef, mutton/lamb, you can even leave out the meat)
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp methi/fenugreek leaves, chopped
- 1 green chilli
- 1 star anise/badiyan, broken into its petals
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 1 tbsp whole jeera/cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 5 whole black pepper
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- juice of half a lemon
Drain the soaked lentils and put them in a pan. Add water to cover the lentils by about 3 inches. Add 1 tsp. oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1 chopped green chilli and a quarter tsp. garlic paste. Simmer on medium heat until the lentils are soft, you can add water if necessary. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface. They should be done in about 20-40 minutes. Let the lentils cool slightly, then blend to a rough paste consistency. Set aside.
Heat the oil and add the methi/fenugreek leaves and the star anise pieces. 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 and tomato paste. Cook these on low heat for a few minutes. Now add the shredded boiled meat and stir fry on low heat for about 10 minutes. If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, you can add a bit of water.
Add the blended daal and green chili, 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 flavorful 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 color looks good and flavor has developed nicely. Adjust water, salt and you can sprinkle a bit of chili powder if you like. Right before turning off the heat, squeeze juice of half a lemon and sprinkle 1 tsp. garam masala. Stir and serve hot with rice or rotis!
You can boil some quartered potatoes and add them into the curry if you like.