A favourite of Thali chef Asha, who often cooks a big pot of this deeply flavoursome and wholesome dal for family and friends. This is a dish that is good for the soul – real Indian comfort food. Some dal recipes can be overwhelmingly heavy and full of ghee — Asha likes to give her family something healthier, but with no shortcuts on flavour. Served with steaming rice or freshly cooked roti – a marriage made in heaven. To enjoy this wonderful pairing, cook the dal first, and then quickly reheat when you are making your rotis.
- 50 g Toor Dal
- 50 g Red Lentils
- 100 g Rose Coco or Red Kidney Beans (canned)
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 small finely chopped onion
- 1 thumb size piece finely chopped ginger
- 3 tomatoes, roughly diced
- a little fresh coriander
- salt to taste
- 250 g chapati flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for brushing and frying
Dal & Tarka
- Heat 1 L of water in a heavy based saucepan.
- Add the toor dal, turmeric, cumin powder and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, until almost done.
- Add the red lentils and cook for a further 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the tinned rose coco beans. Turn the pan down to a slow simmer.
- Now make the tarka – Heat the oil in a pan until spitting hot.
- Add the cumin seeds, allow them to sizzle for a few moments, then add the ginger, garlic and onion and fry until soft and starting to catch and brown.
- Add the fresh tomatoes, salt and coriander.
- Pour tarka mix into the dal, and stir thoroughly.
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle over the oil, and add enough water to make a soft, (but not sticky) dough (about 140ml) – add a little more flour or water if needed. Knead gently until smooth. Cover and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into six equal pieces and roll each one into a thin circle about 2 mm thick using a rolling pin.
- Brush the bottom third of one of the roti with oil using a pastry brush, and fold the oiled third towards the middle.
- Repeat with the top third, fold inwards, then turn the roti a quarter turn clockwise and repeat this process with the top and bottom third. Repeat with the remaining five rotis. Leave to rest again.
- Heat a little oil in a heavy-based pan. Roll one of the roti thinly into a round shape with a rolling pin, and fry on one side until it puffs up and is speckled brown on the underside.
- Turn it over and fry on the other side for a few minutes, until it too is puffed and speckled brown.
- Remove from the pan, allowing the roti to cool for a few seconds, fold into 4 and wrap in a clean tea towel placed in a colander until ready to eat.
- Cook the remaining rotis in the same way and serve warm with the dal.