Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Toovar dal with tamarind, tomatoes and curry leaves

This is a Bangladesh recipe from Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey. I've made quite a few different dal's, but this is one of the nicest, it has more spices than some other recipes and the addition of tomatoes too, but this makes it more interesting.  I made some homemade chili chapati's to go with the dal and basmati rice. 

Serves 4 - 6

250g toovar dal
2 tbsp each vegetable oil and mustard oil
100g onions, thinly sliced
15g garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
1 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
200g chopped vine-ripened tomatoes
1 tbsp tamarind water
4 green cayenne chillies, slit open lengthways
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10-12 curry leaves
4 cloves
10cm cinnamon stick, halved
lime wedges, to serve

Put the dal into a medium-sized pan with 1 litre of water, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and leave to simmer for about 45 minutes or until the dal is soft and the mixture has reduced and thickened.

When the dal is almost ready, heat 1 tablespoon of each of mustard and vegetable oil in a medium-sized pan.  Add the onion and fry for 6-8 minutes until soft and lightly golden.  Add the garlic, turmeric, cumin and coriander and fry for a further 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook until they just begin to soften.  Add the mixture to the dal with the tamarind water and chillies and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes.

Heat the remaining mustard and vegetable oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat.  Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, cloves and cinnamon, cover with a lid and leave to sizzle for 1 minute until the mustard seeds stop popping.  Add to the dal and season to taste with salt.  Cover and leave for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse.

Serve with lime wedges, basmati rice and chapatis.


250g chapati flour
tsp salt
chillies (optional)

Put 250g of chapati flour into a large bowl.  Add salt and chili if using. Next add enough water to the flour to form a dough.  Once a dough is formed knead for 5 minutes, cover and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll into circles of about 3-4 mm thick.
Heat a frying pan, and put in the circles of dough, fry until toasted on both sides.  Brush chapatis with melted butter. 
Keep warm and serve.

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