I cooked a dhal for a change and it was very nice. I also noticed that I haven’t posted a dhal here on the blog yet. Dhal is Sanskrit for "to split" referring to the split pulses used in this dish. It’s basically a curried stew especially cooked in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Dhal is a perfect dish for the budget cooking week, The VegHog's Cheap Eats Week, as making it isn’t very expensive. It adds important proteins to the nutrition and can easily be made from dried pulses, so it’s a perfect filling dish when you want to save a little bit of money. There are several variations of which you can choose your favourite.
I decided to serve my dhal with some homemade chapatis on the side to make the meal a bit more filling. Of course also rice can be had on the side. Homemade chapatis fit the budget theme quite well, as would basically any homemade bread.
Ingredients for the dhal
4 garlic cloves
Fresh ginger (similar amount to garlic)
1 red chilli
1 cup red lentils
½ cup puy lentils
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
100 g tomatoes
1 tsp ground mustard seeds
2 tsp ground cumin seeds
4 dried curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Fresh coriander to taste
Ingredients for the chapatis
100 g wheat flour
150 g spelt flour
50 g wheat flour for the shaping
1 tsp salt
250 ml cold water
Cook the lentils separately with a little added vegetable stock powder.
Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli finely and start cooking them in oil.
Add the chopped tomatoes and seasoning. Cook for a few minutes and add the lentils into the mix.
Cook until the flavours have blended nicely.
I followed a chapati recipe on BBC Food, but slightly changed it by using partly spelt flour and reducing the amount of flour for the shaping, but you can find the original recipe here. The dough was nice and stretchy after a while of kneading and easy to roll out. The thinly rolled chapati are then just cooked on a hot pan. Serve them together with the dhal.
I want to share this dhal recipe with the cooking challenge Credit Crunch Munch for March. The challenge is from Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All and hosted this month by Travels for Taste blog.