I absolutely love Indian food it has the ability to warm up your body and your soul. One of my favourite dishes is Tadka Dal A.K.A lentil curry. When the weather is cold nothing warms you up like a good curry. The problem with normal curries is that they take forever and a day to prepare BUT not this one. If you have a pressure cooker you can literally cook this curry under 30 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, no need to stress, it’ll take a couple more minutes to prepare on the stove.
I also made my own naan breads, they are so SIMPLE to make and they really transform the dish. Once you make these naan breads, you won’t stop, the dough can be used for wraps, flat breads and quesadillas. You can make them with out without butter, if you’re watching your waistline 😉
For the Curry:
2 cups split red lentils
3 cups water
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fenugreek
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp garam masala plus more to taste
2-3 tbsp plain yogurt
Grated cucumber (optional)
For the naan bread:
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 large knob of butter
Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
To make the curry:
Place a saucepan on high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive into the pan. Fry the onions, cumin seeds, chilli, ginger, fenugreek and garlic for 5 minutes. Rinse the lentils until the water runs clear.
Put the lentils, water, fried ingredients, chopped tomatoes and garam masala into the pressure cooker and stir. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes and allow pressure to drop naturally for 10 minutes. Open lid carefully and check to make sure lentils are tender. If not, continue to cook without pressure until lentils are fully cooked. Add yogurt and stir vigorously to make the lentils creamy. It should be a medium consistency, so add a little water if it’s too thick. Keep warm.
If cooking without a pressure cooker, bring ingredients to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook until lentils are soft, stirring often and adding water if they start to get too dry. Different types of dal take different amounts of time, so allow at least 30 minutes.
Check the seasoning of the lentils and add additional salt and garam masala to taste.
To make the flat bread:
Place the yoghurt and flour into a blender or a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Blend/stir until the dough is soft and malleable. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead until smooth and soft, make sure your hands are also floured, about 5 minutes.
Divide dough into 18 apricot sized balls. Roll each ball out thinly.
Then place a small pot on high heat and melt the butter. At the point you can add anything to the butter, garlic, salt, herbs- you can go crazy. I just added salt.
Place a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush the melted butter over the rolled out dough. Fry a few pieces at a time, turning when the flatbread bubbles up and colours on the underside.
To serve: place a dollop of yogurt, fresh coriander and crispy onions on top of the curry and serve with the buttered naan breads and grated cucumber.