A simple daal is an amazing dish, it is cheap, healthy, comforting and easy to make. Perfect for a Monday night. You can serve it with rice, bread or even just on its own like a soup. It is also incredibly easy to make into different versions, just add some of the veg you have at home. I usually use a lot of garlic, because why would you not. In this recipe half of the garlic goes in the daal and the rest is fried with nigella seeds to top the dish.
When I moved from Sweden to London when I was 19 I don’t think I had ever had Indian food. I assumed that it was a bit like Swedish curry chicken, a dish that I still very much dislike. The dish consists of chicken in a creamy sauce with a very distinct Swedish curry powder. I now know that it is nothing like Indian food. London opened up my eyes to curry and one of the first things my partner cooked for me when we met was a daal. It has since been one of the staple dishes in our household and we love to vary what spices and veg we put n it.
Red Lentil Daal with fried gralic & onion seeds
Serves 4 people
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons tumeric
2 tomatoes, chopped
300 g red lentils
2 teaspoons stock powder (1/2 stock cube)
1 teaspoon onion seeds (also called nigella seeds)
juice from 1/2 lime
salt to taste
coriander leaves to garnish
Heat a large pot with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and fry until translucent. Add 2 cloves of sliced garlic and fry for a couple more minutes. Add the spices and stir. Add the lentils and tomatoes and stir again. Now add the water and the stock powder and simmer under a lid for 20 minutes.
Heat the rest of the oil in a pan and add the rest of the garlic and the onion seeds. Fry on a medium low heat until they start to turn golden.
When the daal is ready add the lime juice, season to taste and serve. Top with the fried onions and garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with rice, naan bread or on its own like a soup.