Meera Sodha’s Moong Dal
This is an unassuming but gorgeous dal and one of my favourite lentil dishes of all time. A gentle and soothing marriage of soft lentils and earthy cumin and chillies, tempered by butter, it’s old-fashioned home cooking at its best: nourishing, cheap to make and comforting.
|4 tbsp||ghee or unsalted butter|
|1½ tsp||cumin seeds|
|3||banana shallots, finely sliced|
|2||green finger chillies, very thinly sliced|
|5||cloves of garlic, crushed|
|½ tsp||ground turmeric|
|1 tsp||garam masala|
|1½ tsp||salt (or to taste)|
Wash the dal until the water runs clear, then drain, place in a deep saucepan and cover with 1½ litres of water. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, put the ghee or butter into a frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the cumin seeds and shallots. Cook for around 5 minutes, then add the green chillies and garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the shallots start to brown, then add the turmeric and garam masala.
Tip into the dal and stir, then add the salt. You might need to add a little extra hot water to make the dal a bit thinner. Check the seasoning, and serve with plain basmati rice or naan bread, together with some pickle and yoghurt.