15 mug-fulls of red lentils (they don't need soaking)
Plenty of garlic – about 4 heads
An equal amount (in volume) of…
Fresh ginger (It's GOT to be fresh)
Chilli (Fresh or dried, but KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. It's truly surprising how far a chilli can
go, as we have found, and picking them out at the end don't work. If they're hotties like
little Bird's Eyes use ten, maximum. Find someone with chilli machismo and get them to
taste a bit. Taking out the seeds is usually a good idea with hot fresh ones.)
About 3 heaped tablespoons of cumin seeds and half a cup of ground coriander, and half
that of whatever you fancy: turmeric, garam masala are good ones
A catering size tin of tinned tomatoes
One tin of vegetarian ghee or vegetable oil (about half a pint, at least)
One bunch of fresh coriander (optional, for those who can't stand it)
First, wash those lentils. Let them soak for a few minutes in a panful of water, then give
them a good rub and change the water. Do it three times until the water stays clear. The
rule of three is a good one. It's the secret of good rice - if you ever wondered why your
basmati rice comes out sticky, you're probably not washing it enough.
Put the lentils in a
large pan with about twice their volume of water, and turn the heat up. When they come to
the boil, turn the heat down and skim the foam off the top if necessary. Watch out for them
boiling over. While the lentils simmer, do the spices.
Peel and grate the ginger and garlic.
In a large saucepan or frying pan, gently heat the ghee or oil.
Add the cumin seeds and,
when they sizzle, the ground coriander, the ground/dried chilli and then any other dry
spices. Add more oil if you need to stop it drying out. Don't get distracted! Fry very very
gently for about 5 minutes, then add the ginger and garlic (and fresh chilli if you're using it)
to the spice paste. Keep the heat low, and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
Add the tomatoes and turn up the heat a bit. Simmer gently for another 5 or 10 minutes.
By now the lentils should be pretty soft. Add the spice mixture to it, with plenty of salt and
more water if necessary. Dal can be thick or thin, but you've got to have enough spices for
the amount you're making.
Put the whole lot back on the gas ring, and simmer gently,
stirring occasionally to stop it from sticking, until the lentils become a paste. Turn off the
heat, check the salt and stir in the coriander.
Scratch's Kenyan Indian Fusion recipe: cheap and very tasty! (honest!)
green chillies (any amount you want)
My mums secret spice or coriander powder and cumin powder
salt to taste
fresh chopped coriander
Method (no amounts just do as you'd like)
Get oil hot and fry cumin seeds,brown the onions well. Then add garlic ginger and chillies and fry for a bit. Add tomatoes and reduce down a bit. Add spices. Add beans (feel free to add different or more varieties as it is the spice of life!)
Add water to consistency desired (this is where the African Indian fusion comes in) cook for a bit (15 - 20 mins or so) Add salt if you wish. Smother with chopped coriander.
Accompany with rice and people to share with!