Description (Some HTML is OK)
A really satisfying warming vegetarian dish that makes two generous portions. No need for any accompaniments, just this will do. Moong dhal (yellow splite peas) used to be difficult to find, but any large branch of the main UK supermarkets stock them now, and their nutty flavour is a real bonus in this dish. Approximately 400 calories per serving.
Makes 2 servings
- 125g of moong dal (yellow split peas)
- 1 Onion
- 2 inch thumb ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 finger chillis
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp mild chilli powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp hot chilli powder
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground cloves
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 250g mushrooms
- 50g butter
- 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
Preparation (Some HTML is OK)
First things first, put the moong dhal on to soak in about a litre of warm water. They need to soak for about 30 minutes. Once they've soaked for long enough drain them (and throw away the water).
Preheat the oven to 140 Celsius (Gas mark 1/275 Fahrenheit).
Finely chop the onion. Spread the results out flat on a plate and sprinkle the teaspoon of salt over it (this will start to draw the liquid from the onion, making it all the nicer when it's slowly cooked). Also sprinkle over the cumin seeds.
Chop the finger chillis, peel and grate the ginger, and peel and grate the clove of garlic. Add all three to the plate of onions.
Put the oil into a large oven proof lidded pan and put it over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot put in the onions, cumin seeds, chilli, ginger and garlic and give it a good stir. When you start to get a sizzle put the lid on the pan and put it in the oven for 15 minutes.
When the 15 minutes is up take the pan out of the oven but don't put it on the heat (because we don't want to burn the spices). Mix in all of the ground spices (the coriander, the cumin, the mild and hot chilli powders, the sugar, the turmeric, the cinnamon and cloves) and give it a good stir so that you end up with something that nearly resembles a paste. Pour in the can of tomatoes, then fill the can with cold water and add that too. Put the pan on a medium heat and let it come up to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally to stop it catching on the bottom.
Once the mix is bubbling nicely add the drained moong dhal and wait for it to come back up to the boil. When it does put the lid back on and put it back in the oven for about an hour. It's cooked when the peas lose their distinct form and the sauce thickens up considerably.
While you're waiting for the dhal to cook thinly slice the mushrooms. When you have about 30 minutes left for the dhal (it doesn't need to be precise) melt the butter in a frying pan. Once it's melted add the chilli flakes, and then add the sliced mushrooms. Give everything a good stir for a couple of minutes, ensuring that every slice of mushroom is coated in the butter, and then turn the heat down and leave them to fry, stirring occasionally, until the dhal is ready. You're looking for them to be really very cooked by the end.
When you're ready to eat, split the dhal between two large pasta bowls (or similar) and then spoon the unctuous mushrooms and spiced butter over the top.