Comfort Sunday

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhilst we were away, all my husband could dream about (because he couldn’t find any) was – curry!  As I am sure you know, curry is apparently one, if not THE favourite dish of the nation.  It’s not impossible, of course, to make a curry for one – you can always do the usual of making for the freezer too – but Sundays are our comfort, special just-for-me days so go and you can treat yourself to a takeaway.  All that spice and heat without the work. HOWEVER to go with it, a home made tarka dhal – if soups are a hug in a mug, dahl could be love-in-a-mug as you have to make it with care and time but it will reward you with a lovely healthy glow of delicousness!

This will make enough for  2 – 3 but it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days and is lovely cold with hot pitta bread as a snack – or you could add some stock and whiz it up into a spicy lentil soup.

  • 75 grams lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 -2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • small knob of fresh ginger, grated

Rinse the lentils well and put into 1/2 litre of water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, skimming off any scum. Add the turmeric, garlic and ginger and simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes with an occasional stir till the lentils are soft – you may have to add a little more water as you do.

Meanwhile . . . .

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable/rapeseed oil
  • 1 dessertspoon butter
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala or to taste

Heat the oil and butter and add the chillies and cumin.  Once sizzling, add the onions  and cook till brown.  Add the tomatoes, masala and some salt and pepper and cook down till soft and mushy.

When the lentils are cooked, mash them a little and add to the onions, mix around to pick up all the spices and then combine them all together in one  dish.

To serve, I fry some more onions in oil and butter till crispy and tip over the dhal.

If you are vegetarian, this is excellent on its own with chutneys, rice, naan or pitta bread .

You can make this the day before (in fact, sometimes I do deliberately so that the flavours intensify). Just pick up your takeaway if you want one on the way home after a long walk in the cold sunshine!

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