Dhal can be made using a variety of mung beans, split peas and lentils. Wash the pulses well before use and check for any small stones or grit.
For four people
8 oz / 200 g lentils
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pint / 550 ml water
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
salt to taste
Put the lentils, bay leaf, garlic, ginger and onion in a pint of water in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Bring to the boil and simmer on minimum heat for 45 minutes.
Just before serving, fry the cumin seeds briefly in the olive oil and then stir cumin seeds plus oil into the dhal.
Serve the dhal hot with a selection of vegetables or crudites.
Use a selection of other flavourings such as ground asafetida, turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, mustard seed, garam masala, cayenne pepper, lemon, limes, tamarind paste. Try with 1/4 teaspoonful of each of your selection to start with.
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