Toor Dal with Onion and Tomato

Dals

Dal with Tomatoes and Onions
‘Tomatoes on the Vine’ by Pat Koscienski

As with any good dal, the key is allowing the legumes to slowly tenderise but not overcook, and while this simple dish requires almost an hour to complete, the end result is more than worth the wait.

Ingredients (serves 4)
3 Tbsps Olive Oil
Medium Onion (finely chopped)
2 Whole Tomatoes (finely chopped)
210g Toor Dal
0.5 Tsp Ground Turmeric
1.5 Tsps Salt
0.5 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
0.5 Tsp Cumin Seeds
0.5 Tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
13 Dried Curry Leaves
1.2 Litres Water

How to Cook

1. Heat the oil in a 16cm non-stick saucepan, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped onion and curry leaves, and stir-fry everything until the onions are soft and lightly coloured.

2. Add the tomatoes, and continue gently stir-frying until the tomatoes are soft.

3. Add the water, turmeric, cayenne pepper, lentils, toatoes and salt to a 20cm non-stick saucepan, bring everything to the boil and then simmer partially covered for 50 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through and slightly mushy, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

4. Once the lentils are cooked, add the fried onion, tomatoes and spices, stir well, cover and leave the saucepan to stand for 2-3 minutes, before serving as required.

Comments
This dish is excellent with fresh chapatis, and a salad of your choice.

Keema with Browned Onions

Recipes

Keema with Browned Onions
‘Two Onions’ by Julian Merrow-Smith

This is a great example of east meets west, and while based on the traditional Indian ‘keema’ dish, this was adapted by us over years of getting it to suit our need for depth of flavour, as opposed to what was previously a somewhat bland and ‘safe’ recipe for undeveloped English palettes.

While this is already a highly adaptable meal in itself, it can also be used with a variety of ingredients and accompaniments, which means that it’s perfect for introducing guests to the diverse world of Indian cuisine, particularly those reluctant to try ‘spicy’ food, and where suitable, you can always use minced beef instead of lamb.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
400g of Minced Lamb (or beef)
6 Tbsps of Olive or Sunflower Oil
3 Onions (Two Chopped and One Finely Sliced)
4 Garlic Cloves (Peeled and Grated)
1” of Peeled Fresh Ginger (Grated)
2 Tsps of Ground Cumin
2 Tsps of Ground Coriander
2 Tsps Ground Turmeric
2 Tbsps Natural Yoghurt
Whole Cinnamon Stick
Bay Leaf
3 Whole Cloves
0.25 Tsp Ground Mace
0.25 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
Whole Tomato (Finely Chopped)
Tsp Salt
Tsp Ground Black Pepper
100ml Water

How to Cook

1. Heat the oil in a non-stick chef pan (or similar) and then gently fry the sliced onion until browned but not burnt, and then remove with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.

2. Add the cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf to the remaining oil and gently fry, before adding the chopped onions, garlic and ginger, stir-frying further until the onions are slightly browned.

3. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and stir well, before adding the yoghurt, stirring again as the yoghurt is absorbed into the onions.

4. Add the minced lamb, and stir-fry over a medium heat while stirring occasionally, and breaking down the mince with a spoon.

5. Add all the mace, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste, and continue stir-frying for 1-2 minutes, before adding the water.

6. Mix well and simmer covered for 1.5 hours, while the sauce thickens and to allow for more intensity of flavour.

7. Gently stir in the fried sliced onions and serve.

Comments
This wonderful meal can be served with plain basmati rice, noodles, spaghetti and most pasta shapes, and as mentioned above, can be adjusted to suit spice tolerances, while any leftovers can be readily frozen and used again for children’s meals, or served with warm chapatis alongside a simple Indian salad.

Smoked Mackerel & Potato Bake

Recipes

Smoked Mackerel
‘Three Mackerel Fish’ by Theresa Tanner

This is a meal that can easily wow your guests, and please most of your family, while the experience of eating this deliciously simple dish is more than worth the effort when cooked and dished up.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
700g White Potatoes (Peeled)
Medium Onion (Finely Sliced)
25g Butter
200g pack of Smoked Mackerel fillets
25g Pack of Fresh Dill
150ml of Double Cream
100ml of Fish or Vegetable Stock
2 Tbsps of Creamed Horseradish
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

How to Cook

  1. Heat the oven to 175℃ and chop the potatoes into 1.5″ sized cubes.
  1. Add the potato and the onion to a pan of slightly salted water and boil gently for around 6-8 minutes before draining the pan of water.
  1. Lightly butter the base of a large metal roasting/baking tray and evenly spread the potato cubes and onion slices across the base of the tray.
  1. Peel the skin from the mackerel fillets, before breaking the flesh into evenly sized chunks and scattering them over the potato and onion.
  1. Combine the stock, horseradish and cream before slowly stirring it all into a relatively thick sauce.
  1. Finely cube the butter, before scattering it randomly over the potato cubes, onion slices and mackerel pieces.
  1. Remove the thick stalks from the fresh dill and roughly chop what’s left before scattering it over the potato cubes, onion slices and mackerel pieces.
  1. Carefully pour the cream, stock and horseradish sauce over the potato cubes, onion slices and mackerel pieces, before sprinkling over the dill and grind fresh salt and pepper over the contents of the tray to taste.
  1. Place the tray into the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes, after which it should be a nice golden brown and ready to eat.

Comments
In all honesty, this is a meal that can easily wow your guests, and please most of your family (provided there’s no serious intolerance to dairy or oily fish) and while the calories are naturally weighty by comparison, the experience of eating this deliciously simple dish is more than worth it, particularly when accompanied by a slightly bitter, pre-washed, rocket salad. The other plus is that this recipe requires a short ingredients list that can be taken from most kitchen fridges, therefore you’re almost guaranteed to use those purchased ingredients again, so nothing is ever truly wasted.