LIFE SAVING DAHL
I was out of sorts all day on Monday. I suspect it was the best part of three pounds of meat digesting away in my system from the weekend's tandoor fest that did it.
Whenever the ill humours hit me, there is nothing in the world, and I mean nothing, that I would prefer to eat than a bowl of typical Bengali dahl.
Made with red lentils and a very few spices, it is the equivalent of chicken noodle soup. Immensely restorative.
I was far too deep in my wallowing to take pictures of it. So, after eating, I donned my pill box hat, threw myself in Wildean fashion on to a chaise longue ( actually it is quite small, so does that make it a chaise short?) and read Donne poetry while peering aggrieved at the world from over the top of my rimless pince nez ( or I watched the football in my boxer shorts while having a good old scratch whichever you think more plausible )
So, instead, here is the current recipe ( it does change from time to time as the whim takes me and normally, in a Brahmin household, onions and garlic would not be used - so sue me )
MUSHU DAHL ( Bengali dahl with lemons )
1 cup of red lentils
1 unwaxed lemon chopped in quarters
1 chopped onion
1 chopped fresh green chilli
1 cardamom pod
1 cinnamon stick
1 chopped clove garlic
1 tsp each of ground turmeric/ginger/salt
1 Bag of spinach ( washed )
put 2 tblspoons of oil into a hot pan and add the cardamom and cloves and cinnamon stick. Cook for 1 minute on a low heat until the release their flavour.
Add the onion and garlic and cook until it begins to soften.
Add the ground spices and chilli mix well with the onions and cook out for 2 mins until the spices lose their rawness. If the mixture begins to stick add a little water.
Add the lentils and mix well so all the pulses are covered with the mixture
Add 1 pint of water and the lemons and simmer for 25 mins until the lentils are soft. Add the spinach and allow to wilt
The end result is quite a watery dahl which is great with fish or vegetable curries