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Dhal with spicy onion and eggplant

Dhal with spicy onion and eggplant
Recipe type: Curries
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Garlic and fresh curry leaves help drive the aromatic lure of this red lentil stew.
  • 2L (8 cups) water
  • 210g (1 cup) red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs ground turmeric
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs grapeseed oil
  • 15g butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (see note)
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • Fresh coriander leaves, to serve
  • Fresh mint leaves, to serve
  • Spicy onion & eggplant
  • 2 tbs grapeseed oil
  • 2 large red onions, halved, thinly sliced
  • 200g eggplant, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 long fresh red chilli, thinly sliced
  1. Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add lentils and cook, skimming the foam off the surface and discarding, for 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, carrot, garlic, chilli and turmeric. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until the lentils break down. Stir in the salt and season with pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the cumin and mustard seeds for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add curry leaves and stir for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add tomato. Simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened slightly.
  3. Add the tomato mixture to the lentil mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until thick.
  4. To make the spicy onion and eggplant, heat 1 tbs of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Stir for 7 minutes or until soft. Stir in eggplant and remaining oil. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until eggplant is almost tender. Season. Add garlic and chilli. Stir for 5 minutes or until aromatic and eggplant is golden. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Transfer the dhal to a bowl. Top with the coriander and mint. Serve with the spicy onion and eggplant.
If mustard seeds are unavailable, subsitute with a large pinch of mustard powder.
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