Dhal with spicy onion and eggplant
Recipe type: Curries
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the tomato mixture to the lentil mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until thick.
- 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.
- 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.