This red lentil dhal recipe is to be the last in the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall mini-series. I’ve been enjoying his recipe book rather a lot, but it’s time, once again, to cast my culinary gaze that little bit further. His book has really inspired me to cook with vegetables, even more than before. Which, I suppose, is a good thing, given that dad returned from work, a couple of days ago, with the most enormous marrow. I’ve never even contemplated cooking with marrow – I shall have to don the thinking cap once more.
When thinking about the topic of fluff that should accompany this recipe, it suddenly occurred to me that the one thing that comes most naturally to human-kind, aside from the use of one’s body, is complaining. It is so incredibly simple to write a vast tract about how someone, or indeed something, has succeeded in annoying you. However, I thought this should simply be brought to everyone’s attention, since complaining about this fact would be a dose of irony too great, even for me. Sorry to cut that a little short.
There aren’t many things quite as pleasing as an incredibly tasty dish. However, what trumps such a thing is an incredibly tasty dish that is also devilishly simple to cook. This is one such dish. ‘But, why is it devilish?’ I hear you cry. Well, surely something so tasty must come at a cost to one’s soul? Not true! While my soul may not be quite intact, it is far from being damaged by this tasty offering. Now, wasn’t that exciting? Please, indulge unabatedly in this most holy of Indian dishes.
Red Lentil Dhal
• 250g red lentils
• 1 tsp ground turmeric
• 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground cumin will do
• 1 onion, thinly sliced
• Salt and pepper
• Oil, preferably sunflower
• A little coriander to finish
1. Put the lentils in a pan and bring them to the boil in 800ml of water. Skim off the scum and add the turmeric and salt. Simmer on a low heat for around 15 minutes. By this time the lentil should have broken down until they are the consistency of a thick soup.
2. When the dhal is nearing completion, heat some oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds to this oil and toast for a minute or two. Tip in the onion and cook for 5-10 minutes, until brown. Tip this mixture onto the dhal and cover for 5 minutes, before stirring it in. Serve as a side dish with a little coriander garnish.
Cost: There doesn’t appear to be an awful lot of point in bringing the cost of such a dish to your attention. Though, for the sake of continuity, the entire pot of dhal cost roughly 40p. As such, this dish is in the running to be the cheapest I have ever produced – but who’s going to check?