I have a faithful and enduring love of all foods of the Indian sub-continent and come winter it’s hard to find a dish as comforting, deeply warming and flavoursome as dahl. It’s pretty much the food equivalent of a blanket with the added benefit of being wholesome too.
One of my favourite places to eat dahl (plus a host of other delicious curries and treats) is Gujarati Rasoi at Broadway Market in London’s east end. I’ve been a loyal follower ever since moving to Bethnal Green in 2007 and since then they’ve branched out to Borough Market and even opened their own restaurant.
This mung bean dahl is their recipe and you can read more about it on the Eat Hackney blog which from my recipe was adapted. It’s a great post and includes more background on Gujarati Rasoi and how they came to set up their food business.
This dahl is easy to make, healthy and perfect for a cold evening served with naan or chappatis.
250g mung beans
1 litre water
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon garlic finely chopped, plus 3 cloves finely sliced
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon green chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dhana jeru (ground coriander and ground cumin: ratio 2 parts to 1)
½ teaspoon salt
200g tinned tomatoes
¼ tsp garam masala
Handful fresh coriander
1 tablespoon lemon juice
10 curry leaves
1 tablespoon jaggery or sugar if you can’t get hold of it
1 dried whole chilli
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon turmeric
Cherry tomatoes (optional)
Put a pan of water on to a high heat and bring to the boil. Rinse the mung beans twice with cold water and add to your simmering water. Simmer on a medium heat for 40 minutes (less or more depending on how much bite you like from your beans).
When the beans are ready, add finely chopped garlic, ginger, green chilli, dhana jeru, salt, tinned tomato, garam masala, coriander leaves, lemon juice, curry leaves, jaggery or sugar and allow to simmer for around 10 minutes.
Now add the oil to another pan and put it on a medium to high heat. Be ready with your remaining spices (whole dried chilli, mustard seeds and turmeric).
When the oil is hot, add your dried chilli and allow it to brown but not blacken. Next add the mustard seeds and allow to pop and spit before adding the sliced garlic, allowing it to brown, not burn (this is important as burnt garlic is very bitter!) Finally add the turmeric, just before the garlic is ready.
When this part is done, pour in the spiced mung bean mixture and mix all together and leave to simmer for a further 15-20 minutes.
Taste and add extra salt or chilli as you like, and lastly add the cherry tomatoes and leave to simmer for a few more minutes until the tomatoes are softened but not falling apart. Sprinkle with more chopped fresh coriander to serve.
- Serves about 4
- Freezes very well (try making double and freezing half)
- Taj Stores on Brick Lane is great for getting all your spices and ingredients