Indian is one of our favourite cuisines and especially on a lazy Friday night in, we tend to pick up takeaway from our local Indian place (and they do an amazing student deal so we are regular customers!). Unfortunately, I have never really been able to recreate the same type of flavours in my own kitchen, despite numerous attempts.
I recently decided to try again, using a recipe from my parents collection of favourites: Spinach and Red Lentil Dahl (recipe below).
A quick internet search yielded the perfect accompaniment: Yoghurt and Chickpea salad
Some crazy part of me decided that I wanted to make naan bread from scratch (though we ate the left overs with store bought chapattis, which were also delicious). I altered the recipe to use half wholemeal flour and half white flour, and they turned out just the same as using 100% white flour.
If you have a pizza stone that would be ideal for cooking, but otherwise you can turn an oven tray upside down and ensure it is placed in the oven prior to preheating. Just remember to start the naan early, as it requires a couple of hours for the dough to rise.
Top with melted ghee or butter, and an assortment of herbs (I used coriander and parsley). Garlic would be fabulous too if you want to scare away some vampires!
This recipe doesn’t make a huge amount, so if you are cooking for more than 2 people I would recommend doubling the measurements.
2 tbs ghee or vegetable oil
1 lg onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 small fresh red chilli finely chopped (or to taste)
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup sultanas
2 cups water
bunch of spinach or packet of frozen
salt and pepper to taste
packet of chappatis or naans
fresh coriander to garnish
Heat ghee/oil in large pan over low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. At this point add cumin, garam masala, tumeric and chilli, stirring for about 1 min until fragrant. Stir in the water, red lentils and sultanas. Simmer uncovered for 10 min or until the mixture is thick.
Add the spinach and cook until wilted (or defrosted), season with salt and pepper. Add coriander and serve.
Enjoy your indian feast!
Photos from: my camera