Sunday, October 12, 2008

Coconut milk, garlic and chilli dahl

updated, 9.4.09

Garlic, green chillis and coconut milk against the subtle background of the lentils. The overal flavour is more subtle than bold, but it's still quite flavoursome.

The chilli is there more as a flavouring than for the heat. You often don’t notice the flavour of chillis in a dish, but it really comes out in this one, and goes well with the garlic and coconut milk.

This dish is also quick and easy to prepare -- no need to fry garlic and onion or any spices, basically just throw the ingredients together with some water and simmer it. It takes about ½ an hour in total, but that's mostly it simmering.

Thanks goes to Mangalam for the recipe.

  • Red lentils, 1 cup
  • Garlic, 5 cloves, finely chopped
  • Onion, a small amount – like a wedge ½ a cm thick at thickest edge, finely chopped
  • Tumeric, ½ tsp
  • Green chillis, 1 or 2
  • Coconut milk, about 100ml.
    • for a richer flavour you can add more, or use coconut cream instead
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
Notes: if you want to add some vegetables, cauliflower goes well with it - add some chopped cauliflower a couple of minutes before the end. Make sure you use green chillis rather than red chillis. The recipe needs the stronger flavour of the green chillis. The red ones don't have much flavour. Also, you don't want to chop the chilli up into smaller pieces because the skin on chillis is a bit tough, and against the smooth texture of the dahl it isn't very pleasant.
  • Start off the lentils
    • Wash the lentils
    • Put in a saucepan and add enough water to cover top of lentils by about 1cm.
      • The idea is to have enough to cook the lentils, but if you’ve put in too little you can always add more later, and if you’ve put in too much you can just cook it longer to evaporate them.
    • Put it on a high heat
  • Onion, garlic, tumeric
    • Meanwhile, chop the onion and garlic and add it to the pan.
    • Also add the tumeric.
  • Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to a brisk simmer
    • Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  • Chillis.
    • Slice them in half and take the seeds out.
    • Once the lentils looks cooked – about 20 – 25 mins (the lentils should have broken down so you have a fairly smooth mixture), add the chillis and then cook for 3-5 mins.
  • Then add the coconut milk, stir and cook gently for another couple of minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, then it’s ready to serve. Take out the pieces of chilli if you want.

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