Monday 6 September 2010

Good curry

Anjum Anand's Tarka Dal... I took the recipe and instead of using ground coriander, I toasted the seeds and ground them myself - much fresher, zingier flavour, I find.  I took out the leaf coriander because I can't stand the stuff.  Then, to serve for dinner, I mixed in some chunks of roasted chicken breast that I'd heated up.

I think next time (i.e. tomorrow or Wednesday when I have more of this stuff, reheated :o)) I'll also add in some toasted almonds and desiccated coconut for extra flavour and texture.  It's blimmin nice without, but I think it'd also be great with!

So here it is (serves 4):-


  • 250g Red Lentils, Dried
  • 45ml Grapeseed or Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin, Seeds
  • 2 Tsps Coriander, Seeds, toasted and ground
  • 4 large cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • 250-300g Tomatoes (not plum, as they're too sweet)
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 6g Root Ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 smallish Onions, finely chopped
  • 2-3 medium Chilli Peppers, pricked
  • 1litre Water


1.  Place the lentils and 900ml of the water into a pan, stir well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the water with a spoon. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 30-35 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender, adding more water as necessary.
2. When the lentils have cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and use a whisk to break down the lentils. Set the mixture aside to thicken and cool.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 20-30 seconds, or until fragrant.

4. Add the onion, chillies and ginger and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown.
5. Blend the garlic and tomatoes to a purée in a food processor. Add the purée to the pan and stir well to combine.

6. Add the ground spices and 100ml water to the pan and stir well to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and simmer over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the oil from the sauce has risen to the surface of the sauce.
7. Add the cooked lentils to the sauce and stir well, adding more water as necessary to loosen the mixture. Bring the mixture to the boil and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Calories (kcal)349
Carbohydrate (g)43.3
Protein (g)16.8
Fat (g)12.6
Fibre (g)5.0
Alcohol (g)0.0
Fruit & Veg2.3


  1. Oooohhh this looks absolutely yum! I love a good curry xxx

  2. I have to say I'm so impressed with all the curries you make, I'm very inspired to try making one with the spices from scratch rather than just using a curry paste. Looks delicious!

  3. Curry from scratch isn't so hard and it takes a little bit of time (to me, I usually like food to take less than 30 minutes to cook) - but it gets easier with practice and toasted, ground up spices make suuuch a difference. Mix in with pureed garlic, mild oil, ginger and chilli peppers (sometimes tomato puree too) and Bob's yer uncle - instant, fresh, curry paste!

  4. Your curries always look so good - I keep meaning to make a proper curry myself but just haven't got round to it.

  5. Thanks :o)

    I think the hurdle to making curries is the first couple of times you do it. It takes ages those first few times, and then you get used to it and it's easy!