While reading the feeds this morning, I came across this recipe for 'basic dahl' on SBS:
Heat the oil in a slow cooker over high heat.
Add the lentils, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder, red chilli, onion, garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, until the onion softens.
Add the coriander, stock and chopped vegetables, and cook over low heat for at least 1 hour (the longer the better).
Stir in the parsley just before serving.
Yikes! That's a lot more than a basic dahl, in my opinion. Look at all of those spices! This would be a delicious dahl, but I know an even simpler recipe (more a method) that was taught to me by a resident at my old hall of residence in Australia. He is from Pakistan, so I deem this recipe to be authentic!
Soak lentils (red are good) for a few hours (this makes them cook faster) before rinsing and checking for chaff.Heat a little oil in a saucepan, add a chopped onion and cook over a low heat until softened. Add a cut tomato, seeds, skin and all.Add the soaked rinsed lentils, enough water to cover it all, and some hot paprika (not smoked, not sweet).Stir, and cook until lentils are tender. Add more water if needed.
And that's it. Five ingredients, including the cooking oil. Now that's basic, and it's a really yummy introduction to the loveliness that is dahl. Recently, I have moved on from this recipe to something a lot more like the SBS one, and tried different types of lentils, but that's only because I have started using paprika for Spanish and Moroccan food and like its flavour better in that context. Let me know if you try it!
PS: I know I promised a book review, but I'm still working on my gnome canvas (see here for the link). We'll be back to regularly scheduled posting when he's done. He's turned out to be high maintenance, all my own fault, and has acquired a stumpwork beard. Yeah, who knew you could so that?