Some foods are pure comfort food. The nostalgia they bring about cannot be matched by anything else. Memories of a bygone era haunt our minds like a poets words of a dead lover…oh come on who am I trying to kid.
This daal dish is bloody fantastic. The plus point of using canned lentils is you don’t need to prepare them and you’ve literally got a healthier-than-a-takeway meal on hand on busier nights. In all fairness this meal is on the table in less than 30 minutes. That’s so damn awesome.
Cooking kidney beans takes a while. You soak the beans then rapid boil to remove toxins and then drain and cook.
I usually don’t have the patience to cook them the old fashioned way…so came up with a method that results in less time at the stove.
This recipe serves 4 adults comfortably.
I’m labelling this as frugal as it costs less than 50 pence per portion and packed full of protein.
1 medium red onion sliced OR 3 tbsp pre-fried onions soaked in water to soften (then drained)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 bullet chilies sliced in half
1 tsp garlic paste or 2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp ginger paste of 1 inch piece of ginger, left whole (fish it out after)
2 dried red chilies-whole
1 tbsp salt (reduce to taste)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
200 gram tinned tomatoes (chopped) or 3 medium fresh tomatoes chopped finely
2 tbsp fresh coriander (stalks too!)
2 x 400g cans of red kidney beans rinsed and drained
500-750ml boiling water (to speed up the cooking process)
1) Heat the oil in a heavy based pan. Add the onions. If using fresh fry until lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to fry for 2/3 minutes.
If using the pre-fried onions fry for 1 minutes then add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 2/3 minutes. In essence you are removing the raw taste of these ingredients.
2) Add all the spices and bullet chilies. Fry to cook the spices. Stir continuously to avoid burning or catching them on the bottom of the pan. Is the spices start the stick to the bottom (catch) add 1 tbsp water. Continue to cook for a total of 3/5 minutes. I find 3 minutes is enough.
3) Add the tomatoes and stir well. Now fry until the oil starts to separate from the tomato mixture.
4) Now add the beans. Stir to coat. With the back of a wooden spoon start mashing the beans. You want to mash/crush around 40% of the beans.
5) Now add the coriander and boiling water-be careful it may splutter! I usually add 750 ml of water as I like a daal that is slightly runny to go with rice. Remember that you will lose some of the liquid during the cooking process. Bring the mixture to the boil (this won’t take long as the water is already at a high temperature). Reduce the heat and simmer gently for approx 25 minutes. Stir during the cooking process. If you find the liquid is evaporating too quickly add more boiling water. Again bring to the boil and simmer.
6) After 25 minutes check out the consistency. The daal is ready to serve.
Serve with plain boiled rice (or steamed), aachar and a simple salad of red onions, tomatoes and mint.