This is a nutritious and easy-to-make dish that can bring variety to an everyday menu. It’s also extremely delicious. It uses daal (lentils), so it’s great for vegetarians too. Finish it off with a handful of coriander and you’ve just made yourself a dish that would be worthy of any top Indian chef.
If you exclude butter, you have a dairy free dish which now makes it vegan!
Place the lentils on a tray or flat plate and check for any stones etc and now place the lentils in a bowl and cover with cold water, give them a stir and soak for 30 minutes.
Thoroughly wash the lentils until the water runs clear, (I use a sieve) then drain and put into a large pan and cover with a litre of cold water (always add extra if need be).
Bring to the boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface.
Simmer the lentils until cooked, could take up to an hour, ensure the water doesn't dry. The creaminess comes from the patience of cooking the lentils, don't add any salt until they are cooked.
Alternatively, cook the lentils in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes or slow cooker for 3/4 hours until soft and cooked.
Using a separate frying pan, fry onion until soft and golden in the oil, adding water to stop the onions from burning, they should be soft and golden.
Tip the curry masala spice and salt into the onions, adding a small splash of water to create a sauce and stop the mixture from burning, this also deglazes the pan and creates flavour.
Once the lentils are cooked, add them to the onion mix and simmer for 10 minutes. You may add some extra water for your preferred consistency.
Check seasoning, (salt and chilli), finish with a sprinkle of fresh coriander and some butter.
I sometimes add raw spring or red onions, tomatoes or fresh chilli when serving, lovely with fresh chappatties.