Thursday, 10 March 2011

Simple Supper in Lent 1 - Dal and Naan, Mint Tea

This is one of my favourite comfort foods. I eat it when I need a hug from a sofa, or when I just need to be still and do nothing. At the moment, the poor people who live with me would probably describe me as 'very tired'. I am up and out of the house before they stir, and when I get home in the evening, I eat, wash up, shower and go to bed. Chitter chatter and sociality are not my strong suit at the moment. So, something like this for tea is really a healer. The chilli is warming, the dal soothing, the naan like a warm hug and the tea just makes me ready to drift to the land of nod. The whole thing is a happy sleepy sigh from the knowledge you are home.

Yellow Split Pea Dal with Naan and some Fresh Mint Tea on the Side :)

You need: 

500g Yellow Split Peas or Toor Dal
1 large Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
Vegetable Oil
2 Bay Leaves
1 Red Chilli
3 Tomatoes
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Tumeric
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 - 2 tsp good quality vegetable stock powder
1 pint + of water
A kettle of boiling water
Fresh Coriander

Yummy high quality Naan warmed in the oven, preferably in tin foil to keep it soft and moist.

In a deep saucepan add the yellow spilt peas, water, stock powder and bay leaves. It is good if you can do this about 30 mins before you are going to cook so as you can allow them to soak. But, if not, no worries. Bring the peas to the boil and keep them on a fast simmer, until they are tender, about 20 - 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a deep bowl, pour a kettle of boiling water over your three tomatoes. Piece each of them with a knife. When their skins start to shed, drain them and peel them carefully. Chop them up small and leave to one side. Finely slice your onions and chilli, crush the garlic. Add a good glug of vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed pan you trust not to stick. Heat the pan, add the onions, chilli and garlic and soften them gently. When your split peas are soft, add the spices, including the grated ginger, to the onions, garlic and chilli and stir. After a minute or two add the chopped tomatoes. Finally, pour in the cooked yellow split peas. Simmer this mixture until it looks a great yummy consistency, soft, but not soup. You may need to add water to prevent it sticking, or you may need to simmer more quickly to reduce.

Warm your naan bread in the oven. I find if you have really high quality naan, wrapping it in foil with a sprinkle of water, makes it moist and beautiful.

Serve in deep bowls with plenty of bread and a topping of fresh coriander. You can make rice if you are very hungry. Some people have been known to eat this with mayo. Heathens. :)

For the Mint Tea

Spring has sprung! I make mint tea by going out into the garden, picking mint leaves, coming in, putting the leaves in the cup, boiling the kettle and adding the hot water. Simples. Sometimes I sweeten it with sugar. No mint? Make a herbal.

I have never priced the making of this meal, but it is cheap. You have just saved fortunes! Give it to a good cause, I double dare you :)

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