LENTILS WITH MEAT
This dish may be served as one of a number of dishes in a full Indian meal but is also satisfying on its own with rice and raita for lunch or for an informal family meal.
The final tempering in this recipe is nice but optional as the spices are fragrant from frying them early on.
2-3 tablespoons oil
8 shallots, finely sliced or 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz (250 g) lamb, cut into small pieces or cubed
½ cup (125 g) yellow lentils (toor dal)
2 cups (500 ml) water
2 medium-sized potatoes, cut into quarters
Tamarind water made from 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp soaked in 1 cup (250 ml) hot water
3 cigar-shaped purple eggplant, cubed
3 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled and diced
3 fresh medium-length green chilies, seeded and cut in half lengthwise
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon coriander seed or 2 heaping teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin seed or ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon fennel seed or ½ teaspoon anise
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
6-8 dried chilies, seeded, soaked in warm water until soft them squeezed dry
Salt to taste
¾-in (2-cm) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon brown mustard seed
4 shallots, finely sliced lengthwise
10 curry leaves, preferably fresh ones
If using whole seeds for the Spice Paste, grind them to a powder. Add the remaining Spice Paste ingredients and grind to a fine paste. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan and fry the shallots and garlic until soft. Add the Spice Paste and fry until fragrant. Add the meat, lentils and 2 cups (500 ml) of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the lentils are soft but not mushy. Add the potatoes, and when the potatoes are half-cooked add the tamarind water, the rest of the vegetables and salt to taste and simmer until the meat and vegetables are cooked.
If you want to add the tempering, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small pan and fry the Tempering ingredients until golden brown. Pour over the lentils and serve.