|Bloated and ready to cook! :) |
For this curry, I added a cinnamon stick, bayleaves, cardamum and salt to the water before adding the lentils. I would advise you to add the cardamum later on, in the 'turka,' or curry paste, Since the cooking time was so little, the flavor didn't come out too strong.
I added the tumeric once the lentils were cooked (after 10 mins). You may well wish to end the whole process right here and now, should you choose, and you'd still get a tasty meal, not to mention, very pure food.
We will take it a step further though, for those of you who wish to impress a guest who pops in for lunch, and you need to whip up something quick! ;)
You'll see all the ingredients as well as full method below, but suffice it to say that the final step is a cinch, and makes a world of difference to this lentil curry.
|Ghee, Ginger & Spices|
In the centre of the picture, next to the heart shaped ginger (you know me ;) ), you'll see a spoon, with a yellowish powder: HING, aka 'asafoetida.'
It's the smelliest thing in the world, but a perfect digestive aid, which couples very well in Indian cooking, especially for the legumes & bean curries. With a touch of hing, you can eat in peace, without anticipation of the dreaded after gas!
If you can get over the smell, you'll soon learn that you won't cook without it.
You don't use a lot, but if you don't use it at all, you just kind of notice that something is missing, though you can't quite put your finger on what that something is. It is indeed the stinky yellow powder!
I personally, didn't grow up using it, and was only introduced to the spice a couple years back, and must admit, I was fairly nauseous from the smell at first, but I don't go without now:).
What I learned today, is that Hing assimilates best in fat, so where I normally just add it to the lentils whilst they're boiling away, today it was the other way around, and I added it first to the ghee for about 15 seconds, before adding the rest of the spices.
Now, I've not quite mentioned that when you make lentils, it's not the usual curry paste (Turka), that is used - the typical, onion, garlic ginger combo with masala. Well, that's not how I do it anyway.
You use the same method- heat up your spices but only add ginger into the ghee, (no onion, garlic, masala), and once you've got that smell going on, after just a few minutes, add the magic to the finished lentils- easy peasy.
|Spices working their magic in ghee.|
My lentils came out fairy thick and I did use a hand blender to smooth them out, (which you can totally skip). You could add yoghurt, cream, coconut milk, more water, to thin the mixture, should you wish (and sure, you could add a tomato at the end-sometimes I do, sometimes not. Try it for yourself).
Please comment and ask away. :)
|Always serve with a good spoon of ghee on top :))))|