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Faeriwood Kitchen: Tarka Dhal and a trip down memory lane



Today's post and subsequent recipe is a bit of a trip down memory lane. I love food that takes you back to a specific place and time. For me this Tarka Dhal, whilst not being exactly the same, reminds me of a bloggers excursion we had last year to Glenmore Manor in Lurgan. They laid on an amazing Indian feast for us and part of it was this dhal.




Since then my life has changed dramatically and I've been searching for new things to try out, you might have noticed the introduction in recipe posts. This blog has always been a sort of journey for me. I figured that should include my food journeys too!






So let's get down to business. 

Ingredients
  • 175g Chana dhal (yellow dried split peas)
  • 75g red lentils
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 red or green chillies, deseeded (I used chilli powder which was adequate for spice but missed the lightness of fresh chilli)
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used a teaspoon of tomato paste but I missed the sweetness and moisture of real tomatoes. Don't skip this or at least substitute with passata or tinned tomatoes)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garam masala to garnish
  • Chopped Pistachios to garnish (my own addition)

Method
1. Place the split peas and lentils in a sieve and wash under running cold water. Put into a large saucepan with 900ml water and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface. Stir in the turmeric, then cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally until the split peas are just tender. I've found that times can differ from the original recipe it took over an hour to get them tender enough to eat. 
2. Remove from the heat and stir to break down the lentils. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Add a little extra water if it becomes too thick. 
3. While the lentils are cooking put the onion, chillies, ginger and garlic into a blender and blend coursely. 
4. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the cumin and mustard seeds and fry until they begin to pop. Add the onion mixture and fry gently for 4-5 minutes, stir in the coriander, tomatoes and 2 tbsp water. Cook a further 2-3 minutes. This is where I realised the need for real tomatoes. I added extra water & a spoon of sugar to compensate but you shouldn't need this.
5. Stir the onion mixture into the lentils and season to taste. Sprinkle over the garam masala, cover and stand for 1 minute before gently reheating. Serve with pistachios.






And all of a sudden I'm back in Glenmore with the girls. If someone wants to take us back there feel free! 



Click below, for the original recipe, my Glemore review & to follow us on Bloglovin.
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