I picked this recipe up on a recent trip to Kerala, from a wonderful lady called Maria at her cookery school in Kochi.
1 cup of dry lentils (yellow split peas)
3 cups of water
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
4 or 5 shallots (2 tbsp.) – chopped
3 cloves garlic – chopped
1 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. chilli powder
1 tsp. salt
A few curry leaves or chopped coriander leaves
1. Soak the lentils overnight in 3 cups of water.
2. Rinse off twice the next day.
3. Add lentils to a saucepan with 3 cups of water and a teaspoon of oil (no salt).
4. Cook for 15 mins (or more if you want it more mushy).
5. Put a little oil in a pan over a moderate heat and add the mustard seeds. They will start to pop and smell like popcorn.
6. Lower the flame and add the cumin seeds (these help to remove gas).
7. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until golden brown.
8. Lower the flame and add the powders – put them onto the onions so they are not in direct contact with the oil.
9. Add the leaves.
10. Take off the heat and stir – the chilli burns fast.
11. Put back on a low flame and add to dal mix.
12. Serve with rice.