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Home-Made Dhal

>> Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm over-ambitious & I'll admit it. In ONE work-day, mind you, I want to cook & bake for today & tomorrow as well. Crazy, right?

Since I bought some instant canai, I've decided to ambitiously cook my own dhal (when I could buy it from the mamak with less than RM3?). I've no clue on how to cook dhal & have no clue on the ingredients as well. But with great hopes & faith, I bought a packet of dhal beans & some spices that resemble those I've seen in the dhal served with my canai outside. Hahaha.

Anyway, here's to share on my version of dhal, inspired by the many years of indulging in one of Malaysia's "staples". I stir-fry my vegetables like potatoes & carrots first to ensure they soften faster when I cook.

* Makes at least 4 rice bowls of dhal
** I'm basing all measurements on estimation since I seriously don't follow recipes for most of my cooking/dishes. So please estimate it yourself as well ;) 

1 rice bowl of dhal beans, soaked overnight so that it softens (I didn't do that, so I blended the dhal beans instead. Pulp-ish dhal beans make very creamy/thick dhal though, which I like)
1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
1/2 large carrot, diced
1 tbsp of mixed Indian spices/"Halba Campuran" in Malay
2 tsp of garlic, chopped
2 tsp of ginger, chopped
1 tsp of cumin
1 tbsp of curry powder
2 stalks of curry leaves
1/2 tsp of chilli powder/flakes (optional: for added spiciness)
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste
Note: You can add eggplants, cauliflower, long/french beans & all sorts of vegetables, but I didn't have those in my fridge, thus I just used the above.

1. Heat pan with 3-4 tbsp of cooking oil with medium high flame.

2. Once the pan it hot, add potatoes & fry for 3-5 minutes 'til it's just a little brownish.

3. Add the carrots & stir-fry 'til slightly cooked.

4. Add the onions & fry 'til fragrant.

5. Add the ginger & garlic, frying it 'til fragrant.

6. Add the Indian spices, curry leaves, curry powder & cumin. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or so. You can add your chilli powder/flakes here too.

7. Add water into the pan, covering the ingredients. Allow to simmer 'til the ingredients are softer, especially the carrots & potatoes. Stir occasionally. Adjust flame to medium.

8. Bring dish to boil, then add in the dhal beans. Keep stirring to ensure the thick dhal dish does not stick at the base of your pan. You can add more water & bring to boil if you find your dhal too thick for your liking.

9. Add salt (and chicken granules for additional fragrance) & allow to boil. For all ingredients to be softer, you can add more water & allow to simmer & boil 'til the amount reduces to half. Remember to keep stirring to avoid the dhal to stick at the base of the pan/get burnt.

10. Once all your ingredients are soft enough for your liking, turn off flame & the dhal is ready to be served!

Bon apetit!

For the instant canai, you can just get those from the supermarket's frozen section. Follow the directions on the packet to prepare your instant canai/pratha. Enjoy!

Note: I'm tired cos I've also prepared a baked chicken dish, portuguese egg tarts & will be preparing pasta & canai (to go with the dhal) for tomorrow's breakfast & lunch at office! It's gonna be a feast! :D Tiring, but satisfying :)

The tired agak-agak chef,


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