After countless (well 4) visits to London’s Dishoom – a modern buzzing Indian restaurant – it was only a matter of time before I attempted an Indian themed supper blog post. The first time I visited this spice scented hub I was recommended to sample their ‘house black daal’. I was blown away. It was delicious: ‘dark, rich and deeply flavoured’ (their words) It certainly was. I’ve since geekily been dreaming about it and so I have attempted my own version here with homemade (albeit thicker) roti.
Made with black lentils (urda dal) unlike your normal daal, they are hard to find it seems? Ok I admit I didn’t look that hard but if they are casually (and naively) added to your shopping list don’t expect them to conveniently locate themselves on the shelf for you. In my haste I ended up buying a packet of ready to serve (I KNOW! This won’t become a habit, it was my only option) Merchant Black Beluga Lentils which have a slightly more gelatinous texture when cooked. I used these to make my own ‘speedy’ daal. I hear Dishoom simmer theirs long and slow for 24 hours which clearly makes these the ‘bees knees’ but my version was surprisingly and deliciously a very close match. Packed with spice and comforting cinnamon for a devine creation served loose textured with homemade roti. Daal can actually be served as a main dish but I made mine here as a side to a fresh lime dressed salad full of mango, mint, shaved fennel and radish and the most tender and succulent Indian spiced lamb cutlets I’ve had to date.
NOTE: I’m always thoroughly impressed at the quality of the meat at my local butchers back home. It really drums home the emphasis to buy your meat locally and not from your average Tesco not just for local support but the quality is infinitely better.
- 1 x 200g packet of beluga black lentils
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ red chilli, chopped
- Knob ginger, grated
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 small tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Small handful chopped coriander
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- Put the lentils in a pan with the cinnamon stick and cloves and cover with enough boiling water just to cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the spices to infuse and the lentils to continue to turn mushy.
- Meanwhile fry the onion in a little oil until soft. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry for a few more minutes until everything is soft and the raw each has been cooked out.
- Add all the dry spices and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add and cook out the tomato puree and then remove from the heat.
- Drain the lentil and keep any cooking water. Remove the cinnamon stick and the cloves ideally if you can.
- Use a masher to coarsely mash the lentil to break them down.
- Add enough of the drained juices (and more boiling water as I had to do) to create a creamy loose texture.
- Stir in the spice mix and coriander.
- Make sure it is sloppy in texture before whisking in a knob of butter for a glossy finish to the dish.
- Serve scattered with coriander and with homemade roti.
- 1 heaped tsp garam masala
- 1 ½ heaped tsp dukka (see here or buy locally)
- 6 lamb cutlets
- Marinade the lamb in the spices with a tbsp or so of oil.
- When ready to cook at the very last minute, heat a pan until hot (use the one that cooked the daal spices for a nice base flavour)
- First render the fat from the outside by standing eat cutlet on its side until the fat is crispy. Then cook for 2 minutes each side on a high heat for deliciously pick meat and crispy outside.
- Leave to rest for 5 minutes wrapped in foil.
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced
- ½ fennel bulb, shaved or thinly chopped
- 6 radishes, sliced
- ½ red onion, sliced thinly
- Cucumber, sliced
- Handful mint, chopped
- Handful coriander, chopped
- Juice 1 lime
- Mix the ingredients together and squeeze over the lime. Drizzle with a little oil is needed.
- 225g self raising flour
- 140ml water
- 1 tbsp Nigella seeds
- Salt and pepper
- Mix the flour, seasoning and seeds together in a bowl.
- Mix in the water or enough to bind the mixture together to form a dough. Use a fork to do this.
- Knead lightly until smooth and rest in a bowl for 30 minutes or so.
- Roll out on a floured surface very thinly.
- Heat a frying pan until hot. Fry for a few minutes on each side untileach is golden and beginning to char. The roti will puff up and form lovely bubbles.
- If not eating immediately, once cooked, pop in a preheated warm oven to keep warm and supple until ready to dip generously in your daal.