Creamy black dhal with crispy onions
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus 4 hrs soaking (cook for 2 hrs 35 mins, if using hob instead of slow cooker)
- Serves 4
- 250g black urid beans (also called urid dal, urad dal, black lentils or black gram beans - available from large supermarkets) - yellow split peas also work well
- 100g butter or ghee
- 2 large white onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp chilli powder (optional)
- small bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved to serve
- 400g passata or chopped tomatoes
- 1 fat red chilli, pierced a few times with the tip of a sharp knife
- 50ml double cream
- STEP 1
Soak the beans in cold water for 4 hrs (or overnight, if you like).
- STEP 2
Melt the butter or ghee in a large pan, then add the onions, garlic and ginger, and cook slowly for 10-15 mins until the onions are starting to caramelise. Stir in the spices, coriander stalks and 100ml water. Pour into the slow cooker (or leave in the pan if cooking on the hob). Add the passata and whole red chilli. Drain the beans and add these too, then top up with 400ml water. Season well, set the slow cooker to Low and cook for 5-6 hrs (or cover and cook for 2 hrs over a very low heat on the hob).
- STEP 3
Once cooked, the dhal should be very thick and the beans tender. Stir in the cream, check the seasoning and serve in bowls with naan bread, rice or in a jacket potato, with your choice of toppings. To freeze the dhal, cool completely, then divide into containers or sandwich bags. Freeze for up to 2 months, defrost and heat thoroughly before eating.