Tarka Dhal

My only comment would be that it takes ages to simmer the lentils, if I could I’d probably buy them pre-cooked! (Not laziness, simply power consumption on a boat talking). 

Ingredients: 200g dried yellow split peas. Rinse them well then cover with about a litre of water in a saucepan and simmer for about 35 minutes, or until they’re softened. Skim the foam off the top and stir occasionally throughout cooking. By the end of the cooking time there won’t be much water left in the pan, just give it a stir and let it sit.

Now the less time consuming bit: 1 onion, finely diced. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped. Small knob of ginger, grated. 3 ripe tomatoes, blended to a purée. 2 whole chillies. 

Spices: 1 tsp mustard seeds. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds. A few cardamom pods, bruised slightly. 1 tsp turmeric. 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin and ground coriander. 1 tsp garam masala. Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Method: leave the cooked split peas where they are. In a large frying pan heat 2 tbsp of oil and add the mustard and cumin seeds with the cardamom pods, sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chillies, stir again. Pour in the blended tomatoes and season. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Tip in the split peas, add about 75ml of water then simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the garam masala then taste and season. You may, as I did, want to add a few chilli flakes. 

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