Some curries are easier to make than others. This isn’t one of them. It’s a pretty labour intensive affair, but don’t let that put you off, it’s also one of the most satisfying Indian curries around. Normally reserved for special occasions this curry uses a fabulous blend of spice, lentils and vegetables. Made the day before the curry takes on a ever more complex flavour. Superb.
100g yellow lentils (toor dal – see below)
25g moong dal (see below)
25g chick peas (canned)
50g masoor dal (see below)
1 eggplant (unpeeled)
150g pumpkin (unpeeled)
150g English spinach (trimmed and roughly chopped)
2 tomatoes (roughly chopped)
2 green chillies (deseeded & chopped)
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 onion (finely chopped)
3 garlic cloves (mashed)
1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1kg lamb (cubed)
1 cinamon stick
5 cardamom pods (bruised)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
3 tablespoons lime juice
Soak the toor dal and moong dal in plenty of water for 2 hours. Drain well put into a saucepan, add the masoor dal add a litre of water and bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Skim off any scum that gathers on the surface. Remove from the heat, drain, add the chick peas and lightly mash with a fork to break up some of the larger bits don’t mash too much though.
Cook the whole eggplant and pumpkin in boiling water for 10 minutes until softened. Cut both in 1/2 and scoop out the flesh and cut into pieces, discarding the skin.
Heat the ghee in a large pan over a moderate heat fry the onion, ginger and garlic for 5 minutes until soft. Add the lamb and cook for a further 10 minutes stirring continuously. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, coriander, turmeric, and chilli powder and fry for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water and simmer for 1 until the lamb is tender. Add the lentils, eggplant, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes and chillies to the pan and stir well. Season with the lime juice and salt & pepper and simmer for 15 more minutes before serving. Add a little water if the sauce is too thick.
Serve with a vegetable, plain boiled basmati, raita and lime pickle.
Finding Indian lentils can be very confusing as I have found out, here’s what each look like: