I've realised that writing up an interesting post to go with a particular recipe isn't as easy at is looks. I've also realised that I've got a fairly large backlog of photos/recipes that have not been posted. It would be fairly easy to just post a recipe together with the photos but then that kind of defeats the purpose of blogging.
Anyway, now you know that blogging isn't that easy and you also know that I have a backlog of posts.
Recently, The Lovely Wife has developed a penchant for all things vegetarian. No, she is not becoming a vegetarian (not yet!) and neither does she shun meat. She is cutting back on her meat intake though. There are a variety of reasons for this but suffice to say that it has something to do with the latest books she has been reading although she reckons it is more healthy for her - regardless of what the books may say.
What books? Well, Total Body Makeover (Bob Greene), Fit For Life (Harvey Diamond), The Enzyme Factor (Hiromi Shinya), The China Study (Colin Campbell, Thomas Campbell) and The Jungle Effect (Daphne Miller) are just SOME of the books that she recently read that have influenced her behaviour - and eating habits.
So anyway, to cut a long story short, I made this Chickpea Dhall as a meal one day. There is some debate as to what actually constitutes Channa Dhall. Some say that Channa is the same as Chickpeas while some say that Channa is actually yellow split lentils. I've always known Channa to be Chickpeas (or Garbanzo beans) so if I'm wrong, I stand corrected.
I've only ever made this once before, but I'm very used to making Sambar that is not terribly different but at the same time not the same either as Sambar is much smoother than Channa Dhall and Sambar contains a mix of vegetables while Channa Dhall doesn't. The similarity of course is that both take a fairly long time to cook although Channa Dhall takes a bit longer to become soft due to the thickness of the lentil.
This is my take on Channa Dhall.
1 inch ginger
3 cloves garlic
sprinkle of mustard seeds
1 large onion - sliced
2 tomatoes - chopped roughly
2 tsp tumeric powder
1-2 tsp curry powder
1 red chilli - chopped
2 tbsp milk
coriander leaves for garnishing
grind ginger and garlic to a paste. Heat some oil and fry the mustard seeds, cloves, tumeric powder and curry powder. Add in the ginger/garlic paste and continue to fry. Add in onion and mix well then add in tomatoes and cook to a nice paste.
Add in the Dhall with lots of water. Mix well and allow to simmer for about 2 hours until the Dhall is very tender and mixture is thick. Add in some milk to thicken if required. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve with coriander
Channa Dhall is perfect as a meal on its own or as a side dish with other vegetable or meat dishes. It goes really well with Rice, Breads - like Naan, Chappati, Pita or even sliced bread. You really can't go wrong with this...!