Not-quite-bhurta and a simple dhal, served with rice and raita.
Yesterday before work, I soaked some yellow split peas thinking I would make a pea and
ham bacon soup. But when I got home I was tired so I just reheated some quiche and promptly fell asleep on the sofa. Today I realised I had soaked more peas than I needed, so I decided to make a dhal tonight and save the rest for soup tomorrow.
While dhal can be delicious with rice or roti, I had an eggplant in the fridge so I decided to make Sabotabby‘s not-quite-bhurta AKA generic quick n’ dirty Indian eggplant. Then I steamed some rice and threw together a quick raita and an Indian style dinner was ready.
Serves 3-4, with lots of leftover dhal
Very Easy Dhal
I haven’t unpacked A Taste of India, by Madhur Jaffrey yet, but luckily there is a dhal recipe in this month’s Delicious, so I used that as a guide
4 cups of soaked split peas (about 1 and a half cups when dry)
1 can of diced tomato
2 cups water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
pinch of cardamom
pinch of salt
In a saucepan, heat the oil and add all the spices except the salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the split peas, the tomato, and the water. Bring to the boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the moisture is absorbed and the peas are tender. Stir regularly to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot, and add extra water if needed. Add salt to taste, just before serving.
Traditionally, the eggplant in a bhurta should be grilled or roasted first, and the cooked flesh scooped out and cooked with the other ingredients. In this version, the eggplant is chopped and cooked with everything else.
1 large eggplant
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch cinnamon
Chop the eggplant into pieces about 3cm long and 1 cm wide. Dice the tomatoes. Slice the garlic into slivers.
Heat the oil, add the eggplant, tomatoes and garlic and stir on high for 2-3 minutes.
Add the water and spices. cover and cook on a medium heat. Check after 10-15 minutes, add more water if necessary, and cook until the eggplant is soft and has soaked up most of the liquid.
1 small tub of natural yogurt (125ml)
1 lebanese cucumber
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of salt
Grate or finely dice the cucumber. Slightly crush the cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle or with the side of a knife. Add both to the yogurt. Add salt to taste. Stir.