Chana Dal – Madhur Jaffrey (Muslim Aid)

Celebrity chefs Madhur Jaffrey, Ainsley Harriott and Saliha Mahmood Ahmed are supporting charity Muslim Aid’s Ramadan campaign this year by each contributing a delicious and healthy recipe.

Here’s the second from Madhur Jaffrey who, while proposing her Chana Dal with Spinach and Tomato (Saag-Tamatar wali Chana Dal) – a great dish that can be shared with a large group at an Iftar, sends her “best wishes for Ramadan”.

These recipes have been shared to help keep you healthy and maintain your energy levels during these long days of fasting.

Muslim Aid is one of the top 20 UK relief and development agencies providing humanitarian assistance to disaster affected countries and helping poor communities overcome poverty since 1985.

To donate your Zakat or for further information visit muslimaid.org.

INGREDIENTS

  • 285 g/10 oz chana dal, washed in several changes of water and drained
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil or peanut oil, or a mixture of ghee and any oil
  • l/8 teaspoon ground asafoetida
  • ½ teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1–2 dried hot red chillies
  • 7–8 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 large onion (225 g/8 oz), peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 good-sized tomatoes (about
  • 285 g/10 oz in all), peeled and chopped
  • 140–180 g/5–6 oz well-washed spinach, cut stems crossways into tiny dice and chop the leaves into small pieces. ¼–½ teaspoon nice red chilli powder (optional)
  • 120g  Dals: Dried Beans & Legumes

Serves 6.

Credit: Curry Easy Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey

METHOD

  1. Put the dal in a medium pan along with 1.2 litres/2 pints water. Bring to the boil, skimming off the froth as it rises to the top. Do not let it boil over. Stir in the turmeric, cover partially, lower the heat and cook for 1¼ hours. When done, mix in the salt.
  2. While the dal cooks, heat the ghee and/or oil in a small, preferably non-stick frying pan and set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the asafoetida and, a second later, the mustard seeds.
  3. As soon as the seeds start to pop, a matter of seconds, add the cumin seeds. Stir for 5–6 seconds, and then add the red chillies and fry until they darken. Throw in the curry leaves, stir once and add the onion. Sauté for about 7–10 minutes or until the onion starts to brown.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for another 1–2 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and stir for 5–6 minutes, until they soften, mashing them down with the back of a wooden spoon as you do so.
  5. Add the spinach and 120 ml/4 fl oz water. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook gently for 10–12 minutes, or until the spinach wilts and is very soft.
  6. When the dal has finished cooking, add the spinach mixture and stir well. Check the seasoning and add the chilli powder if you need it. Grind black pepper over the top. If the dal feels too thick, you can stir in a little water

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