Wandered to Mirrabooka for a Diwali Mela on Sunday, came away smelling like masala dosa which is one of those things I’ve never been brave enough to try cooking on my own. My favourite masala dosa this year was the ones I ate at Wawasan Mutiara, crispy and served with with a dahl almost like a rasam.
Everyone has a different dahl recipe. My mum likes to add lots of chunky things, big chunks of potato and carrot. Some serve dahl cold, and some serve dahl hot. I’ve had dahl that’s thick and creamy, and dahl that’s, as I said, like rasam. Even my own recipe evolves, subtly changing flavours and texture as I learn new things. But this one is currently my favourite.
3 tomatoes, finely diced
1 potato, diced
2 or 3 cups stock
1 can coconut milk
1 ½ cups dry lentils
1 shallot, sliced
2 green chillis, chopped and deseeded
1 clove garlic, minced
2cm ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons tumeric
Overnight, or for about six hours, soak the lentils. I like to use a combination of brown, red and yellow lentils, though in this specific instance I used about half yellow, half red. After soaking, pick out the yuck lentils, rinse and drain.
Pound together the shallot, chilli, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and tumeric, until a smushy, smoothish paste is formed. On high heat, dry fry the paste for a minute or two, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and the lentils, allow to fry for a minute or two, then add the stock. Reduce to low, and simmer with the lid on for ten minutes, then add the potato. Continue to simmer on low, lid on, stirring occasionally and adding stock or water as needed. After about an hour, add the coconut milk and simmer with the lid off for another ten minutes.
Serve over rice or delicious roti.