Simple Panjabi Daal
A much as I’d love to be able to cook a feast every night, between work, being a mum and keeping my household running it’s just not doable. And some nights I just want to come home and cook something which is quick and easy, requires minimal preparation or preparation I can do the night before, and which most importantly is wholesome, hearty, healthy, satisfying and tasty.
This simple Panjabi daal is no doubt in my top ten recipes for this brief and I know you’ll love it. Everything is roughly chopped, shoved into one pot and blitzed at the end to bring all the flavours together. If you have a pressure cooker, you can have this on your dinner table in 25minutes. If not then you need to allow an extra 15mins or so. I tend to do my prep the night before, it only takes 5minutes and it means when I get in from work the next day I can shove everything in the cooker and then focus on spending time with my son.
I’ve used channa daal for this recipe but it works just as well with red lentils and mung daal. This is a true home-style cooking, full of goodness and easy to make. Comfort in a bowl!
- • 2 cups channa daal (Optional and not necessary - soaked overnight in salted boiled water to quicken the cooking process the next day)
- • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
- • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- • 1 ½ white onions, roughly sliced
- • 8 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
- • Thumb size piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- • 5 Green Chillies, roughly chopped
- • ½ tbsp ground turmeric
- • 1 tbsp ground cumin and coriander powder
- • ½ tbsp. chilli powder
- • 5 tomatoes, roughly copped
- • ½ tbsp salt
- • 8 cups water
- • Finely chopped fresh coriander garnishing
- If you have soaked the daal overnight, start by draining this.
- Heat oil on a medium heat in a deep saucepan or pressure cooker.
- Add cumin seeds. Keep stirring to stop them from burning. Cumin seeds can burn quickly so keep an eye on them, we are simply looking for a slight sizzle and for the seeds to turn slightly golden.
- Once this starts happening, add the onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies. Allow these to cook on a low to medium heat.
- Once the onions have turned translucent add the salt, ground turmeric, red chilli powder and ground cumin and coriander powder. Mix well and let the spices dry toast for 3-4minutes to cook away their rawness.
- Now add the tomatoes, mix well and cover for 4-5minutes. Once you raise the lid you’ll see that the tomatoes have started to release their juices and form a golden gravy with the spices.
- Add the daal and water. Stir and cover. If using a pressure cooker, 20minutes should do the trick. If simmering on the stove, you will need to allow an extra 15minutes.
- Check that the daal is soft and cooked through.
- Finally, using an immersion blender, blitz the daal to help bring all the flavours together and break down the chunks of ginger garlic and chilli. We are not looking for a smooth puree here, you want to leave some texture.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander before serving. If necessary, you can add a little water before serving to loosen the daal if it has dried up.