Dhal, Malaysian Style

Here’s a recipe for dhal, Indian-style lentil stew.  It’s a bit different than then North Indian dhals, which are the kinds that you find in the States.  For one thing, it’s thinner.  Also, this has a bit of a Malaysian twist to it due to the presence of coconut milk and tamarind.  It’s excellent, and is the traditional accompaniment for roti chanai.

Dhal, Malaysian Style
1/2 cup lentils
3 1/4 cups water
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 red onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced into thin rounds
1 small eggplant, cubed
1 tomato, chopped
2 chilies, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup tamarind water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. chili powder
5 curry leaves (optional)
3 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

Rinse the lentils, then place in a pot with the water and turmeric and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add onion, eggplant, tomato, and carrot and cook for 20 minutes more.  Add chilies, and cook for five more minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, combine coconut milk with a pince of salt and the tamarind water.  Place in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.  In a small skillet, heat a bit of oil over mediam heat.  Add the cumin and mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds, then add chili powder, shallots, garlic, and curry leaves and saute until golden.  Add to the tamarind/coconut mixture.

When lentils have finished cooking, mix in the coconut milk with the spices.  Add salt to taste. Serve with roti chanai or spoon over rice.  A picture will be forthcoming.

Comment 1

  1. Lindsey April 29, 2005

    You guys rock, I can’t wait to try making this…I’ve got the bread down but we usually just eat it with whatever entree I make to go with it, yay!!

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