15 Aug 2013

Sensitive taste buds seeking curry - Indian Dhal & Roast pumpkin

One of my greatest culinary discoveries since I've been living in London is Indian Cuisine.

If Coronation chicken, the indian-inspired dish created for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, is anything to go by, British people have a real love affair with Indian food.

In France, we have "Pizza nights", here in the UK, people have "Curry nights"

When I started my curry education 4 years ago, I started from scratch. Not only did I know nothing about Indian food, but I also had baby taste buds that couldn't handle anything that would come near being called a spice.

My world was made of crème fraiche and melted cheese, with no pepper please.

Since then, I fell in love with curry nights, and my Curry Connoisseur Boyfriend takes me to Indian restaurants and teaches my taste buds the great pleasures of chilli powder.
And guess what? I'm going on holidays to India soon! More on that later ;-)

recipe roasted stuffed pumpkin

Easy Indian Dhal 
served in a roasted pumkin

In India, dhal means lentils. A dhal can be cooked in many different ways, depending on the lentils you use and the recipe you're following. 
You can also create your own recipe and include lots of different ingredients in a dhal: green peas, cauliflower, potatoes, Indian cheese, etc
Most of the times, a dhal would remain a vegetarian dish.
Here is a very simple recipe that I served in a roasted pumpkin, just because I love pumpkin. But of course, you can serve your dhal in a bowl!

Ingredients for 2 people: 

1 small glass (a little less than 1/2 pint) or red lentils
2 pints approx of vegetable stock
1 onion finely chopped
1garlic clove finely chopped
1 small thumb of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 small handful of frozen peas
2 medium sized potatoes
2 to 3  tbsp of mixed spices: I crushed cumin seeds and coriander seeds, added turmeric and a pinch of cinnamon. Freestyle!

Make the dhal:  

1/ Sweat (don't grill) the onion, garlic in 1tbsp olive oil for 3 min. Add the ginger and the spices and cook for 2 more min. 

2/ Add the lentils, potatoes and the stock, and simmer for approx 15min. Mix from time to time, until the mix forms a croase porridgy texture. Add the peas and cook for 5 more min. 

3/ Add salt to taste, and serve with rice or in a small roast pumpkin with pitta breads and cottage cheese (we ate directly with spoons from the pumpkin, really good casual atmosphere!)

Make the roasted pumpkin: 

1 small pumpkin, seeds removed
1 tbsp olive oil

1/ Paint the inside of the pumpkin with the oil, place on a baking tray, cover with foil and cook in the oven for approx 30min at 190degC (the foil will ensure the pumpkin slowly roasts without burning).

2/ Take off the foil ans roast for a further 10min until the pumpkin is golden. Transfer to a serving dish and fill with the dhal. 

whole roasted pumpkin recipe indian dhal

Options: of course, you can fill your pumpkin with other preparations, like for example a biryani, or a simple mix vegetable fried rice.

Some (amongst so many) places to try and enjoy Indian delicacies in London: 
Guglee, West  Hampstead & Swiss Cottage
Lahore, Whitechapel
Tayyabs, Whitechapel
If you have favourites to share, please leave a comment!

1 comment:

  1. Pumpkin mixed with lentil is a very tasty dish and its very easy to make. But i never seen before served it with baked pumpkin.


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