I am not a glutton. I am an explorer of food.Erma Bombeck
One of the best meals I have eaten in my entire life cost just $4.00 in Singapore’s Little India district. It was ten years ago, and I have been trying to replicate it ever since.
It was a completely vegan meal of creamy, spicy dhal,
It was amazing.
What I make here, is by no means a traditional, authentic replication of that meal. Rather, it is my best interpretation of those delicious flavours.
Super Spice Dhal
This spicy dhal is full of spices and packed with anti-oxidant goodness! While there are a few ingredients, it is a set-and-forget dish. I make mine in a small slow cooker, but if you cook it on the stovetop, be sure to check on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Make a large portion, as it freezes very well.
You will need
- 1/2 cup of split moong dhal
- 1/2 cup of yellow peas
- 3 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon of grated fresh turmeric
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 10-12 fresh curry leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon nigella seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
- Add the moong dahl, and split peas to your slow cooker and cover with hot vegetable stock.
- In a frypan, add your onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric and saute until translucent. Add the curry leaves and the rest of the whole spices. Cook until spices are fragrant.
- Add spices to dahl mix and simmer dhal on high for an hour, stirring periodically.
- The dhal is ready when the moong dhal and split peas are cooked. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.
- Serve over steamed basmati rice, top with fried onions and fresh coriander.
- Serves 6-8 small portions.
Dosas are a traditional Indian pancake, made from soaked rice and moong dhal, which is then ground into a fine batter and fermented over several days until the mix is bubbly and light.
My recipe is a cheat version where I grind the rice and red lentils in my food processor before soaking them in warm water, adding apple cider vinegar and baking powder as a substitute for the fermentation process. This dosa batter is ready to use the day to make it.
You will need
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2-3 cups of water
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Coconut oil for cooking.
- Grind the rice and lentils together in a blender or food processor until a fine powder.
- Using a whisk, blend two cups of water in with the flour until a thin batter consistency and set aside for 20 minutes to rest.
- Before cooking, mix the vinegar, salt and baking powder and whisk into the batter. The batter should be a thin, pourable consistency.
- Heat a non-stick frypan and add a teaspoon of coconut oil.
- Add a ladleful of the dosa batter and swirl around the pan to create a large pancake. The pancake should be quite thin.
- Cook the dosa until many bubbles appear on the surface and the batter “sets” on top.
- At this point, you can add a few tablespoons of potato curry to the centre of the dosa and fold the dosa over. Or, flip the dosa and cook briefly on the other side before serving. The dosa should be thin and crispy.
- Serve immediately. Batter makes 12 small-medium sized dosas.
Tasty, filling, moorish and just perfect dished up inside a crispy dosa!
You will need
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
- 4 medium potatoes, cubed (I prefer skin on)
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 250ml-500ml vegetable stock to taste.
- Heat the oil, add the onion, ginger, green chilli and curry leaves. Saute a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Add the turmeric and cumin seeds and stir well.
- Add the potatoes and stir well.
- Add vegetable stock and cover to simmer potatoes until cooked through.
- Add the green peas and mix well.
- Squeeze in the lemon juice, add salt to taste, and turn off heat. Set aside.
- Add potato curry to the middle of an uncooked dosa, fold and flip. Serve while hot, or serve potato curry on the side with accompaniments.
- Makes 4-6 small serves.
I love this meal served with brown basmati rice, fresh coriander and lime wedges, fried onions, lime pickle and a generous portion of my salted mint and cucumber coconut yoghurt. It is healthy, satisfying and spicy!
I hope you enjoy this plant based meal! What is your favourite Indian meal? I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below!