Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dhal Curry

There used to be a makeshift stall near my house which sells the best nasi (rice) dhalca. It is basically rice with chicken in dhal curry; but the curry was a burst of all-the-right-combination-of-flavours and the chicken meat was so tender, it practically fell off the bone. I'm just salivating right now reminiscing about it.

We have been happily consuming the nasi dhalca for years when one dark day, my dad returned from the nasi dhalca stall and informed us that the seller has decided he wouldn't be continuing with his business any longer. Rage and confusion mingled in me.. what? why isn't he passing on his legacy to his kid or something? how will we live without his curry? why does everything happen to meeeeee??

As we all know, we cannot control everything and everyone. So when I had a hankering for dhal curry recently, I decided to try out several recipes until I find one which is good enough to at least resemble The One. This one is great tasting with the right amount of heat and spices.

This recipe yields 5-6 servings (adapted from the hungry horse)

2 tsp whole mustard seeds
2 tbsp turmeric
4 cloves
4 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp of ghee plus 4 tbsp of olive oil
2 cup of chopped red onion
4 slices of ginger, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 green chilli, cut into large slices
6 cups of water
450g yellow split peas, soaked overnight
2 small potato, diced
2 small carrot, diced
Salt to taste

1) In a small bowl, combine and moisten spices (mustard seeds, turmeric, cloves and curry powder) with a few tablespoons of water so it won't burn when they are fried later.
2) In a heavy pot, heat ghee and olive oil over medium­-low heat.
3) Sauté onions, ginger and garlic until onions are translucent, about 2­-3 mins. Add in the moistened spices and green chillies and continue sauteing until mixture is fragrant, about 2 mins.
4) Add water, split peas, potatoes and carrots and give a good stir.
5) Bring curry to a boil and let simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stir occasionally.
6) The dhall curry is ready when the split peas are soft and begin to break apart. You can add more water if curry is too thick. Check seasoning and serve with naan or hot rice.


  1. Wow I never had this. But it seems so delicious.

  2. hey it happened to me too!

  3. OMG, I can't wait to try this. I used to order something a lot like this at a place in California called Pasands. I've pined away for it ever since we moved away 8 years ago. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. YM: haha
    Tiffiny: Hope you like it!