Chana Dahl for kids…..

So here’s the first of many recipes that will introduce your children to Indian and spicy food. Chana dal is a great variety of dal to start with as it has a sweet and nutty flavour. If you can’t find chana dahl you could substitute with split peas. For most of the dishes I make for my kids I try and include a sweet vegetable such as a carrot so there is a familiar taste and something that will take the edge off the spices.

Ingredients:

Makes about 4 portions so I froze half of it for another day.

This is just a rough guide to quantities you should adjust as your child/children get used to the flavours

For the vaghar

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/8 tsp of mustard seeds
  • pinch of hing

The rest

  • 1/2 cup of chana dahl rinse and you could soak it in water for an hour or so to speed up the cooking process
  • 1/2 large tomato
  • 1 small carrot finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cumin and coriander
  • 1/8 tsp of turmeric
  • pinch salt
  • pinch of chilli powder/tiny amount of fresh masala
  • hot water from kettle

Method

  1. If you have time soak the dahl in cold water
  2. If you have a chopper puree the onion and tomato to a pulp or chop very finely
  3. Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan
  4. Remove hot oil from heat and add the mustard seeds
  5. Once the seeds have popped add the hing and return to the heat
  6. After about 20 seconds add the pureed onion and tomato
  7. Cover the saucepan and cook the onion and tomato on a low heat for about 5 minutes so it is cooked but not brown
  8. Next rinse the soaking dahl and add to the saucepan
  9. Add enough water to the dahl so it is covered by about 1cm
  10. Add the chopped carrot
  11. Add all the spices
  12. Stir everything together and simmer on a low heat for about 25 minutes (or until lentils are cooked)
  13. You may need to add more water as the lentils absorb it during cooking
  14. Taste the dish and add more spices if you think they are required

ingredients

serve up with roti or other indian bread

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