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Thanna's daal

This dish appeared magically at meal times when I was growing up, and I think my mother learned it from her mother-in-law, Thanna.  Therefore there are no measurements! This keeps well until the evening or the next day, and will taste better for it.  

Ingredients
  • red lentils - enough for everyone's appetites 
  • water
  • half onion, chopped very finely
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • garlic clove, sliced very fine
  • salt as desired
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves if you have them to hand, but will taste yummy without 
Method
  1. Soak the red lentils in water for an hour if you have time. If you don't, don't worry - most lentils do not need soaking. Just wash thoroughly.
  2. Drain the lentils and put in a pan. Cover with enough water that the water is double the amount of the lentils. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for about half an hour, or until the lentils are very tender. Keep the lentils int heir own water.  
  3. In a karrai or non-stick pan, gently fry the onion in a little vegetable oil until brown. Add the garlic- be careful if does not burn.
  4. Add a generous helping of cumin seeds and fry until they have changed colour and the aroma is brought out. This may only be a minute or two.
  5. Add the onions and cumin seeds to the lentils in their liquid and add salt to taste. Add a little water if it is too thick for your taste. 
  6. Serve with chopped coriander leaves if using.
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