Friday, March 24, 2017

Recipe: Tarka Dhal (Vegetarian)

Last week, we were at the supermarket doing our grocery shopping. Hubby picked up a pack of Australian dhal and told me that he wanted to try making dhal at home. No problem, I said... afterall, all I had to do was EAT ;)

Making dhal at home is very easy - simply simmer the dhal until soft, and then add ground spices, tomatoes, chillies, curry leaf and other ingredients to it. I roughly mash about half the dhal as I feel it's more creamy this way.

Homemade dhal is so yummy - I love the thick texture compared to the watery version you get at mamaks. Incredibly cheap too, we spent less than RM2 to make a batch enough to feed 4 persons. Dhal is super healthy too, making it the perfect comfort food.

Please check out the recipe video on my YouTube channel

Tarka dal
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from here
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves 4

250g chana dal (yellow dried split peas), rinsed until the water runs clear
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
3 whole green chillies, pricked with a knife  (we used cili padi)
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tomatoes 
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
3-4 stalks fresh curry leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the lentils and 900ml of water into a pan, stir well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the water with a spoon. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce to low heat. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 35-40 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender, adding more water as necessary.

2. When the lentils have cooked through, remove the pan from the heat. Set the mixture aside to thicken and cool.

3. Blend the garlic and tomatoes to a purée in a food processor or blender. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 20-30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the onion, chillies, curry leaf and ginger and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown. Add the purée (from Step 3) to the pan and stir well to combine.

5. Add the ground spices and 100ml of water to the pan and stir well to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and simmer over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the oil from the sauce has risen to the surface of the sauce.

6. Add the cooked lentils to the sauce and stir well, adding more hot water as necessary to loosen the mixture. Bring the mixture to the boil and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roughly mash half of the lentils using a potato masher. Serve hot with roti canai (paratha) or chapati.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Village Roast Duck, Bangsar Village, KL

Village Roast Duck is one of my favorite places to go for delicious roast duck (and other roast meats). We recently visited the Bangsar Village outlet together with our friends. The menu here is more extensive than the one offered at The Gardens Mall.

There was seven of us, so we ordered five dishes to share. The Deep fried salt and pepper squid (RM26.90) is one of my favorite side dishes here - nice and crispy. Just like the outlet in TGM, they serve a complimentary soup as soon as you're seated (however no free dessert (guilingao) at this outlet).

We also had a whole Cantonese-style special roast duck (RM74.80 for whole), which has been deboned for easier consumption. Everyone enjoyed this. We also ordered a Double meat platter (RM35.80), you can specify which roast meats you want - we went for roast pork (siew yuk) and BBQ pork (char siu) and they were excellent.

The Braised homemade beancurd with Honshimeiji mushroom, chinese spinach and minced pork (RM18.80) was also fantastic - it's my first time ordering this, but definitely not the last... will order this again next time. Good with rice.

My friends wanted a vegetable dish too, so we chose the Poached chinese spinach with pork stock (RM22.90) - nice enough, but ordinary and slightly overpriced IMHO.

Opening times: 11am to 10pm daily.

Price: Total bill RM240 for 7 pax, including tea.

Location: Village Roast Duck, F.8, Level 1, Bangsar Village, 1, Jalan Telawi Satu, Kuala Lumpur, Bangsar Baru, Bangsar 59100

Tel: 03 22874128

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