There is a popular chutney (fusion of Indian and Soca music) song that says “Mammie baileh roti, daddy chunkay dhal.” Baileh (not sure how it is spelled to be honest) is the word Indo-Guyanese use to describe the rolling out of the dough to make a roti and chunkay is the word used for the final step in dhal making. Today I’m featuring dhal as the first recipe in a 3 part series to form one delicious meal, requested by my cousin-in-law.
Dhal goes great with rice or roti and is usually accompanied by something something (chicken, lamb, shrimp, fish) and a stewed or stir fried vegetable to form a symphony of flavors in your mouth. Okay, not sure where that “symphony of flavors” line came from, but I quite like it.
My mom taught me how to make dhal when I was 11 or 12. Back then we boiled the split peas until it was nice and soft, then we would blend everything together using a dhal gutney (again not sure how to spell this word and google is no help, but its a wooden spoon like think used in dhal making). Today, I cook my dhal in the pressure cooker and it ready in 20 mins. I use a hand held blender to blend everything up at the end of the process.
So here is my quick and easy dhal recipe.
There you have it…Dhal.
1 cup yellow split peas
6 cups water
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp chopped onions (1/2 small onion)
1 tbsp cumin powder (you can also substitute with 1/2 tbsp geera and 1/2 tbsp garam masala)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp granulated garlic (can substitute with 4 cloves garlic finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped
3 tbsp oil
In a pressure cooker, add water, split peas, curry powder, onions, cumin powder, salt and hranulated. Mix together and pressure cook on high heat for 20 minutes or when split peas is completely soft and no longer grainy. Alternatively, if you don’t have a pressure cooker you can put all the ingredients in a large stock pot and cook until the split peas is soft. It will take about 40 minutes.
Chunkay the dhal: Warm 3 tbsp. oil in a frying pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add 3 cloves finely chopped garlic and cook until the garlic is almost burnt. Add, cooked garlic along with the oil used for frying to cooked split peas. Using a hand blender, blend until garlic is completely mixed into the split peas. If you don’t have a hand blender you can blend with a whisk then, let the dhal sit for at least 30 mins and then strain with a sieve to remove the bits of burnt garlic.
Tips and Ramblings:
1. There are different ways of making dhal. I find this version to be quickest and tastiest.
2. I can’t tell the difference between dhal that has been pressure cooked and dhal that has been slow cooked.
3. Many Indo-Guyanese add pepper to their dhal. I find that there is enough spiciness in the curry powder so I don’t add any additional pepper.
4. You can definitely keep the garlic in the dhal and serve it that way. In fact, that’s how my mom makes it and how I used to eat it until I got married and my husband said how much he hated the burnt pieces of garlic.
Stay tuned for the recipes for the other two dishes shown in the pic above (bahgie and bunjal chicken).