I have been trying to eat at Dishoom for ages but I am not a natural queuer (is that a word?) and as I never seem to be in the right place at the right time the joys of their delicacies have been denied to me. And then the stars aligned...
My good friend Buz and her man Euan had promised to buy Mr Redding and I dinner at Tom Kitchin (which was utterly delightful) and we thought this would be a good time to catch up with some of the people I was at Stirling University with - people I haven't seen for over *cough* 30 years. So we had a big enough party to book a table! O frabjous day! Between the seven of us we got through four bowls of Dishoom's trademark black dal as well as their crispy okra, squid, chicken, lots of other stuff - it was all delicious. I was very struck by the daal so began to try and find a recipe - this is my most recent version, and I thoroughly recommend it. I use a pressure cooker, a utensil I am using increasingly to cook both meat and pulses. Meat seems to retain more of its flavour whilst becoming beautifully tender and both meat and pulses take a fraction of the time. The pulses you need are Urid beans - KTC Foods do them, I bought mine in Morrisons.
200g Urid beans
Twice the amount in volume of water
Tsp. grated ginger
Tsp. grated garlic
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
Tsp. ground cumin
Tsp. ground coriander
Knob of butter
Good couple of grinds of black pepper
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil. If using a pressure cooker it will take around 25 minutes, if conventional cooking probably a good hour. Once the lentils are soft take off the heat and mash half the beans. Stir together then add another knob of butter and maybe a splash of cream before serving.
This also responds well to being stuck in a low oven for further cooking - seems to add to its unctuousness!
Last night I served this with pork with garlic, vinegar and chilli (a vindaloo) from Madhur Jaffrey and crispy fried okra.
The okra are so delicious and so easy - just mix 1/2 teaspoon each of ground coriander, ground cumin, chill powder and turmeric with a couple of tablespoons of gram flour. Cut the bhindi in four lengthwise and toss in the mixture. leave for half an hour than heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan and shallow fry in batch. The finishing touch should be a sprinkle of amchur, dried mango powder, which add an amazing tartness.