Avial With Tarka Chana Dhal
1 can (400 gram) drumsticks in brine
1 can (400 gram) sliced lotus in brine
2 fresh green chillies, roughly chopped (2 To 4)
1 small sour mango, skinned, stoned and chopped
50 grams (2oz) natural yoghurt
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
10 curry leaves
salt to taste
225 grams (8oz) red lentils, polished and split
4 tablespoons vegetable ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
175 grams (6oz) onion tarka
1 1/2 tablespoons curry masala paste
2 teaspoons garam masala
aromatic salt, to taste
Avial: Strain the drumsticks and the lotus, reserving the liquid. Put the coconut flesh and water, the chillies, garlic, mango flesh and yogurt in a blender and process to a paste. Add a little of the drumstick/lotus liquid if the paste is too dry.
Heat the oil in a karahi or wok. Add the seeds and turmeric and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the curry leaves and almost at once, the paste. Stir fry for about 3 minutes, then add just enough drumstick liquid to keep things mobile. You can make the dish runnier by adding water as required. Add salt to taste.
Drain and rinse the lentils, then measure an amount of water twice the volume of the drained lentils into a 2.25 litre (4 pint) saucepan.