Avial With Tarka Chana Dhal


1 can (400 gram) drumsticks in brine
1 can (400 gram) sliced lotus in brine
1/2 fresh coconut, flesh and water
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
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.
For the Tarka dhal: Pick through the lentils to remove any grit. Rinse several times and strain, then soak them in ample water for 4 hours.
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.
Bring to the boil, put in the lentils amd simmer for 30 minutes, stirring as the water is absorbed. The texture should be pourable, not too thick, and not too thin.
Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a karhi or wok, and stir fry the seeds and turmeric for about 30 seconds. Add the garlic and continue to stir fry for a further minute. Add most of the tarka and the masala paste, and, when simmering, turn off the heat.
When the lentils are cooked, add the stir fry garam masala, and salt to taste, Serve garnished with the remaining tarka and the avial.




Avial is considered a crucial part of the Sadya, a feast surrounding many occasions in Malaysia.


1.0 servings


Friday, December 10, 2010 - 1:02am


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