Chana Massala, Tarka Dal and Homemade Pitta Bread

Whilst on holiday we decided we needed to try new food, especially when cooking at home.

I’m not very good at chopping but luckily I have a gadget that means my Ken (Kenwood) can do it for me… he’s proved he’s very handy with garlic, ginger and fresh chillies!

Following a meal at VDeep in Edinburgh last week I thought I’d try a Chana Massala and a Tarka Dal so did my usual look on Google for inspiration and mixed a couple of recipes together… like you do!

Spinach Chana Massala

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1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 cm piece of ginger finely chopped
1 red chilli finely chopped (de-seed if you prefer)
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
400g can of plum tomatoes
400g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
250ml water
Juice of half a lemon
200g baby spinach 
Salt and pepper
Finely chopped spring onions and green pumpkin seeds for decoration.

Dry fry the cumin seeds and then put aside.
Heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and heat tin onion starts to turn translucent and garlic starts to colour.
Reduce the heat and add the spices stirring well.
Add the tomatoes, chicken peas and water. Break down the tomatoes.
Bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and baby spinach and take the pan off the heat.
Serve with rice or naan bread.

Tarka Dal

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400g red lentils
2 tsp ground turmeric
25g butter
30g butter
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion finely sliced
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1-2 green chillies finely chopped
1cm of fresh ginger finely chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
Salt and pepper
Fresh coriander to decorate
Chopped pistachio nuts to decorate

Rinse the lentils, place in a saucepan and cover with water, 3cms of water more than height of lentils.
Bring to boil and skim any scum off the top.
Turn pan to a simmer and add 25g butter and the turmeric and stir.
Leave lentils to simmer for about 20 minutes.
In a frying pan dry fry the cumin seeds then put aside.
Add the remaining 30g of butter to the frying pan, fry onion, garlic, ginger and chillies until onions start to turn translucent.
Add the tomatoes for a minute stirring well then take pan off the heat.
Add the cumin seeds back into the frying pan and stir the ingredients.
Once the lentils are soft stir them well and then add the ingredients from the frying pan, stir well.
Chop fresh coriander and pistachio nuts and place on the top when serving.
Serve with rice or naan bread.

I served these two dishes with Paul Hollywood’s pitta bread recipe. I used half strong white bread flour and half strong wholemeal flour. Ken to the rescue again with his dough hook. I made four pitta bread with the mix and they were delicious and fluffy inside.

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