A delicious curry that my family LOVES! Goes really well with Jeera/Cumin rice or toasted bread and pickle.
First, you will need:
1 cup yellow lentils/dal (soaked overnight or at least 4 hours)
Put the lentils in a pan, add water to about 3 inches above the lentils, add 1 tsp. oil, 1 tsp. salt, quarter tsp. garlic paste. Simmer on medium heat until the lentils are soft, you can add water if necessary. This should take about 20-40 minutes. Let the lentils cool slightly, then blend to a rough paste. Set aside.
½ cup boiled and shredded meat (you can use any...chicken, beef, mutton/lamb, you can even leave out the meat)
4 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. methi/fenugreek leaves, chopped
1 green chili
½ a star anise/badiyan, broken into its petals
1 onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp. whole jeera/cumin, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, a few black pepper, 2-3 cardamom pods
½ tsp. garlic paste
1 heaped tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
½ tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. garam masala
juice of half a lemon
Heat the oil, then add the methi and the star anise pieces. Then add all the whole spices, let them splutter, and add the onion. Fry until onions are golden but not dark brown, then add the garlic paste, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder and tomato paste. Cook these on low heat for a few minutes. Now add the shredded boiled meat and stir fry on low heat for about 10 minutes. If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, you can add a bit of water.
Add the blended daal and green chili, and let it simmer on very low heat for as long as you can allow. The best thing about this dish is that the longer you cook it the more flavorful it gets. So if you have the time, let it simmer for up to an hour or more.
If you're stretched for time, just simmer until the color looks good and flavor has developed nicely. Adjust water, salt and you can sprinkle a bit of chili powder if you like. Right before turning off the heat, squeeze juice of half a lemon and sprinkle 1 tsp. garam masala. Stir and serve hot with rice or rotis!
TIP: You can boil some potatoes and add them into the curry if you like.