Vegetarian Meera Sudha Recipe for Malaysian Curry Dal | Malaysian food and drink

I I might have told you about the Sudha family cookbook before. It’s where we write down all the recipes my husband Hugh and I cook, love, and want to make again. The plan is to pass it on to our daughters one day. This dal made the cut. It is based on the Malaysian curry we ate on a trip to Singapore. It’s more aromatic than Indian dal, has more aromatics like lemongrass and star anise, and is as calming for cooking (all in one bowl) as it is when eating, because the coconut milk softens the edges somewhat.

Malaysian Curry

This can and should be a cheap meal, especially if you buy the ingredients from an Asian supermarket (or one online). If you buy more curry leaves and lemongrass than you need, keep them wrapped in the freezer for next time. Serve with paratha (you can buy them in the freezer section of many Asian supermarkets) or steamed rice.

to equip 5 minutes
cook 35 minutes
serve 4

3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
10 fresh (or frozen) curry leaves
1 lemon stick
2 star anise
1 large onion
Peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlicpeeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Half a teaspoon of ground turmeric
1½ tsp kashmiri chili
1½ tablespoons mashed tomatoes
300 gm red lentils
1¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 medium carrots
(150 g), peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
1 x 400 ml of coconut milk
1½ tablespoons tamarind
Crispy chili oil
for service – The Laoganma brand, widely available in large supermarkets, food stores in Southeast Asia and online, is by far my favorite

Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and once it is hot, add the curry leaves, lemongrass, and star anise and cook until the leaves are cracked. Flip the onions and cook for about six minutes until soft and translucent, then add the garlic and cook for another two minutes.

Add coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili powder, stir, then add tomato paste, lentils, salt and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the carrots and coconut milk, then fill the empty coconut milk carton twice with tap water and add that to the pan as well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes, until the dal is soft and thick and the carrots are tender. Stir in tamarind paste, then taste and adjust salt, cayenne pepper or tamarind as you see fit and serve with a spoonful of chili oil.

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