How to make it

  • Note: Channa dal is the name for yellow Indian split peas, available at Indian specialty food shops. Regular green split peas or 4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces may be substituted for the channa dal. Gather and prepare all of your ingredients before you begin. You may substitute a scant half teaspoon of cayenne pepper for the jalepeño, adding it to the skillet with the other ground dried spices. Feel free to increase the wet (garlic, ginger, jalepeños, and onions) or dry spice quantities. Serve the curry with basmati rice.
  • 1. Heat oil in large deep skillet or soup kettle, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Crush cumin and coriander seeds in mortar and pestle, and add to skillet. Almost immediately add onion to skillet; sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • 2. Crush garlic and ginger along with pinch kosher salt in mortar and peste. Stir in crushed garlic-ginger mixture, beef, ground turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and tomatoes; cook, stirring almost constantly, until liquid evaporates, oil separates and turns orange, and spices begin to fry, 5 to 7 minutes, depending on skillet or kettle size. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until spices smell cooked, about 30 seconds longer.
  • 3. Add 2 cups water and jalapeño and season with salt; bring to simmer. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until meat is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • 4. Add Indian split peas; cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Simmer 3 minutes longer and serve.
  • Note: Six Steps to Aromatic Curry
  • 1. Cook the whole spices in the oil until the cinnamon sticks unfurl and the cloves pop, about 5 seconds. 2. Add the onion to the oil and sauté it until it is soft and translucent, until browned, or until fully caramelized, depending on the individual curry. 3. Add the spices, salt, tomatoes or yogurt, and the chicken, meat, or fish. 4. Cook until the oil separates, then continue to cook until the oil turns orange, about 5 minutes longer. 5. Add the water and cook until the meat is almost tender, about 20 to 30 minutes for the chicken or 30 to 40 minutes for the meat. 6. Add the vegetables and cook until both the meat and vegetables are fully tender, about 15 minutes longer.

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