Delicious velvety Dhal....You absolutely have to make this....
Once your lentils have soaked, drain and rinse them well and transfer them to a pressure cooker with 1.5L of water. Cook them until they are falling apart, this should take about 3-4 whistles (depending on your pressure cooker guidelines) If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can use a sauce pan and boil them but this can take up to 4 hours for the same desired texture
Prepare the rest of the sauce by heating the vegetable oil up in a sauce pan and frying out the grated ginger and garlic until the raw aroma has been cooked off and the grated shreds begin to separate from one another. Add in the finely chopped onion and salt and fry really well so that the onions are buttery soft and golden brown, this will take a good 30 minutes
Now that we have created a caramelised base flavour to the sauce, we need to pimp the flavour back up by adding in the holy trinity paste which will create a fresh source of heat to the dish, Fry the paste in the onion mix for 3-4 minutes to cook through
Add I the powdered spices, coriander, cumin and turmeric and cook for 3-4 minutes, add in a splash of water if the pan starts to dry out slightly. Add in the tomato puree, mix well and fry for 2 minutes, then add in the chopped tomatoes and mix really well. Place a lid on the saucepan and gently simmer the sauce to allow the tomatoes to melt down to form a rich sauce base. Add in the cooked lentils and mix really well. Loosen the sauce base with water to your desired consistency, I like my dhals quite thin, so I would add in a litre of water at this stage
Add in the butter, double cream, dried fenugreek leaves, chopped coriander and garam masala. Mix really well and let the dhal slowly simmer on an extremely low flame whilst you prepare the seasoned oil
The last and final stage of the dhal is to finish it with a pungent and aromatic seasoned oil. To do this, heat the vegetable oil in a small pan, add in the cardamom pods, the cloves and cinnamon sticks, fry to release the natural and aromatic oils, add in the cumin seeds and allow to sizzle and crackle. Add in the red chilli powder and 2 slit green chillies and allow to warm through for 10-15 seconds, pour the seasoned oil on top of the dhal, scraping every last bit out. Mix well, and serve immediately with fresh naan or roti breads.