For dinner I decided to use chard leaves with sambhar (traditional Indian lentil/vegetable dish). Sambhar has many variations and people in India are very touchy about variations from their respective places. This is just my way of it and by no means to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Toor lentil (yellow split lentil):water= 1:5
Chopped banana shallot/ red onion
Whole red chilli
Urad washed lentil (don’t need to wash, it is variety of urad lentil-split without skin)
Red chilli powder
Tamarind extract (you may soak tamarind in hot water to soften the pulp and use that)
Wash and cook lentils till it’s fully cooked.
Heat oil in a pan, add carrots, drumstick, aubergine. Sauté, add green beans, tomato.
Once vegetables soften, add cooked dal. If the sambhar is too thick, add more hot water.
Add chard leaves. Cook till carrots are fully cooked.
Heat oil in a separate pan. Temper* mustard seed, whole red chilli, urad lentil, curry leaves. Add chopped shallots/red onion, sauté. Add powdered spices, sauté for 10 seconds off the flame. Add it to the lentil and vegetable mix. Simmer for 10 mins. Add few drops of tamarind extract, check seasoning.
Serve hot with steamed rice/ Idli (steamed rice dumpling) or plain white roll.
* Tempering: it’s a process extensively used in Indian cooking, where you heat the oil and add spices. Hot oil makes spices to crackle and release their flavours.
Kuldeep along with his wife runs a small café ‘Cegin Cardiff’ inside a trade union building on 1, Cathedral road. They also run an Indian street-food business ‘Ceginhalfnhalf’. You can find them on facebook or twitter as @cegincardiff or @ceginhalfnhalf