Malaysian Indian Dalcha

(Serves 4)

2 tablespoons cashew nuts, chopped
2 tablespoons almonds, chopped and blanched
5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 inches piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
350 grams toor dal
150 grams channa dal
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 stick cinnamon
6 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
6 cloves
1 teaspoon pepper powder
250 grams onions, thinly sliced
50 grams mint
200 grams pumpkin/kaddu, cut into chunks
1 big aubergine/brinjal, peeled and cut into chunks
500 grams potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
200 ml coconut milk
1 tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons thick tamarind paste
1-3 green chilies, slit diagonally
1-2 teaspoons salt


Soak nuts in 200 ml water overnight. Blend in liquidiser till smooth. Keep aside.
Similarly blend garlic and ginger with 2 tablespoons of water. Keep aside.
Grind coriander, cumin and fennel finely. Keep aside.
Wash dals together and drain. Bring to boil with 7 cups of water skimming off scum.
Add turmeric. Stir. Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer till done. Keep aside.
Heat oil. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and pepper. Sauté. Add onion, sauté till brown. Add mint. Sauté.
Add pumpkin, aubergine and potato and stir for 2 minutes.
Add garlic and ginger paste and stir for 1 minute.
Add cooked dal, coconut milk, 2 cups water, ground spices and salt and simmer with partially covered lid for 30 minutes.
Add nut paste, tomato, tamarind paste and chilies and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
The final consistency should be quite thick.

Serve with rice.