2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves (clove the spice, not garlic)
4 black peppercorns
1 onion, sliced
1 lb. lean boneless beef, cubed (we used beef for stew)
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground ancho chile
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper/cayenne
1 tsp. crushed/ground coriander seeds
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups water
1/3 cup chana dhal (yellow split peas) or lentils
1 or 2 tomatoes quartered
1 fresh green chile (Anaheim) sliced thinly in 1- to 2-inch lengths
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1.Heat the oil in a large pan. Lower the heat slightly and add the bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns and onion. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is golden brown.
2. Add the beef, turmeric, ground chile, cayenne, ground coriander, cinnamon stick, garlic and most of the salt, and stir-fry for about 5 minutes over a medium heat.
3. Pour in 3 3/4 cups of the water and cover the pan with a lid or foil, making sure the foil does not come into contact with the food. Simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the beef is tender.
4. Put the chana dhal (yellow split peas) or lentils into a large pan with the remaining measured water and a good pinch of salt and boil for 12-15 minutes, or until the water has almost evaporated and the split peas are soft enough to be mashed. (Don’t mash them, though.) If the mixture is too thick, add up to 2/3 cups water.
5. When the beef is tender, remove the lid cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid simmered and is reduced by about half.
6. Add the cooked split peas to the beef and mix well together. Ladle into bowls or onto plates with the rice. Garnish with the tomato quarters, chile strips, chopped cilantro and serve. ENJOY!
*Our friend Kevin (who you may know because of photography genius) recommended this recipe, along with his own variations on the recipe, from Best Ever Indian Cookbook by Mridula Baljekar, Rafi Fernandez, Shehzad Husain and Manisha Kanani. The recipe is originally for lamb curry, and lamb would taste just as good (probably better!) in the dish instead of beef. We went ahead and incorporated Kevin’s changes into the recipe, so that’s the version posted here.