Tempered Dahl

Tempered Dahl

Take your vegan dahl to the next level

We often serve Indian inspired cuisine at our MoaAlm dinner table.The most warming of all, and perfect for Autumn nights is a delicious vegan pumpkin dahl. Most people have had a go at making a dahl at home, and there are hundreds of recipes on the internet, so I’m not going to waste your time with a dahl recipe. What I want to show you is how to elevate your dahl to the next flavour level with a technique called tempering.

vegan pumpkin dahl
Vegan Pumpkin Dahl at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat

Delicious Indian flavours

If you have ever eaten Indian food made in India or by a true Indian chef, you will have experienced the deep and delicious flavour combinations that, I am going to guess, you have not yet managed to achieve with your home cooking. In South Indian cuisine, this is due to a technique called tempering

What is tempering?

Tempering is the technique of frying spices to release the essential oils from the cells to enhance their flavours. These delicious flavours, along with the oil or ghee are then added to the dish. Tempering can be done at the start or the end of cooking (or both), but I think it’s easiest to start your tempering experiments by doing it at the end. 

What spices can be used to temper vegan dahl?

Depending on the flavour combination you want to achieve, you can use a range of spices. Traditionally a mix of the following are included:

  • Cumin
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds
  • Fennel seeds
  • Fresh green chillis
  • Dried red chillis
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

At MoaAlm we source all our spices from Sonnentor, a great organic supplier who guarantees fair prices and ethical working conditions for their growers. But if you are lucky enough to live in an area with a range of Bangladeshi, or INdian markets, pop in and ask if they have a ready-made tempering mix known as panch phoron.

I want to try it - How do I temper my dahl?

  1. Make dahl according to recipe
  2. Fry your chosen spices in ghee/oil
  3. Add whilst hot to the dahl, you should hear a great sizzling sound
  4. Stir through your dahl and serve immediately

I love this article in the Guardian showcasing four easy tempered dahl recipes  you can try at home.

Tempered Dahl inspiration by Lottie, chef at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat.

Why not tag us in your food photos and tempering experiments @moaalmretreat. Or join us at our vegan table for an Autumn yoga and hiking holiday here in the Alps.