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Recipes by Christine Manfield
21.02.2017

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

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On the Pass: Danielle Rensonnet
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Melbourne's Tomato Festival is back in 2017
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Yellow split pea and carrot dhal


Tadka is the process of tempering aromatics in oil or ghee to flavour curries.

You'll need

40 gm ginger, coarsely chopped 5 golden shallots, 4 coarsely chopped, 1 thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, 2 coarsely chopped, 1 finely chopped 80 gm ghee 2 long green chillies, thinly sliced, or to taste 2 tsp black mustard seeds, plus 1 tsp extra 2 tsp each coriander seeds and cumin seeds, coarsely crushed 2 tsp each ground turmeric and garam masala 1 tomato, coarsely chopped 1 sprig fresh curry leaves 250 gm yellow split peas 800 ml canned coconut milk 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock Juice of 2 limes, or to taste, plus extra wedges to serve 3 carrots, cut into julienne To serve: thick natural yoghurt and coriander   Tadka 60 gm ghee 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced 2 long green chillies, thinly sliced 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves

Method

  • 01
  • Process chopped ginger, chopped shallot and coarsely chopped garlic in a food processor to a paste. Heat half the ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallot mixture and chilli and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender (4-5 minutes). Add seeds and spices and fry until fragrant and mustard seeds start to pop (1-2 minutes), then add tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato breaks down (2-3 minutes). Stir in curry leaves, then add split peas, coconut milk and stock, bring to the simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until split peas break down (35-40 minutes). Stir in half the lime juice and season to taste.
  • 02
  • When the split peas are almost cooked, heat the remaining ghee in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add sliced shallot and finely chopped garlic and sauté until tender and slightly caramelised (5-6 minutes). Add carrot and toss occasionally until just tender (2-3 minutes). Stir in the remaining lime juice, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 03
  • For tadka, heat ghee in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallot and sauté until light golden (6-7 minutes). Add chilli and stir occasionally until crisp (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and add curry leaves (be careful, hot oil will spit).
  • 04
  • To serve, divide curry and carrot mixture among bowls, spoon tadka over and serve hot with yoghurt, coriander and lime wedges.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

India pale ale.

Featured in

Apr 2015

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