Malaysian Style Vegetable Dalcha

Zaleha Olpin from Malaysian Kitchen (and also of Masterchef fame!) has shared her recipe for this fragrant and comforting dish.

You can see also see the video of her making the recipe in our Story Highlights on Instagram.

  • 1 cup of Mung Dal
  • 2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 green chilli
  • 3 to 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup of cauliflower florets
  • 10 trimmed fine beans – cut into 2 inches lengths
  • 1 large tomato, cut into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons of ghee
  • 200 ml thick coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup tamarind juice
  • 2 to 3 cups of water (depend on how thick you want the dish to be)
  • A few stalks of coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
Spice A ( for tempering)
  • 2 medium onions (around 60 g), finely sliced
  • 2 inches cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2-star anise
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 pandan leaves, knotted
  • 2 stalks of curry leaves
  • 3 to 4 dried chillies ( you can cut into small pieces if you prefer spicier Dalcha)
Spice B (pound using pestle and mortar)
  • 3 garlic cloves (around 10 g)
  • 15g of ginger
Spice C (mix to a paste)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 1 tsp grounded poppy seed (optional)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons of curry powder
  • 1/3 cup of water
  1. Rinse the Mung Dal then transfer to a heavy based saucepan. Add enough water to cover the lentils, then add in 2 tsp of turmeric, 1 garlic clove, 2 teaspoons of oil and the green chilli. Stir to mix then bring to boil on medium heat. Once boiled, turn down the heat and simmer the dal till soft. Keep an eye on the Dal just in case it goes dry and skim off any white scum that forms.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in another large saucepan and then add in Spice A (tempering spices). Let it infuse for a few seconds then add in Spice B; stir continuously so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Once fragrant, add in Spice C and continue stirring till the curry paste is cooked and the oil has separated.
  3. Add the spice paste to the cooked dal and add in the potatoes and 2 cups of water. Bring to boil on high heat. Once boiled, turn down the heat and simmer till potatoes are half cooked. Add in the rest of the vegetables (you can use other ones, these are just the ones I like to use), coconut milk, tamarind juice and salt. Bring to boil again and simmer till vegetables are softened. If the Dal is too thick, add in the last cup of water. If you are happy with the texture of your Dalcha, leave it out.
  4. Finally, add in the coriander leaves, check for seasoning and turn the heat off.
  5. Enjoy!