Holiday Curry with Dhal and Flatbread

7 May 2015

This sublime recipe "Holiday Curry with Dhal and Simple Flatbread" is created by Stephanie Alexander, a Restaurateur and author of cook books.

Stephanie Alexander+39s Holiday Curry with Dhal and FlatbreadFor decades, Stephanie is a leader in the Australian food industry as well as being the instrumental force in the development of an Australian food movement and the many festivals and special events that has spawned across Australia.

For generations, Stephanie has also been a teacher of chefs and now also children through a gardening and cooking program she initiated at inner-Melbourne and coastal schools.

She has written a number of books, and contributes regular articles to the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Holiday curry

(Serves 6)


  • 1kg oyster blade
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 x 6cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Krush
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 can tomatoes, chopped
  • salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 100ml coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Slice meat 3cm thick and cut each slice into big chunks. Heat oil in a heavy-based pot and saute onion, ginger and garlic, stirring until the onion is very soft.
  3. Add the curry paste, spice mix and the cinnamon stick and cook for a minute or two.
  4. Add the meat, stir to mix well and then add the tomatoes, some salt and just enough water to nearly cover the meat (be conservative). Cover and cook in the oven for 90 minutes.
  5. Take the pot out, give a big stir, add the lemon juice and the coconut milk and stir again. Check for salt.
  6. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is quite tender but still holding its shape.
  7. Serve with dhal, flatbread and possibly a raita made with grated cucumber stirred into thick yoghurt.


Simple flatbread

(Makes 8-10)


  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling


  1. Dissolve the salt in the warm water and add the oil.
  2. Place flour in the bowl of an electric mixer or a food processor and with motor running gradually add the water. Keep mixing until dough looks smooth.
  3. Tip dough into a dry bowl, cover with a dry cloth and leave for 30 minutes.
  4. Break off small pieces of dough about the size of a small egg.
  5. Preheat a heavy-based frying pan on the stove (even better if you have two pans).
  6. Dust work bench with flour and roll each ball of dough very thinly. As each ball is rolled slap it into the hot frying pan. Cook for about 3 minutes. The dough will bubble and puff a little. Flip the flatbread to cook the other side. The cooked side will have brown spots and blisters. After 2-3 minutes remove flatbread and keep warm in a tea towel. Repeat.


Lentil dhal

(Serves 6)


  • 200g split red lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 x 5cm piece fresh ginger
  • 1 hot chilli
  • 1/2 bunch coriander
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp butter


  1. Soak lentils in cold water for 5 minutes.
  2. Chop garlic, ginger and chilli, and combine in a small bowl.
  3. Chop half of the coriander and set aside.
  4. Drain lentils. Place in a heavy-based saucepan with 3 cups water, the contents of the garlic bowl, a pinch of salt and the turmeric. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
  5. When lentils are completely soft and collapsed remove pot from the heat. Cool a few minutes then stir in the coriander.
  6. Tip dhal into a wide serving bowl.
  7. In a small frying pan heat the mustard seeds with the butter, stirring. When the seeds start to pop, quickly pour over the surface of the dhal. Garnish with the rest of the coriander. (The dhal thickens as it cools.)
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