We spoke with chef Anand Varghese of Coromandel in Stamford and got some insight into his cooking inspiration. Here's what he had to say:

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Coromandel, 68 Broad St., Stamford

Q: How many years have you  worked here?

A. 8 years. Before Coromandel, he worked for Hotel JW Marriott Bangalor, Hotel Taj Bangalore and Carnival Cruise Line

Q: What is your hometown?

A: Born and raised in Kerala, India

What's your Cuisine style?

A. Indian

Q: What or who inspired the recipe you are sharing today?

A: My mom

Q: Any special tips for those who might try to make the dish?

A: Try to familiarize yourself with the spices and cook small quantities at first. You’ll get better by doing it again and again.

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Recipe: ReTadka Daal

Serves 4

1 cup masoor daal (red lentils)

½ cup moong daal (split yellow mung beans)

1 tablespoon vegetable, sunflower or canola cooking oil or ghee

1 teaspoon cumin and mustard seeds mix

8 curry leaves

2 pieces red whole dried chilli

2 slit green chillies (optional, but preferred)

1 teaspoon chopped ginger

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 medium chopped onion

1 large tomato, cut into cubes

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

3 tablespoons melted ghee (clarified butter)

Pinch chopped cilantro

Salt, to taste

Thoroughly wash the masoor and moong daal and boil it with 21/2 cups water for 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.

Heat a pan and add a tablespoon cooking oil or ghee. Once the oil is hot, temper (cook) the curry leaves, mustard and cumin seeds and chillies until the seeds crack. Add the 3 tablespoons of ghee as needed during the tempering.

Add and sauté the garlic, ginger and chopped onion till lightly brown. When it is half done, add the cubed tomatoes and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder to mixture. Pour in the cooked daal and add some water if needed. Stir well.

Add salt to taste and chopped cilantro before serving.