This is one of the best dals I have ever made or eaten & also one of the simplest recipes to cook. For most Indians, dal and rice with a little drop of ghee is their comfort food. And a dal like this is just the perfect one for me. It has a very creamy, smooth texture to it and takes the everyday dal a notch higher. I found this recipe in the cookbook a few months back. I intended to include a pic of the book and a little about the author and the book itself. But I have stayed away from blogging long enough to have erased any memory of the book, even its name ! I tried looking it up on the library's website but with no success :-( Will let you guys know the moment I get a chance to visit the place myself.
I tried the search one more time and found the book !! Here it is Secrets of an Indian kitchen. The author, Mridula Baljekar, is UK based and you can read more about her on her website here. The contents of this book are categorized by way of cooking methods like: Baghar/seasoning; Bhuna/stir frying; Dum/steaming; Korma/braising. She explains each method carefully before going into the actual recipes. The recipes have very detailed instructions, with an intro to each. She has also included helpful substitutions and tips where ever needed.There are also 'things to watch out for' kind of notes here and there, the utensils/equipment required etc., which I think is very thoughtful. This is all I can remember about the book, I just browsed through it a couple of times and found a very good number of recipes interesting. I dint get around to trying many though, and had to return the book early. Do look for this book in your local library !
I have made this one about 3-4 times, the second time being the very next day :-), Yes, thats how good it is. Onto the recipe without anymore delay. This is more from my memory, and I am not sure if it is exactly how the book states it, but is definitely very closeeeee.... :D The ingredients in the tadka do look simple and might seem too little, but don't add anything more and enjoy the simplicity of the dish.
- 1 nos - small Onion, chopped and sauted in a little butter
- 1 1/2 cups - Toor dal/Masoor dal, washed thoroughly
- 1 tsp - Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp - Chilli powder
- 1 nos - Tomato, medium sized, chopped - if using canned diced tomatoes, I recommend you add them to the dal above and pressure cook since they are not as tender and take a longer time to cook
- 1 tsp - Garam masala
- 1 Tbsp - Yogurt - THE most important ingredient
- Salt to taste
For the seasoning/tadka:
- 1/2 Tbsp - Ghee/butter - stay away from oil for this one, I promise you will not regret :-)
- 1 1/2 tsp - Jeera/Cumin seeds
- 2 small Green chillies, finely chopped - or as per taste
- 2 big cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
- Saute the onions in a little butter in the pressure pan and then add dal, 3.5 cups water and the rest of the ingredients to it and cook. Masoor dal was recommended in the book.
- Once the steam from the pressure cooker dies down, open it carefully and set it on medium heat on the stove top. Add in the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.
- Next add your favorite garam masala and the yogurt and stir them in. Turn down the heat a bit right before you add the yogurt, just to be careful of avoiding it from breaking up. The yoghurt makes the dal creamy and rich, which I think is the best part of it.
- While the dal is simmering, get the tadka ready. Heat some butter/ghee in a small pan, once it is hot, add the cumin seeds, green chilles and garlic. Just as the garlic starts to brown add it to the dal, turn off the heat on it and close with a lid.
- The author's tip : Open the lid and mix in the tadka right before serving or at the table. The whiff of the aroma when you open the lid will bring out all the hunger in you and satisfy you even before you dig into it :) And she is so true in saying so.
- Garnish with coriander leaves if you can hold yourself even after the smell hits you :P. Serve with hot rice or chapatis.
~~ I have been away for a long time, and have no exact reason for it. I thank all of you who continued to visit here and also sent me emails, left comments inquiring if all was well. Thank You !! It was really wonderful to read your messages. A very special thank you to Kanchana, Nabeela, Jaya, Hema, Sharmi :) I am doing well & just got caught up with things. I am done with my courses at school and on the look out for jobs right now. I got just bogged down by the slow results and lost the mood for blogging. I have been cooking and blog-surfing all this while, but just could not get myself to post. But now, I think it does'nt make any sense by not posting as the photos are just piling up and I am starting to forget the recipes already !! :D