Monday, September 6, 2010

Tadka Dal

I do like Indian food, but we often buy the premade packets of sauce from the Asian market. Indian food can involve a lot of spices, some that are hard to find. My husband definitely had to hit the Asian market for this recipe. He even had to go to an Indian market for the last ingredient. It wasn't a terribly hard recipe--especially since we got to use the pressure cooker. The directions on this recipe were a little confusing on the pressure cooker part. Ours doesn't do a whistling thing like is described. So we waited until the cooker started going and let it cook for a while. It was definitely mushy when it was done. It's supposed to be mushy. The recipe that I linked has some links that describe some of the weirder ingredients. If you are adventurous enough to make this, you will probably need it.

1 cup Toor or Tuvar Daal --mine was actually labeled Moong

1 large tomato cut into cubes
1 tsp ginger paste (we just used minced ginger)
1 tsp garlic paste (we used minced garlic)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsps melted ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp Paanch Phoran (see recipe below)
10 curry leaves
2 slit green chillies (optional but preferred)
1/2 tsp asafetida powder
Thoroughly wash the Daal and put into a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of water to it. Now add the chopped tomato, ginger, garlic pastes, salt to taste, 1 tbsp of cooking oil and turmeric powder to it. Stir well.

Cover the pressure cooker and set on the stove at a high flame. After the first 'whistle'/ pressure release, reduce the flame to simmer and cook for 2 more 'whistles'/ pressure releases. Turn off the fire and release the pressure from the cooker. Now open the pressure cooker and stir the boiled lentils well to blend into a smooth soup-like consistency. If it is too thick, add some warm water and stir till the consistency is right. Heat the Daal through again. It shoudl be piping hot before you carry out the next step in the recipe.

Heat the ghee on a medium flame, in a small pan till hot. Now add the Paanch Phoran and fry till spluttering stops. Add the curry leaves and green chillies and cook till spluttering stops. Turn off the fire and add the asafetida powder. Stir to mix well and add this tempering mix to the boiled lentil mixture. It will sizzle and might splutter a bit, so be careful when you do this. Stir well.

Serve with plain boiled rice.


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