Coming Home to Dal - JFI
We have been really slacking as far as the housekeeping business of this blog goes. Please don't mind if the place looks somewhat dusty and neglected. Now that I am back in our blogging home, let me try and put everything in order so that you can sit around comfortably and enjoy some food.
What's on the menu, you ask? Something hot, comforting, and very Indian. Okay, that's vague. How about making it simple and straight? It's dal I am talking about.
Am I thankful I didn't forget to cook for this month's Jihva For Ingredients (JFI), hosted by the versatile Sailu. She chose dal or lentils as the theme, and I have brought a bowlful for you all. What's special about it? Well, it's different from the usual Bengali dals we cook at home, with the typical cumin or paanch-phoron tempering. Inspired by a recipe from a Sindhi Cookbook I recently added to my bookself, this dal is a delight to be cooked and relished over and over again. Don't go by my word. Try it for yourself, and you will know.
Sindhi Garlic Dal (Adapted from The Essential Sindhi Cookbook by Aroona Reejsinghani)
Masoor Dal: 1 cup (heaped)
Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: A pinch
Ghee (clarified butter): 1 tablespoon
Oil: 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida: A pinch
Garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
Ginger paste: 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves: A sprig
Green chillies: 3-4, slit, lengthwise
Tomato puree: 1/2 cup
Water: 2 1/2 cups
Salt: To taste
1. Wash the dal. Soak it in water for an hour and drain.
2. In a heavy-bottomed pan put dal, turmeric, salt and water. Cook on high heat, bring to a boil and hower the heat. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, until soft.
3. Remove from heat, mash the dal and set aside.
4. In a pan heat oil and ghee and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add ginger and garlic pastes when the cumin seeds stop crackling. Stir fry for a few minutes.
5. Add tomato puree, green chillies, curry leaves. Mix well. Cook for another 5-6 minutes.
6. Add the mashed dal to the above mix. Stir well.
7. Serve hot.
I prefer to have this dal with rice, but I am sure it would go equally well with chapatis and paranthas. The garlic-curry leaves flavour blends in perfectly for this thick lentil soup. If ever there could be a living definition of comfort food, this would be it.
Let the slurping begin!