Saturday, March 21, 2009

Masoor Dal

I have always found Masoor Dal to be very pretty looking and extremely mysterious. A beautiful orange coloured Dal which turns golden yellow when cooked. Now, how interesting is that! Moreover, it doesn't mix and dissolve into the water so easily. This is one Dal where the water can be easily separated and can be had like a soup! Unfortunately, our most common association with Masoor Dal water is with the ones which are served in the Hospitals and I am sure after that unless and until one is on a diet or has been prescribed to take, no one would like to have it at home:(.. Well, but that should not dilute my affinity for it. It has a very different taste and with the right accompaniments, it simply tastes heavenly:).

So, here is one simple recipe which I have been cooking for ages. It is not only easy to cook but great for Indian Summers.

Masoor Dal

2 Cups of Massor Dal (or Split orange lentils)
2 Tbsp of chopped Onions
1 Tsp of Turmeric(Haldi)
1/4 Tsp of Fenugreek(Methi) seeds or 5 spices(Paanch Phoron)
2 Green Chillies
1 Tbsp Chopped Coriander leaves
1 Tbsp of Oil/Ghee

Wash the Masoor Dal in flowing water for 3 or 4 times and put the Dal along with some water in a heavy bottomed utensil. Put it on the gas and let it simmer.
Alternatively, it can be done in the pressure cooker and that is definitely a faster and more economical method(you save gas, that's why!). 5 whistles and you are ready!

Whichever method you use, once you see that the Dal looks broken and yet not completely dissolved in the water, it is ready to be tempered with the Spices and Onion.

Take another utensil and put it on the gas. Add 1 Tbsp of Oil (Or ghee) and add the chopped onions. Once the onions are a bit brown, add the Fenugreek seeds. As soon as they look a bit browner, add the Dal.

Let it simmer for a minute or two. Add the green Chillies, Turmeric and Salt. Let it boil for another 4 minutes. After that, you can put of the gas and transfer the cooked Dal in an appropriate utensil for serving. Add the Dhaniya or Coriander leaves on the top.
You can serve it with fritters (Pakoras) or with Poppadums (Papad) and hot, boiled Rice.

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