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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Recipe-Indian Black lentil curry (Maah ki daal)

Did you know that the earliest records of (lacto) vegetarianism come from ancient India in the 6th century BCE.  The diet was closely connected with the idea of nonviolence towards animals (called ahimsa in India) and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers.
20%-42% of the Indian population is vegetarian. Also,  Indians who do eat meat, do so infrequently, with less than 30% consuming it regularly !!!!!!!!!
 So what is the source of proteins for us??????????
Well............here come the lentils to our rescue .We eat at least one type of lentil DAILY............yup each single day.I cant imagine having lunch or dinner without home cooked "Daal".
Today I  share a recipe of a very famous lentil which originates from the state of Punjab in India.............Maah ki Daal,or Daal Makhani which is the black lentil.
This lentil is loved enough to bring a mighty huge Punjabi to his knees for a bite from his mom's hands!!!!!!
Yup.............Maah ki Daal literally means Daal cooked by Mom!!!!!!!

This is the pic of my lunch yesterday.I am going to share recipe for all the things in the pic..............but today only the black lentil curry:)




Ingredients (enough for 4 people)

Black lentils -1.5 cups
Red kidney beans- 0.5 cups
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
Onions-4
Tomatoes-4
Brown cardamon-2
Green chillies-1
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Garam masala-1 tsp(Its an Indian mix of spices)
Turmeric-1 tsp
Fresh cream-3 tbsp
Oil-2 tbsp
Ghee (clarified butter)-1 tbsp
Butter-1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Lets start cooking

1. Soak the lentil & kidney beans together in water overnight or 6-8 hours.
2. Boil them together really well.By really well I mean till the lentil looses its shape & size...in short totally overcooked:)
.While boiling add the ginger garlic paste & 1 tbsp butter.That is the secret to the heavenly aroma of this lentil!!!!!
3.Heat oil.Add cumin seeds & let them crackle.........but not for too long,probably 20 sec else they turn black & bitter.To the hot oil add the green chilly slit from the middle & 2 brown cardamons & stir for another 20 seconds.



4.Grind 3 onions & 4 tomatoes together with a little water.This is a step where I disagree with all the chefs!!!!
Generally what Indians do is put onions and fry them ,then add tomatoes & fry ...........I see no benefit in this as frying them together does not compromise the quality or taste in any ways!!!!!!!
And yes..........I follow Nigella Lawson & I believe in taking shortcuts where I can:)
I would prefer doing something constructive in the time saved rather than standing in front of a hot stove stirring onions & THEN tomatoes;)

5.Back to the stove.............add the onion tomato paste & fry it for a good 5-8 minutes till oil starts seperating.



6. Now add  turmeric..In Indian food, the basic spices that one can find in every main course, across the length and breadth of the country are turmeric and cumin seeds.
Turmeric  is one of the strongest Antiseptics known to man. Its healing properties are beyond belief. In India, it is used in cooking without even a second thought to its medicinal properties..In the tropical climate like India, the presence of various types of bacteria and other micro-organisms makes it necessary to set up a food system that, while nourishing the body, takes care of its defense system too. Cooking methods play an important role and so do condiments and spices. There are various spices that are used across India,for this very reason:)

Now that I have given you all pearls of wisdom as to why we put so many spices;)............add a tsp of garam masala too!!!!!!!


7. Now add the boiled lentil & keep mashing it nicely.



8.Add salt Let it simmer for 10 minutes covered like this.


And NOOOOO...........I am not a salesperson or marketeer (Is that a word????) for FUTURA NONSTICK WEAR;)
I just didn't realize this while clicking the pic:)The aim of putting this pic is to tell you that when you cover the pot,add a ladle too so that the steam build up will not throw off the lid:)

9. Now whisk the  fresh cream & put in the lentil .Cream or butter is called "Makhan" in hindi  & this lentil uses plenty of butter so the name "Daal Makhani" :)
You can forget the calorie count for this meal & enjoy its truly buttery creamy taste:)


10.Transfer this to the serving dish.Take 1 tbsp clarified butter or normal butter & heat it.Add onion rings to it & stir for a few minutes & pour it over the lentil.UMMMMMMMM...............the aroma!!!!!!
Love it:)


This tastes best with parantha or roti..........the Indian flat bread.Will add the recipe for them soon:)
Enjoy!!!!!!!

1 comments:

emadethis

I want to eat this now. :) My Dad has recently gone vegan for a variety of reasons and I eat at least 2 vegetarian meals a day because I like to and feel better when I do. I will give these a go for sure! I love love love love dal! Thanks for the pictures--I never know if mine looks right.

~Elizabeth

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