LENTILS WITH MEANING…THE MOTHER OF ALL DALS!

“I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.”
Pablo Picasso

Indian meals are made more meaningful with the addition of a dal/lentil on the table. This particular dal, Maa ki Dal is a very popular Indian dish, also known as ‘Dal Makhani‘, which is often ordered at restaurants, dhabas (roadside eateries) & is enjoyed for its creamy, rich flavours. I tried making it a couple of times over the past years, but with little success; that important something was always missing. Most ‘Maa ki Dal’ recipes add dollops of butter & cream, putting me off before I even attempt. Cutting corners in ‘fat’ in some recipes just doesn’t work, & it certainly didn’t in the ones I tried! When I saw this post at Jugalbandi, I knew this was the one. This dal had more meaning, more taste & lots more happening in there. Even the pictures were singing to me…& I wasn’t disappointed at all.
In fact, Maa ki Daal (‘ma’ means mother in hindi), this ‘mother of all dals as I call it, is a firm favourite now. It would show up more often if only the son would tolerate dals (& mothers’ in general) a bit more. I think one mother is enough for him….so he gives the rest a pass!! YOU MUST GO ACROSS HERE & CHECK IT OUT!!
Dal makhani is a delicacy from Punjab in India. Pulses are a highly nutritious food group comprising beans, peas and lentils, it is essentially filled with rich proteins and fiber. Traditionally this dal was cooked slowly, for hours, on charcoal. This gave it a creamier texture, made even better with fresh cream or fresh butter added to it. When cooked at home these days, more moderate amounts of cream or butter are used. When prepared in restaurants, it is cooked slowly on low heat and often has a large amount of cream and butter added, hence the ‘buttery’ taste. It is a sumptuous meal and a staple diet in Punjab and most of Northern India. It is a very good source of energy and extremely healthy if cooked in less oil/butter, & is eaten with either naan or chapatis. This dal also tastes very good the following day after reheating it properly.

I made this delicious dal a couple of weeks ago, and have held on to post it for Zlamushka’s monthly event at her Spicy Kitchen, Tried & Tasted.
To quote her, about the rocking duo @ Jugalbandi “It is my utmost pleasure to present our Bloggers Of The Month for T&T August – Jai & Bee, the Jugalbandits. Throughout their blogging period (over a year and half), this lovely Indian couple has contributed to the blogging world with lot more than just fantastic recipes and eye-feasting foodography. More than just cooks, you might know them as thinkers at Forgive Me My Nonsense blog of food non-related posts, or as artists acting behind the famous CLICK event, which monthly celebrates foods captured in pictures. But most and foremost, Jai and Bee are fighters.Not so long ago, they both lost their good friend to leukemia and thus started Jugalbandi, to advertise a healthier approach to one´s life and environment, to find balance and peace of mind, but above all to support everyone battling a disease.In this respect, when Brianna of Figs With Bri was diagnosed a breast cancer, it was these two Jugalbandits, who immediately raised a fund in their CLICK event with the theme of hope: Yellow For Bri. The target of 12 000 USD was reached in 20 days and at the very end of the month, an amazing 17 000 USD has been collected around the world to help Brianna fight this violent disease.This month, I would love to thank them for all the energy and positive thoughts they radiate and through Tried And Tasted event, I thus invite everyone out there to participate.”
Wonderful words for 2 very wonderful people. I love the way Zlamushka wrote about them; I couldn’t have done it anywhere as beautifully as she did it! I do need to say something though… Jugalbandi was my first inspiration to blog; at the time I began visiting them, I seriously didn’t have a clue about blogging!

On Bee’s suggestion, am sending this off to Susan @ Well Seasoned Cook for her My Legume Love Affair, where Susan is rolling out a second helping of the food community’s best and brightest recipes to share with like-minded bean fans. There are no restrictions nor a particular theme other than recipes must feature legumes as the central ingredient.

Maa di Dal (Slow-Cooked Creamy Black Lentils)
As taken from Jugalbandi (from 660 Curries)
1 cup whole urad dal (sabut urad)

  • To cut down cooking time, soak it overnight in lots of water.
  • Separately, soak about 1/2 cup kidney beans overnight and cook until soft. Or use 1 cup canned kidney beans – rinsed and drained.. We used red beans.
  • Mince in a food processor or by hand 1/4 cup chopped garlic (about 8 medium cloves), 2 to 4 serrano or Thai green chillies, 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • Boil the urad with1/2 cup chana dal (or use split yellow peas), the minced ginger-garlic-chilli mix, 2 each white and black cardamoms, 2 Indian bay leaves (cassia/tejpatta) or regular bay leaves, 2 cinnamon sticks (each about 3 inches long)
  • If you tie the whole spices in a muslin cloth with kitchen twine, you can take them out easily in the end.
    in six cups of water and salt on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker until the lentils are soft and fall apart. If cooking on the stovetop, skim off foam from time to time.
  • While the lentils are cooking,
  • Chop up 6 or 7 medium tomatoes and cook them down on the stove top or microwave (five minutes on HIGH partially covered) until the liquid dries up a bit and it becomes half its volume. Set aside 2/3 cup of this sauce. Or use 1 cup canned crushed canned tomatoes.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter). (If you don’t have ghee, heat regular butter for 3 minutes or so until it becomes golden and smells a bit nutty.)
  • Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add 1 cup finely chopped red onion (or shallots)
  • Fry on medium heat until brown around the edges (4 to 5 minutes)
  • Reduce the heat to medium-lo and add the tomatoes, to taste, cayenne powder to taste (about 1/2 tsp)
  • Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until some of the ghee starts to separate on the surface.
  • Add this to the cooked lentils. Add another cup of water to the pan to deglaze it and add that as well.
  • Also add 1 cup cooked kidney beans (you can coarsely mash them)1/2 cup heavy whipping cream **we used low-fat evaporated milk, plain milk works fine too.
  • Add more water if you need to. The lentils sauce should be think, not runny.
  • Let it simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Adjust seasonings and add a dash of lime if your tomatoes weren’t tart enough.
  • Let it sit for an hour for the flavours to come together. Remove the whole spices.
  • Add more ghee before serving (we didn’t), garnish with2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.
  • Serve with crusty bread or naans. Tastes better the next day.

FRANKLY SPEAKING…THESE FRANKIES ARE DARNED GOOD

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
Voltaire
Frankies served with a Sweet & Sour Mango Chutney…really experience your senses!!
The thoughts of what to make for lunch ring in the head every morning the minute I wake up. Inspiration on a daily basis is hard to come by…but this morning Meeta @ What’s For Lunch Honey came to my rescue. Have been fascinated by her post on frankies served with a mango chutney ever since I saw it served on her blog. Thoughts turned into opportunity when spicy Zlamushka @ Zlamushka’s Spicy Kitchen mailed the other day announcing WFLH was the blog in focus for this month’s Tried & Tasted.
I have bookmarked the lemon squares & the apricot pistachio ice-cream, amongst many others off Meeta’s inspiring blog. But with mangoes in every hue & colour flooding the markets, what better time to indulge & appreciate a great recipe…a finger licking good mango chutney served with these yummy paneer/cottage-cheese frankies.
Bombay Street Food at it’s best…
You must hop over to Meeta’s & read up her interesting post on Bombay street food, which these frankies form an integral part of. DH gave these a big thumbs up, & said the chutney reminded him of the one his grand mom used to make. The flavours throughout both were beautiful. THANK YOU Meeta for the wonderful post, & for bringing alive fond memories of days gone by. The recipe for the chutney & paneer / cottage cheese frankies is HERE .

Sweet, Mildly Spicy & Sour Mango Chutney…finger-licking good!

I made the chutney with a combination of 2 green mangoes & 1 ripe mango (made 1/2 the recipe), but if you don’t get green mangoes, don’t fret. The original at Meeta’s has been made just with ripe mangoes. Play around with the spices as you like…this is a great chutney to have on hand.

I made half the amount of the recipe & got 2 jars. Kept tasting it while making it…very addictive…maybe ate up half a jar doing just that. I increased the chili flakes & figured that the black pepper gave it a great flavour & an interesting dimension. Do try & make the chutney a day in advance so that it chills in the fridge overnight. YUM!!

Thank you Meeta for the wonderful experience, & Zlamushka for the opportunity to express it!

If it’s bookmarked it HAS to head to Ruth @ Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments for her ‘Bookmarked Event‘. There you go Ruth…another opportunity to cherish & treasure great recipes!

FRANKLY SPEAKING…THESE FRANKIES ARE DARNED GOOD

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
Voltaire
Frankies served with a Sweet & Sour Mango Chutney…really experience your senses!!
The thoughts of what to make for lunch ring in the head every morning the minute I wake up. Inspiration on a daily basis is hard to come by…but this morning Meeta @ What’s For Lunch Honey came to my rescue. Have been fascinated by her post on frankies served with a mango chutney ever since I saw it served on her blog. Thoughts turned into opportunity when spicy Zlamushka @ Zlamushka’s Spicy Kitchen mailed the other day announcing WFLH was the blog in focus for this month’s Tried & Tasted.
I have bookmarked the lemon squares & the apricot pistachio ice-cream, amongst many others off Meeta’s inspiring blog. But with mangoes in every hue & colour flooding the markets, what better time to indulge & appreciate a great recipe…a finger licking good mango chutney served with these yummy paneer/cottage-cheese frankies.
Bombay Street Food at it’s best…
You must hop over to Meeta’s & read up her interesting post on Bombay street food, which these frankies form an integral part of. DH gave these a big thumbs up, & said the chutney reminded him of the one his grand mom used to make. The flavours throughout both were beautiful. THANK YOU Meeta for the wonderful post, & for bringing alive fond memories of days gone by. The recipe for the chutney & paneer / cottage cheese frankies is HERE .

Sweet, Mildly Spicy & Sour Mango Chutney…finger-licking good!

I made the chutney with a combination of 2 green mangoes & 1 ripe mango (made 1/2 the recipe), but if you don’t get green mangoes, don’t fret. The original at Meeta’s has been made just with ripe mangoes. Play around with the spices as you like…this is a great chutney to have on hand.

I made half the amount of the recipe & got 2 jars. Kept tasting it while making it…very addictive…maybe ate up half a jar doing just that. I increased the chili flakes & figured that the black pepper gave it a great flavour & an interesting dimension. Do try & make the chutney a day in advance so that it chills in the fridge overnight. YUM!!

Thank you Meeta for the wonderful experience, & Zlamushka for the opportunity to express it!

If it’s bookmarked it HAS to head to Ruth @ Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments for her ‘Bookmarked Event‘. There you go Ruth…another opportunity to cherish & treasure great recipes!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...