Monday, August 26, 2013

Simple everyday dal

 I have never tasted masoor dal. Hard to believe but true.  So, last week, I got a pound of dal and just fell in love with the color. Once cooked, it does not retain its coral color but I love the mushy texture of the dal, blends so well with the masala. I have seen it being pared with spinach, so I took the  safer route. Loved the outcome!

 Did you notice the cute wooden spoon, aren't you in love.  Well, got it as a gift from my mother, I think dad had got this from his travels or maybe some one gifted us this spoon. It is over 30 years old. Iis a typical Russian wooden spoon, with so called Khokhloma pattern (red and gold and black), made in Khokhloma village. Hand painted and hand crafted and it's not just  a handicraft but can be used. I really did not know much anything about the spoon, but thanks to my friend Olga, am well informed now.

Before I forget, thanks for all the encouraging comments on my previous post. I think am going to go back and start taking my sketching seriously. 

 I used home grown tomatoes, it did add to the flavor and made it extra special. 

1 cup masoor/red lentil
1 big onion finely chopped
1 medium tomato finely chopped
1/2 cup blanched spinach
1 inch ginger root
1-2 garlic clove ( optional)
2 green chillies slit
2 red chili (dry)

2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin/jeera
1/2 tsp shahi jeera/imperial cumin 
1/2 tsp kasturi methi
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala 
1/2 tsp amchur / dried mango powder
1/2 tsp jeera/cumin  powder ( roast the cumin, let it cool and powder)
salt to taste

juice of half lime
cilantro finely chopped

Wash the dal, cook using a pressure cooker or just add 3cups of water for 1 cup dal, add a pinch of turmeric, and cook over medium-low for 20 min or till the dal is cooked. If you want enhanced flavors, cook it in a crockpot/slow cooker for about 3-4 hours. When you cook in a slow cooker, first add the lentil n turmeric, after an hour of cooking add the roasted masala (gravy) and salt and let it cook for another 2 hours or less.

In a cast iron saucepan, heat the ghee, add cumin and shahi jeera, add kasturi methi and onion, roast till golden brown, add tomatoes, cook. Add the spinach,  the daal, garam masala, amchur, turmeric, cumin powder, salt, lime juice. Bring to a boil.

Garnish with cilantro and some cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Serve hot with some cumin rice.

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  1. I love dal because it's so healthy and simple-a great weekday meal! :D

  2. Dal looks so delicious and inviting. That too added with farm fresh tomatoes adds it's taste manifold. Wonderfully prepared.

  3. awesome awesome clicks Simi...loved that wooden spoon. very colourful..

  4. Looks delicious. And wonderfully presented too.

  5. with such gorgeous and scrumptious dal everyday food never gets boring and ever stays close to everyone's heart, bravo to real Indian home cooking :-)

  6. Even I do sometimes with these red lentils, masoor dal.. I love the dal made from them more than that of the one from toor dal... :) Perfect clicks!

  7. Love masoor dal... Looks yummy and mind-blowing presentation.. Also loved the cute wooden spoon.. Do visit my blog..

  8. wow like that old spoon :) always liked lighting in your photographs dear..

  9. Healthy and comforting dal..stunning clicks..

  10. Nice daal recipe and the spoon looks very unique. You got a nice space!!!

  11. Such a comfort food. The simple daal can make a day so bright.

  12. Comforting food, love this kind of simple daal very much.

  13. Simple dal is always comforting Looks delicious.

  14. Beautiful clicks! The dal looks delicious.

  15. I love dal and this looks absolutely delicious!

  16. The dal looks so comforting and delicious. The photography is amazing :)

  17. this daal is a staple in my household - I must make it atleast twice a week. The difference is that mine doesn't look like this - so rich in flavor! I didnt eat masoor daal until I moved to the states! I had only ever tried Toor Daal.
    Your photographs are just amazing - makes me want to reach in and grab some!
    Yayy for going back to sketching .. that spoon is really good.. 30 yrs old! thats a keeper for a long time.

  18. The simple every dal is the most satisfying and comforting food of all. Your dal looks appetising and the pics are lovely.

  19. How funny, I have a pot of dal on the stove right now. I love Indian lentil recipes so I'm happy to add your recipe to my growing collection. They look delicous! As for the spoon it is Russian and the funny thing is that you'll find similar ones nowadays in Russia and Ukraine. Of course those don't compare to your 30 year old one with family history.:)

  20. Such beautiful styling for a "simple" dal! Loving that Russian spoon... kitchen props and antiques are so fun to collect, especially when they have sentimental value attached. I bet those tomatoes made this all the more lovely.

  21. Lovely daal & an awesome collection of pics.. Loved it !

  22. Beautiful clicks that makes me yearn for comforting bowls of everyday dal :)

  23. being a Bengali, masoor daal is a must in my kitchen. Anything homegrown adds a special touch to whatever you cook.:)


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