Monday, September 12, 2011

Yellow Lentil Daal

Indian, for me, has a distinctive season, Autumn.  I don't know what it is.  Maybe it is the spices that make me think of warm spices of molasses in cookies and cinnamon in apples, pumpkin pie with all its spices.  It's not that I do not have Indian food in the summer spring and winter.  It's just that I really crave it in the Fall. 

I made this recipe and largely adapted it from KO Rasoi.  I wanted more fresh tasting so I chopped a lot of tomatoes to mix into it at the table, besides the tomatoes that are already in the dish as it cooks.  I served it with rice and really enjoyed it.   The only thing I would do differently is add cumin seeds.  I know I am not Indian and who am I to make these decisions.  But, hey, its my palette.  And my palette loves cumin. I love to inhale the smell of cumin seeds as they toast in the frying pan.  There is something absolutely captivating about that smell.  I did not have all the lentils she suggests in her recipe so I made due with what I had.  I am sure I had the basic idea of the recipe.

I used the leaves from my curry plant that I have growing in the house.  If you know how large curry plants can get then you would probably giggle at my little plant but I am proud of it.  It recently went through a transformation.  I have had it over a year.  The first year and a couple months it grew rather slowly.  I kept wondering if it was going to make it.  Then it just started turning yellow and drying up and dying.  Or so I was beginning to think.  I let it go, kept watering despite its pathetic looking exterior.  You know that little thing was regenerating itself. Little leaves began to form and it grew.  It grew at a much faster rate than before and it is pretty filled out already.  I decided to use a few leaves.  Another smell in Indian cooking that absolutely makes me swoon.

Yellow Lentil Daal
I wished I had cilantro to add to this.  If you have it, use this.

1 ½ cups urad daal
1 ½ cups mung bean daal
6 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tbsp ghee
1 star anise
1 small cinnamon stick
5-6 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
½ tsp turmeric
Salt to taste

Rinse the daals.  Place in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer beans until tender.

In a frying pan heat the gheel in a large pan and add the mustard seeds. After the begin to pop, add the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves, star anise and cinnamon. Cook until aromatic.

Add the tomatoes, turmeric and cooked daal mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt. Remove from the heat and add the coriander. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise before serving.

1 comment:

kat said...

I agree with you Indian food does sound much more appealing to me in cooler weather, funny that it comes from such a hot place.