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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mah Ki Dal (whole black gram)

During my recent trip to my favorite spice shop, where I was able to stock up on curry leaves, I purchased 2 different types of dal I had never used before: Urad and Masoor.  I seriously thought Masoor was coral lentils, but no, they are reddish brown.  I shall test them soon.  It's the Urad that intrigued me.  It comes whole with or without skin, and split with or without skin.  I wasn't going to buy 4kg of urad dal so I decided to test them whole with skin.  The shiny little beans just make me go nuts.
Shortly after my purchase, I left town for business...and during my leave, for each and every meal I had I thought to myself how I would much rather be eating urad dal.
I got home today and immediately soaked 1 cup of my beloved urad while hoping they didn't have to soak overnight to cook because I had waited long enough.. I want them NOW.
Luckily, NOW is precicely what I achieved, since this recipe is so quickly put together, especially if you gather all your ingredients in one place. (ahem)
Serves 4 as a main
1 cup whole urad (black gram) washed and soaked at least 30 minutes
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin (kala jeera) seeds
1 chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, grated
1 inch ginger, grated
1 chopped green chili (I used 2 dried red)
2 tomatoes, puréed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
4 cups water
drizzle of cream (optional if vegan)
salt to taste
1.  Chop and prepare all your ingredients while your lentils are soaking.
2.  In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and sizzle the cumin seeds.
3.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.
4.  Add the ginger, garlic, and chopped chili.  Cook until the raw ginger smell goes away, about 2-3 minutes.
5.  Add the puréed tomatoes.  Stir well and cook until it starts to bubble about.
6.  Add the powdered spices and stir to incorporate.
7.  Drain the dal and add it along with 4 cups of water.  Close the pressure cooker and cook for 20 minutes under pressure.
8.  Open and check the dal for tenderness.  They should be creamy when you bite into them.  MmmMmm!  Add salt if needed.  Mine didn't need any.

Serve with a drizzle of fresh cream if you want.  I mostly did it for the picture, but it does add a little something.

Lighter than dal mahkani, this urad dal is giving me large amounts of pleasure with each bite.  I only used a drizzle of oil and as opposed to copious amounts of ghee and cream.
They say it's even better the next day.  In that case, I can't wait til tomorrow!
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