Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Daal and rice is a real Indian comfort food - and it's very good for you too! In Hindi, daal means lentil- so daal can be the raw lentils, or the cooked dish. In both the raw and cooked state, there is huge variety. A lot of people think that all lentils taste the same, but they don't! It really depends on the lentil and what you cook them with, and each region of India has their own take on daal recipes.
You can do the whole soaking and boiling thing, but I just use a pressure cooker. Oh, how I love my pressure cooker friend :)
This evening I made this daal. I made this recipe up myself so I don't really know what to call it - Punjabi Daal because it's thick..(?) Anyway, here's how I made it...
1 cup yellow split peas
1 -2 tbsp canola oil
1 chopped onion
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinammon stick
wedge of lemon
approx. 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
To make this daal first sorted and rinse the daal (lentils). Then cooked the daal, 3 cups of water and a good teaspoon of salt in a pressure cooker over low-medium heat for 1 whistle (about 10 minutes). Leave the pressure cooker to sit - the pressure will gradually release by itself in about 15-20 minutes.
NB - Never open a pressure cooker without releasing the pressure either by waiting or lifting the whistle. It can be extremely dangerous. Trust me, I learnt that the hard way about 6 years ago- daal ended up pasted to the white ceiling :(
Then fry the onion in half the oil. While it is browning add the turmeric and chilli powder. Set aside.
Next you have to fry the whole spices. I use a special Indian ladle to do so, but you could do it in a small frypan too. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for a minute, then add the cinammon stick, cloves and bay leaf. Please be careful when frying - stand back as it may spit, especially as the cloves plump up and go 'pop'. Fry for about a minute.
Carefully tip the fried spices and fried onions into the cooked daal and bring the pot to the boil and simmer for a about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add a good squeeze of lemon and mix in chopped coriander.
Serve with basmati rice, and a side of vegetables. Yum yum :)