Saturday, February 02, 2008

Tangy sabut masoor dal

Look at that - automatic date settings on the camera cant lie after the photo's taken... so this recipe has been hanging fire since September 2007! I'd find that shameful, except that I dont. Not much.

The downside to off-the-cuff recipes is that you dont remember what you did at that point (especially if, like me, you dont write down the steps) - only the photos that you religiously took serve as a reminder. And then if, again like me, you put off typing the recipe because you think it will be inconvenient to try and remember how you did what you did - well then, you will end up with a recipe that you made four months ago and didnt get around to posting. If this was someone other than me, they'd be embarrassed. Since this is me, I'm not. (Or making an elaborate pretence of not.)

However, my memory hasnt entirely abandoned me, and I remember that his impromptu dal was DELICIOUS - tangy from the tamarind and tomatoes, rich with mustard and garlic, made with a dal I'm very fond of because it retains its shape while still being cooked to a soft texture. Everything's to love here!

So, finally, very nearly 5 months after it made its debut in my kitchen, here is the recipe, making its debut into print.

Recipe for:
Tangy sabut masoor dal


1/2 cup whole masoor dal
1 medium potato, chopped into 1-cm cubes
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp mustard seeds
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 fresh green chillies (or to taste), minced or sliced into very thin rings
2-3 medium onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped ripe tomato
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


1. Pressure-cook the dal and potatoes with just enough water to cover the dal in the pan.

Two whistles should be enough. Let the pressure come down by itself,

If cooking on the hob, make sure the dal and potatoes are cooked but not mushy. Add water as required, dont start off with too much or it'll be a waste of energy and nutrients. You should have about a cupful of water left after cooking.

2. Meanwhile, grind together the mustard seeds, garlic and cumin seeds into a powder.

It need not be very smooth.

3. In a pan, heat the oil and add the sliced chillies; fry for a minute or so, then add the sliced onions and cook them till they're soft and pale brown.

4. Add the ground mustard powder and stir it in.

Fry for 2-3 minutes more on high heat, stirring occasionally.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes along with 1/2 cup water.

Fry till the tomatoes turn soft and are breaking down.

6. Now add the cooked dal and potatoes with the remaining cooking water and stir it all in. Add enough water to make one cupful if there isnt enough cooking water.

7. Stir in the tamarind paste and salt to taste. Let the dal bubble for 5-7 minutes until the ingredients all come together and the water content reduces.

This dal should be quite thick.

8. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with chapaties or rice.


Anonymous said...

Looks good Shyam! I hear you...I have unposted recipes/pictures sitting in my folder - hopefully to which i will get to someday! Maybe u are giving me some inspiration :-)

Manasi said...

looks Yum!! I know what u mean by post lying in drafts or just pics clicked! same here! this post is like a nudge!!!

evolvingtastes said...

Whole masoor always works for me - one of the few things I loved as a child and continue to like even now just as much! It is so forgiving too, no?

bee said...

that's real comfort food.

Suganya said...

Mustard, brown lentils, potatoes? The combination is quite intriguing. I am so trying this, Shammi.

Kalai said...

Looks great! Hey, as for posting it late, we're still getting the benefits of your labor, so it's all good! Thanks. :)

Shankari said...

U have good pictures that show how you made Just final dish. So I just cant remember how I made them:)

Nupur said...

The tamarind must give this dal such an irresistible flavor!

Shyam said...

Masalamagic: Glad to be able to inspire SOMEbody! :)

Manasi: Then consider yourself nudged :)

Evolvingtastes: oh yeah! And cooks pretty quickly too.

Bee: One in a loooooooong list of comfort foods :D

Suganya: Hope you like it.

Kalai: Thank you. Makes me feel better about my laziness :D

Shankari: I've got a couple of those too. *sigh*

Nupur: Yep, the trick is to get the tamarind-tomato proportion right. (I made it again and overdid the tamarind - not such a good idea!) :)

Kamini said...

What an unusual combination of ingredients - but I love each and every one of them, so I'm sure the dish will be delicious. By the way, what mixie do you use (the one in the pictures) - is it from India?

Shyam said...

Kamini: oh yeah, my mixie is most definitely from India! :) Sumeet, what else!

Mandira said...

I love the step by step detail. I have some dal left and was thinking what to make with it. Your recipe is bookmarked for weekend :)

Dhivya said...

great recipe

Linda said...

Oh, Shammi -- I was laughing before I even got to the part about the recipe. I do this *so* often! I'm glad you posted the last-fall recipe. Now I can post my older dishes without feeling alone ;)

All that aside, you're making me want to get some whole masoor. I always hesitate at that. I love how you show the making of the masala -- I am always less timid when I see it on your blog!

Terri said...

Hey, I made this with green moong dal instead, because that's what I had in my pantry, and it came out well enough for me to try it again.

Garam Masala said...

ha ha! every good post needs a healthy gestation in the hard-disk.

This impromptu creation is something I need to try!