We eat more dal than we do sambar or rasam. This is for several reasons. The most important aspect being the ease with which it can be made and the fact that both of us love dal very much. And while we try to consume different varieties of lentils, red gram dal or toor dal is the one we relish the most. My much loved version way of eating this dal has to be Dali Saar. But I keep trying new stuff.
We had Aloo Chokha for dinner a couple of nights ago and I made this dal to go with the rice. When I make Dali Saar, I cook the ginger with the dal. This time I tried something a little different and it turned out lovely. S walked into the kitchen and said, "You've never made anything that smelled so lovely. Is this a different dal?" I was so thrilled. My food may be tasty, but it almost never gives out the kinds of aromas that I've noticed in others' cooking. Yes, there are times when I have the fragrance spread throughout the apartment, but those are few and far between.
I wanted to bake ginger snaps for Sunita's Think Spice... Think Ginger event, but I've been hardpressed for time. I spent a day in Chennai buying all sorts of things to enhance my baking skills, but I've gotten around to doing nothing at all. And this week has me busier than ever. Three weddings over a weekend is no joke, really. Given the delicate system I've been blessed with, I am scared to even think of the condition of my tummy about 48 hours from now. So, I try to make my meals outside of these weddings as simple as possible. So, baking anything exotic (or even simple) is too much to think about right now.
This dal fits very well into the menu given my craving for utterly simple food.
1 cup Toor Dal
2 Onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp Ginger, ground
1 tsp Green Chilli paste
1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
Salt to taste
Coriander Leaves for garnish
Heat the oil in a pressure pan. Add the mustard seeds. When the mustard splutters, add the asafoetida and the cumin seeds. When the cumin crackles, add the onions and fry for a few minutes. Add the ginger and chilli pastes and fry for a few minutes. Add the turmeric powder and chilli powder. Add the dal and the salt and fry for a minute. Add about 3 cups of water and cover and cook for 3-4 whistles. When done, beat the dal well and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.
As I send this to Sunita, I will also send it to Linda for this month's JFI: Toor Dal. And no Bee, I won't be able to sneak in dates or corn flakes into this. I tried very hard, but I couldn't. Do you have any ideas?