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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tomato dal with caramelized onions

Makes light accompaniment for anything or as lentil soup, though the Bengali in me prefers it with rice. (I had it with baked Salmon fillet and Tamarind rice last night.)

1. Pressure cook red lentils (masoor daal) with salt and turmeric powder to preferred mushiness.
2. Fry separately red chillies, mustard seeds, curry leaves, diced tomatoes in a spoonful of ghee/oil with a pinch of asafoetida & a little salt, add to the boiled dal. Mix well.
3. Slow fry (in oil/ghee) thinly sliced onions with a little sugar to caramelize them.
4. Serve the dal in bowls garnished with caramelized onions.

Caramelized onions is great for Biryani garnishing and in onions dips.

Other ideas for cooking dal (pulses/lentils)are :

  1. Red lentils with cabbage, drumsticks, peas, carrots and corn
  2. Sambar
  3. Whole green lentils with spinach (can make a salad too)
  4. Dal Makhani 
  5. Ghoogni with aloo
  6. Punjabi chole
  7. Rajma (Red kidney beans)
  8. Lobia (black eyed peas)
  9. Moong Dal with raw papaya
  10. Arhar/Toor Dal with onion, cumin, garlic, zucchini and tomatoes
    More options here

    I'm a lentil lover and though I enjoy dal makhani once in a while- I find a simple dal very satisfying. You might like reading An Exultation of Lentils [NYTimes]

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Zucchini and mushroom bake

    This is a quick vegetable recipe minus hassles for days when you don't really feel like cooking on a stove-top. Doesn't look much compared to colorful Indian cooking, but tastes great. All you need is some

    1. Olive oil/ melted butter
    2. Diced or half moon shaped zucchini
    3. Sliced / halved mushrooms
    4. Sour cream
    5. Crushed black pepper
    6. Salt
    7. Garlic powder
    You can add a couple of cloves to make it more interesting.

    Mix all together and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. You can add chicken and rosemary or your favorite herbs. Bake longer (45 mins) if you add chicken. Skip the sour cream if you like to eat light. Also, olive oil is a healthier option than butter.