Urad Dal Masala

If you go to an  Indian grocery store you will see that urad dal is available in three types:
1) Whole urad dal which is black
2) Split urad dal which is black and white
3) Split and washed urad dal which is white.

In today’s recipe I used the 3rd type also known as ‘white lentil’. In Indian cuisine it is generally used to make a dry dal masala dish, unlike most dal dishes which are quite liquidy in consistency. I was never the biggest fan of this dish as a kid but I’ve got older I’ve oddly grown to love it. The thing that I love about cooking this dal is that it’s so simple to make-you don’t need a pressure cooker. You won’t find this dish at any Indian restaurant but it’s regularly made in the Sawhney household!  Check out the recipe and try out this authentic dal dish for yourself 🙂

Serves 4

What we need:

For dahl:
250g split washed urad dal (white in colour)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
For Masala:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida powder (hing)
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 large fresh tomatoes
1 tsp tomato puree
4 mushrooms, diced (optional)
1/2 green or red chilli, finely diced (optional)
1/2 cup of fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam maslala
Pinch paprika powder

How we do:

  • Soak the dal in water for 2-4 hours.
  • In a pot, add the dal and add water so it is approx 2″ above the dal. Add salt and turmeric powder. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the dal becomes soft. If there is any excess water, drain it.
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and asafoetida powder. When they begin to sizzle, add the onion and fresh chilli. Mix well and cook until golden brown.
  • Add the garlic and ginger. Cook four a couple minutes and add the salt, garam masala and paprika powder. Add the tomatos and puree. Mix and cook for a  few minutes. Now add the mushrooms and stir.
  • Once the oil begins to separate from the masala, add the dal and mix well for 2-3 minutes. Add the coriander.
  • BALLE BALLE! You’re good to go. Best served with hot chappatis.

Khichdi-Indian Comfort Food

Kichdi (pronounced kichery) is an Indian rice dish made from rice and lentils. It is commonly considered to be India’s comfort food and it’s probably one of the quickest Indian meals to make. For being so simple I find it surprising at how tasty it turns out everytime its made. Read on:

Serves 2

What we need:

2 tbsp butter
1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
1 black cardomom
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 cup rice, washed
1/2 cup of moong dahl, washed
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
2 tsp salt
5 cups water

How we do:

  • Heat a pressure cooker and add the butter
  • Add the cumin seeds and cardomom. When begins to sizzle, add the ginger
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes until light golden
  • Add the rice, dahl and water. You can also pop in the salt and haldi
  • Taste the water to see if it has enough/too much salt. Adjust accordingly
  • Mix everything together
  • Close the pressure cooker. Cook on high heat and let the pressure build.
  • Once it does, reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes
  • Now, remove from heat and let it to cool on its own allowing all the steam to escape. Then carefully open the lid.
  • NOTE: If you do not have a pressure cooker, follow the above steps using a pan and once everything is mixed together let it cook on medium heat for 20 minutes until dahl and rice are very soft.
  • BALLE BALLE! You’re done. Best served with yogurt, diced cucumbers and tomatoes and a sprinkle of coriandor. Oo and mango pickle!