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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ma Ki Dal माँ की दाल / Dal Makhni दाल मखानी ( Famous Punjabi Lentil Dish )

I learnt this dish while working as a trainee for a five star hotel in Mumbai. Till then the only time I had eaten this dish was in my college. Our batch had to prepare food for the rest of the college, including the teachers, three times a week. So , even though we prepared this dish under our trainer's guidance, it still had that taste that dishes have, when prepared by inexperienced chefs. So when I first tasted the same dish in the hotel, I was blown away. It is such a simple dish, yet it has such a multitude of tastes. The tanginess of the tomatoes, the spice of the chillies, the aroma of the garam masalas and the rich, creamy taste of the butter and cream. Add to that the slight bitter taste of the Kasuri Methi and you have the most perfect dish ever. No wonder even the most ferocious looking Punjabi goes soft in the knees, when one mentions "Maa Ki Dal". This is my version of the dish, as I have seen it prepared. Enjoy!


Whole Black Gram (Whole Urad) : 1 Cup; Chana Dal (Bengal Gram) : 1/4 Cup;

Red Kidney Beans (Rajma) : 1/4 Cup; Ginger Garlic Paste : 3 Tb;

Chopped Green Chillies : 3 no; Chopped Garlic : 1 1/2 Tb;

Chopped Onions : 2 large; Chopped Tomatoes : 300 Gms;

Toamato Puree : 3 Tb; Red Chilli Powder : 1 Tb;

Garam Masala Powder : 2 tsp; Kasuri Methi Powder : 1 tsp;

White Butter : 150 Gms; Fresh Cream : 100 ml;

Salt and Sugar: to taste; Chopped Coriander : 1 Tb.

Ghee : 1Tb; Oil : 2 Tb.

Method :

Wash, rinse and soak the black gram, kidney beans and the bengal gram overnight or for 7-8 hours. Then add 1 Tb. of ginger garlic paste and 1 Tb. ghee to this mix and pressure cook till they are overcooked. Then using the back of a wooden spoon, mash the lentils coarsely.
In a frypan, add oil and fry the chopped onions, garlic and green chillies till they are translucent. Now add the remaining ginger garlic paste(2Tb.) and saute. Then add the tomatoes anda pinch of salt and fry till the tomatoes are completely cooked and you get a saucelike consistency. Add the red chilli and garam masala powders and saute for 30 seconds.Now add the tomato puree and the mashed lentils and bring to boil. Then add the sugar and salt to taste and simmer for about 30 minutes. Don't forget to stir the dal inbetween as it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan. Now add the kasuri methi powder and finish off with butter and cream. Simmer for a further 2 minutes and remove. Garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve hot with tandoori roti or white rice.

P.S. : For some inexplicable reason, this dal tastes a lot better after a day or so in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Veg Kheema ( Spicy Cauliflower Mince )

Ingredients :

Cauliflower : 1/2 kg; Red Onions : 2-3 large;

Tomatoes : 3 large; Ginger Garlic Paste : 2 Tb;

Green Chillies : 2 no; Coriander Powder : 2 tsp;

Cumin Powder : 1 tsp; Red Chilli Powder : 1 Tb;

Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp; Garam Masala Powder : 1/2 tsp;

Kasuri Methi Powder : 1/4 tsp; Chopped Coriander : 1Tb.

Oil : 2-3 Tb; Salt and Sugar to taste.

Method :

Chop the onions, green chillies and tomatoes as finely as possible. Grate the cauliflower using the large-sized holes of a grater.
In a heavy-bottomed pan add oil. Add the chopped onions and green chillies. Saute till the onions are translucent. Then add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 30 seconds. Then add all the powdered masalas except garam masala and saute ( sprinkle some water on the masalas to keep them from burning). Then add the tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes are completely mashed. Now add the grated cauliflower and saute for a couple of minutes. Now add salt and sugar to taste and cover and cook on low flame. When it is cooked and the chopped coriander, Kasuri Methi powder and the garam masala powder and mix well. Serve hot with a roti or rice of your choice.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Green Tomato and Potato Fry

Green Tomato and Potato Fry, originally uploaded by veetraag.

I usually love making this recipe when it is raining outside. There is something very comforting about eating fried, oily, spicy food while watching the rain as it comes down in torrents. This is the only season when I don't mind eating oily food without feeling guilty afterwards. Hope this recipe gives you as much warmth as it has given me during all those wet, gloomy, rainy days.

Ingredients :

Potatoes : 4 large, Green (unripe) Tomatoes : 4 no;

Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp; Asafoetida (Hing) : 1/4 tsp;

Turmeric powder (Haldi) : 1/2 tsp; Red Chilli Powder : 2 Tb;

Oil : 4-6Tb; Salt & Sugar To Taste.

Method :

Peel and dice potatoes. Dice the green tomatoes. heat oil and add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds crackle, add the potatoes and saute till brown on all sides. Now add salt, sugar, turmeric and red chilli powder. now add the tomatoes and saute for 30 seconds. Now cover and cook for 5 - 10 minutes or till the potatoes are almost cooked. Now saute, uncovered, till there is no trace of water in the pan. Serve hot with dal-rice or parathas.