Dal Kicked up
Dal aka Lentil is part of everyday Indian meal,usually served along with rice.It is very rich source of Protein.Since most of the Indians tend to be vegetarians,it is very essential element of the Indian meal.It usually makes it appearance as just ‘Dal‘ in North Indian meals or as ‘Sambhar‘ in South Indian and on festive occasions it takes the form of ‘Dal Makhani‘ or ‘Tadka‘.In many West Indian cuisine it is also used in dessert,as well as seasoning in deep South Indians cuisines.
Being a north Indian,i grew up eating it in the simplest of form served along with rice and vegetable side dish everyday and I must tell you I did NOT like them at all.Now I love them.There are varieties of lentils popular in India unlike what I have seen here in US superstore,usually very limited.Texture,size and of course taste decides how they will be used in dishes.Not one fits all.
In our home,my husband doesn’t care for it much by itself,so I sneak it in rice !My daughter and son loves them with rice.I sometime add ‘ghee’ on the top of it !
I decided to make this dish using ‘Mung‘ lentil,deskinned.They are small and not very hardy,so they cook faster and take about the same time as rice takes,may be little more.Usually when lentils are cooked,they are seasoned with oil after that,to the very basic using cumin/mustard seeds and chili flakes.However I wanted to kick it up a notch,so this is how i made this:
|Dal Kicked up||
- 1/2 cup Yellow Mung Lentil
- 1-2 medium sized tomato
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium size onion chopped
- 1/4 Tsp Cumin seeds
- Chili flakes to taste
- pinch of Turmeric
- Handful of coriander leaves
- 1/2 Teaspoon of tamarind paste(optional)
- 1/2 Tablespoon oil
- Salt to taste
- Cook the Lentil in 2 cups of water.Add chopped tomatoes and turmeric to it.20-25 mins.
- In the last 10 mins of cooking,Add oil in a separate pan.
- Season it with cumin and chili flakes,chopped garlic when oil is hot.
- Add onion.Saute it all until onion is brown and soft.
- Add chopped Coriander leaves and Tamarind paste to it.Add cooked lentil to it.Add some water if you think it is too thick.
- Add salt to it and cook it for another 5 mins,till everything has a chance to mingle together and consistency is not too runny unless thats what you like it.Soup or Stew,your choice.