Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Masala Mix Daal

The regular daal can be quite boring at times and especially if you need to make the same daals everyday with the same spicing and technique. Although there is not much that you can do with daals, there are definitely new ideas to experiment with and make this otherwise boring dish a bit more interesting and delicious. While there are many people who like their daal and cannot do without it for any meal, I do not hold a very strong liking for it and so try and experiment around it to make it more inviting. So here is one of my recent experiments with daal and I can assure you of pleasing compliments after the meal. Serve the daal with some freshly chopped onions and enhance the taste further.

1/4 cup masoor daal
1/4 cup toor daal
1/4 cup yellow moong daal
1 medium onion finely chopped
4-5 cherry tomatoes, halved (you can substitute this with regular 1 tomato chopped)
1 tbsp garlic-ginger grated
1 sprig fresh coriander, chopped
2 each of cardamom and cloves
1 bay leaf
1 1-inch piece cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds  
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 slit green chillies
A pinch of hing
1 tbsp tadka masala (ingredients given below)
Freshly chopped onions for serving
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil or ghee
1/4 cup milk

For the tadka masala
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp mace powder
1/2 inch cinnamon
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder

Wash the daals together. In a pressure cooker, take the washed daals, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and green chillies. Pour water until just about 1 inch above the daal. Add salt and turmeric and pressure cook until done (took me 4 whistles on high and 1 on low). The daal should be cooked through so that the individual daals are not noticeable. So pressure cook accordingly. 
Meanwhile, dry roast the ingredients under tadka masala and grind to a smooth powder. Keep aside.
In a pan, heat the oil or ghee and splutter the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Add the onions and fry till translucent. Now add the ginger and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue frying until soft. Put the tadka masala and fry for few more minutes until just mixed well and oil starts coming out. Now add the hing and within a minute, add the boiled daal and stir. With the back of the laddle, gently press down on the daal to mash it further. Bring the daal to a boil adding about 1/2 cup of water, in case the daal has got too thick. Now add the milk on a low flame and stir well. Lastly, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with roti/rice and freshly cut onions.

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