Friday, 8 February 2008

Comfort food

MASOOR DAL (Red lentil soup) 

A friend recently asked for a recipe using red lentils, so I made some dal, which is kind of like soup, so I could note the ingredients and proportions.  Yummy!
This recipe, though not one of our family traditionals, has become one. It's adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's Red lentil soup recipe in Indian Cooking
I love this book, and I've made almost half the recipes. I began with my mom's copy, as a 14-year-old learning how to cook (mom refused to "teach"... her advice was just watch... something i didn't have the patience for as a teen). This book gave me the skills and understanding to be able to watch my mom and understand her truncated instructions. And many years later, in NYC, I got to meet Madhur Jaffrey in person, well actually shake her hand and tell her how much I love her work! It was after a reading from Shashi Tharoor's Riot. Madhur was first an actress, before her cooking eclipsed her other talent!

Masoor Dal
Ingredients (serves 2-4)

¾ cup red lentils
2.5 cups water
½ tsp salt
2 thin slices ginger
½ tsp turmeric (scant)
1-2 tbsp butter
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp thinly sliced onion
¼ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp cayenne (or less)
1 mild green chile, (I use a deseeded jalapeno)
2-3 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Wash the lentils (I put them in a medium bowl, fill with water, rub with my fingers and then drain, and repeat 4-5 times until water is somewhat clear), and then fill with water again and let the lentils soak for about 30 minutes.

In a 2 qt or so pot, add the lentils, water, salt, ginger and turmeric. Bring to boil and then simmer on a low flame until done, about 15-20 minutes.

In a separate small frying pan, melt the butter, when hot add the cumin seeds, then onions, when onions are brown add chile and the coriander and cayenne powders, stir a few times, then add the cilantro, stir again a few times, and then pour this mixture over the lentils. Give it a good stir, and you’re done! I like to have this with rice and an Indian veggie dish. Also as a plain soup, with a squeeze of lemon.


Aamena said...

well you like her, her recipe.. whatever, fair enough! but why did you have to tell her you love her! ewww!

aisha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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