UnderGround Forums
 

Food & Wine Ground >> Cooking Indian dal at home


6/18/12 8:17 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 67553
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator
 
"Dal" is a word for lentils/beans, and there are many, many different types of dal, and even more ways to cook them.  This is one of 2 dal dishes I cook.  It is made with massod dal, which looks like this dry:



mixed 50/50 with mung/moong dal, which looks like this, dry:




6/18/12 8:28 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 67554
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator
First, the prep work.  I am making about 6-7 cups, so I will use 2 cups of the dal mix; 1 cup of masood dal and 1 cup of moong dal.   I put them in a large strainer and wash them to get dust off, and look for small stones.   

Then I chop up 2 medium/small medium red onions.  Now normally I would also chop up a head of garlic, and a 2 ounce piece of ginger root and make a ginger garlic paste in my food processor, and chop up 2 medium tomatoes, but that would take another half hour and I am impatient tonight, so I'm using store bought ginger garlic paste and canned organic diced tomatoes.  

All the ingredients assembled:

Photobucket

So that's my pressure cooker in the back, a Hawkins Futuro 5 liter cooker.  Then there is the chopped onions in the bowl, the washed dal in the strainer, jar of ginger garlic paste in the back, then the seeds: mustard, fennel, cumin, and fenugreek, and the spices: dal curry mix, garam masala, and powdered red pepper (all commercially ground and packaged).  
6/18/12 8:30 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 67555
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator
First step in cooking:  a little canola oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker, and add the seeds:


Photobucket

Put the heat on medium high until they start popping, then I mix in a pinch of the garam masala.  
6/18/12 8:31 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 67556
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator
 Once the seeds start popping, it's time to add in and fry the onions:

Photobucket

I fry them until they start to carmelize
6/18/12 8:34 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 67557
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator
 Once the onions have cooked down and started to carmelize, I add in the tomato

Photobucket

Here I used one can.   They're diced into kind of large pieces, so as it heats up I mash it with my silicone spatula. 
6/18/12 9:46 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 67558
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator
 Next add in the ginger garlic paste (2-3 tbsp), 4 tbsp dal curry mix, a tbsp of garam masala, and 1/2 tsp red pepper powder.  The red pepper is Indian red pepper, and it seems to be MUCH stronger than cayenne pepper. 1/2 tspn makes this dish vindaloo-hot.  

Photobucket


Stir it all up, then put on the lid and put it on full heat.  
6/18/12 9:49 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 67559
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator
 Once it starts venting, I turn the heat down to about 2.5 (out of 10 on my dial).  Cook for 20 minutes.  

Photobucket
that's steam coming out, there
6/18/12 9:51 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 06/18/12 10:44 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 67560
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator
 All cooked, 35 minutes later (20 minutes cooking, 15 to cool)

Photobucket

I also made quinoa. It actually tastes similar to basmati rice.
Photobucket

THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

Photobucket 
6/20/12 2:48 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Jons Forsberg
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 12472
up, and subbed for future reference ;)
6/20/12 4:25 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 67583
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator
 I just showed it to my Indian co-worker who gave me the recipe for it (which I slightly modified) and she said it looks like it came out perfect.  She also said the heat (spiceyness) is coming from the garam masala powder, that there is some hot spice in that.  I was trying to figure out why my food keep coming out so hot.  It's fine for me and my son, but others in the family don't like it that hot.  

 It was pretty good, and I like it more than Indian restaurant food because many of those places tend to have pretty sketchy health code compliance, plus they charge a ton.  At the Indian store I go to, the 2 lb bags of lentils are around $2, no matter what kind.   

I also make a version of dal makhani (black lentils and red beans) that is really good, but it uses butter and cream, so not as low fat, low cal as this dish.  It also takes more than twice as long in the pressure cooker because the dal are not split like these.  
6/20/12 4:32 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Jons Forsberg
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 12476
do you just serve that stand alone? for some reason the more I look at it I think it would be perfect with a serving of shrimp.
7/3/12 11:24 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
crobrun
15 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 3038
I may have missed it, do you add the lentils in the step where you add all the spices (after the tomatos)?
7/19/12 2:36 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 68120
 ^ yes.   But not long after, especially if I have already pureed the tomato.  If it's diced tomato I let it cook down and mash it a bit.  
7/20/12 7:48 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Bitters
28 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 4/8/08
Posts: 1612
hmm, will have to try this weekend potentially
10/30/12 9:56 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Rouge Mod
46 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 105861
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator

Nice!

10/30/12 10:54 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 02/23/14 9:30 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 69781
Mixed Martial Arts, L.L.C., Moderator

I've tweaked this a bit and only cook it on the heat for 15 minutes instead of 20 now.  The lentils come out a little more firm and less like a mush.  

11/3/12 5:45 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
MojoJojo
295 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 5/15/07
Posts: 1220
That looks delicious, have to try that sometime.
11/3/12 7:47 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Rouge Mod
46 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 105920
Mixed Martial Arts LLC, Moderator

I need a pressure cooker

2/2/14 3:55 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
TheAncestors
7 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 5/30/08
Posts: 253
For north Indian dal recipes let me recommend ghee (clarified butter) for cooking in and adding at any random point. Dal and ghee need each other and it is your duty to bring them together. If you really can't get ghee then butter will have to do. It will, er, increase the calorific value of the dish but you'll burn that by how much you'll be beating off over it.
2/23/14 9:35 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
Trust
646 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 76498
Mixed Martial Arts, L.L.C., Moderator
TheAncestors - For north Indian dal recipes let me recommend ghee (clarified butter) for cooking in and adding at any random point. Dal and ghee need each other and it is your duty to bring them together. If you really can't get ghee then butter will have to do. It will, er, increase the calorific value of the dish but you'll burn that by how much you'll be beating off over it.

lol

I will have to try ghee.  I can get it at the local Indian grocery store.  

I no longer use the pressure cooker with split lentils, only for the uraal when I make dal makhani.  I also have an immersion blender and before I add the dal, I blend the masala (onions, spices, tomato), after I have let it cook on very low temp for a while.  It comes out much better.  Once I blend it and make it a nice smooth sauce, I add the dry lentils and water, then let it cook more on low until the lentils are the right softness.   Takes about an hour and a half, but it come out pretty good.  I will try the ghee, though, and it will probably be even better.  

4/16/14 5:12 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
jaydub
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 8/14/02
Posts: 15968
I never get excited about Indian food because it always looks like goopy do do.


Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.