Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Another dhal recipe

Yes, yesterday was Coronation Street night again and df was looking decidedly non-culinary. He was doing a bit of manly tinkering with the extraction fan in the bathroom which, I have to admit had been sounding rather like the Concorde about to take off. It looked like it was up to me to step in to the kitchen yet again. Dhal with spinach leaves, that’s what it was going to be.

Here’s my recipe:
I used toor dhal (also called split pigeon peas or yellow lentils). A cup or two of the lentils were thrown into a pot with water, half a teaspoonful or so of turmeric powder and a little oil. When the dhal was half way done I added the spinach leaves – lots of them. Don’t worry, the more the merrier, they very soon boil down.
Ah ha thought I, time to put the rice on else I’ll have to wait around for it to cook and miss the beginning of Coronation Street – a big no, no.
Done! Next I got out a small pan, added a little oil and when the oil was hot enough, I added dry red chillies (fresh green ones will do but dry red is better), some cumin seeds, some mustard seeds and when they began to splutter I put in a handful of curry leaves and a pinch or two of asafetida. Make sure the asafetida doesn’t burn. You should get a pleasant cooked smell but DON’T burn it … it tastes bitter and not very nice when overheated.
That's it! All that remains is to pour the fried stuff from the small pan into the pot that contains the dhal and spinach, boil the mixture for a minute or two and switch off. Salt … don’t forget the salt!

My piece de resistance was the crunchy fried potato that is a great accompaniment to the rice and dhal.
It’s so easy! Cut the potatoes as finely as possible. Mine were more or less 5cm long x 1cm wide x 0.2cm thick. The pieces are washed in cold water and dried in a tea towel, rubbed with salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder and deep fried till crisp. Very nice even if I say so myself. Even df, who can be very critical of my cooking, was impressed.

I wish his struggle with the fan had been as successful. It now sounds more like a helicopter!


Blogger granny p said...

I go for the Archers...But do like dhal

9:27 PM  

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