Anjuli has been inviting me, her mom, to post on her blog. I am a little old for this sort of thing, but I will give it a shot. I certainly love her blog. I feel honored.
Ramani, Anjuli’s dad, has been bothered by spicy food lately. He grew up in Bombay, so this is not something we take casually. This is up on the level of Greek tragedy. He strongly felt that without heat there can be no flavor. Poor guy. But yesterday he had an epiphany. We created a dal with herbs, garlic and onions and he loved it. I don’t mean he sort of liked it, it was ok. I mean he loved it.
So for everyone else out there, whether you like heat or not, this is a great dal. The taste is full and clean from the herbs, fresh lemon juice and fresh coriander. We felt as satisfied as if it had been spicy. The rosemary and fresh coriander together is unique and essential to this particular taste.
Next posting I promise I will include fotos. We have to work into these things. - Weezie
Moong Dal with Rosemary, Thyme, Cumin and Lemon Serves 6 – 8
1 cup moong dal
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 Vidalia, cut in 1/4 ” dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut in 1″ dice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 4″ long sprigs fresh rosemary, de-stemmed and minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons fresh coriander, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Cook the Dal
Rinse the dal then put in a medium sized saucepan. Cover with 2 inches of water above the level of the dal. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam with a large spoon and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Add the turmeric, stir and put the lid on cocked. Let the dal cook for 20 minutes until it starts to disintegrate.
Note: If the dal looks like it is getting too thick and starting to stick, you may add water at any time, 1 cup at a time.
Turn off the heat, put the lid on tight and set aside. This dal should be about the thickness of heavy cream, although some people like it thicker.
Heat a medium sized frying pan to medium low (300 F). Add the ghee, and then the black mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Saute until the mustard seeds pop. Add the onions. Saute for 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and the salt. Cook until the tomatoes begin to soften, maybe 10 minutes. Add to the dal. Then add the rosemary and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the coriander, turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
Note: Vagar is a process of sauteing aromatics and adding to a dish. In South India it usually includes black mustard seeds.
Serve with basmati brown rice. If you are not serving 6 – 8 people, this freezes beautifully.