Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Darbari Dal

Darbari Dal
Recently, dals have been my saviour considering life is getting more and more demanding and tiring. As always, I stick to cooking fresh food everyday and eating hot meal atleast for dinner. It usually is roti and a side dish. The only down side with dal, as I see it is that it is not always rich in vegetables. Having said that, dal itself is one of your five a day food so very well having them everyday. I like to add atleast onion and tomatoes to them to make their nutritive value better. Half an onion is part of one of five a day vegetables, so that is easy. Most of the times, I also add other vegetables like courgettes, green papaya, ash gourd, ridge gourd etc. One evening though, I was a bit bored of all of these and decided to try something from Tarla Dalal’s website and what a brilliant attempt it was! I tried darbari dal and was a bit sceptical about the result because it did not look like there was anything out of the ordinary in it. I was very wrong, the innocent lentils literally transformed to flavour bombs. In addition to the ground  masala, what I learned from this dish was what a spoon of milk and yogurt could do to an ordinary dal. Infact, I have made this practise common now and add a dash of both to most dals I make. Do not over do, else the dal will start tasting like payasam (dessert), learn from my experience!! The original recipe calls for cream but I used milk and still it was great. This dish is fit for special occasions as well and not just a mundane evening. Here is the recipe…

1/3 cup  masoor dal
1/3 cup moong dal
2 tbsp toovar dal
1 tbsp ghee
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
3 green chillies slit
1/2 tbsp ginger paste
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
2 tbsp yogurt, beaten
2 tbsp milk

1 tsp cumin seeds
Cooking oil

Heat a pressure pan, add some ghee and some oil, heat and add cumin seeds, followed by onions, ginger paste, dried fenugreek leaves and green chillies

Saute until onion begins to change colour and add tomatoes and all spice powder and salt and sauté for 3-5 minutes so raw smell goes away

Add rinsed and drained dal, two glasses of water and pressure cook for about 4 whistles

Open the pressure pan and add milk and yogurt and bring to boil

Garnish with some coriander leaves and serve hot

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Nutella Pinwheel Biscuit

Nutella Pinwheel Biscuit
It is customary to take some gift when you visit people in their house but I do not find it particularly easy buying something especially if we barely know our host. You never know if they will like it, if it will be useful, if it is appropriate etc. and for that reason I have started resorting to home-made gifts, especially edible ones! Just gobble it, like it or leave it. On one such occasion, I decided to make a variety of biscuits to make an assorted biscuit box. One of the varieties was this pin-wheel biscuit. It is actually very easy to make it, although you may not believe me until you read the recipe. It can be a bit misleading as it appears quite small before it goes into the oven but grows inside, thanks to all the butter and rising agent. So make sure you leave enough gap between them while placing on the tray. Here is a simple yet delightful biscuit.
1 ¼ cup flour
½ cup butter
¼ teaspoon soda bicarbonate
3-4 tablespoon nutella
½ cup sugar

Cream together the sugar and butter

Add the flour and soda bicarb and make a soft dough

Roll it into a disc about 5 mm thick and spread the nutella. I placed this on cling film and rolled flat so it becomes easy to roll it up.

Roll it up and refrigerate

Cut into about 5-7mm thick discs and place it on lined baking tray, atleast an inch apart.

Bake at 170degC for about 8-10 minutes, until sides become light brown.

Cool completely and store in air tight container