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Cooking with Dal (a guest post!)

Instead of writing my own post tonight, I’m making this banana bread and soaking up a post-yoga glow. (And will soon be soaking up buttery banana walnut goodness.) So I’m turning the blog reins over to Anjali from The Picky Eater for a guest post. Remember when I said that there are all kinds of lentils/dal? Well Anjali is here to educate us on a few varieties! Enjoy!

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Hi Everyone! My name is Anjali Shah and I blog over at The Picky Eater, where I chronicle my adventures in making healthy recipes that my “fast food loving husband” will enjoy – so all of my recipes are “husband approved”! 🙂 I’m so excited to be contributing to Teri’s blog – when I saw her post on Indian Dal, it brought me back to memories of eating home cooked Indian food during my childhood. I was born in the Bay Area, but my parents are both from India, so we’d always make traditional Indian meals for dinner at home.

My dad in particular is an amazing cook. I still go to his house for dinner regularly, mainly because it’s fun to hang out with my dad but also because I get to eat his gourmet meals. One thing my dad loves to do is make different types of Dal. Dal is basically stewed lentils, but there are so many different kinds of Indian lentils & beans: Moong, Toor, Green Lentils, Chana, etc. that you can get pretty creative with your Dal recipes!

Here are two of my favorite Dal recipes, for those who are willing to venture into the Indian store and pick out some unique lentil combinations 🙂 

The only note on these recipes is my dad’s “measurements” are super old-school — in that, there aren’t any. What I’ve found works well is to just play around with the spices and taste as you go. The recipes are really easy so you can’t totally mess them up.

I hope you enjoy them!

Recipe #1: Moong and Toor Dal

What are Moong & Toor dal? Moong dal is basically mung beans that have been skinned and split, so they’re flat, yellow, and quick cooking. They look like this before they’re cooked:

lentils-moong.jpg

Whole toor lentils are yellow with tan jackets, but they’re usually sold skinned and split. They have a mild, nutty flavor, and they’re sometimes sold with an oily coating, which you should rinse off. They look like this:

tur.jpg

And after they’re cooked, they look like this!

So how do you make those dried moong beans become a creamy delicious soupy treat? Here’s how:

The ingredients: 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup Moong and 1/4 cup Toor Dal, equal parts Mustard seeds, Cumin seeds and Turmeric; a pinch of Hing (asafetida), a pinch of Cayenne pepper, Salt & Brown sugar (gud) to taste, 3-4 pieces Dried kokam fruit (you can get this at the Indian store, or try dried sour plums), Cilantro

The directions: Cook the dal in the pressure cooker. Once the dal is done, fry the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric and hing in 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Put the spice mixture into the dal and stir until combined. Add the cayenne, salt, brown sugar and kokam fruit and heat through. Sprinkle cilantro in at the end.

 Recipe #2: Whole Green Moong Dal

Whole moong beans are sprouted and prepared from dried moong beans. They’re green and they look like this:

sproutedpesalu1.jpg

When they’re done cooking, they look like this!


Here is the recipe: 

The ingredients: 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup Whole Moong Dal, equal parts Mustard seeds, Cumin seeds & Hing (asafetida); Turmeric, pinch of Cayenne pepper, Salt, Masala (Curry Powder) & Brown sugar (gud) to taste, 3-4 pieces Dried kokam fruit (you can get this at the Indian store, or try dried sour plums), Cilantro

The directions: Cook the dal in the pressure cooker. Once the dal is done, fry the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric and hing in 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Put the spice mixture into the dal and stir until combined. Add the cayenne, salt, masala, brown sugar and kokam fruit and heat through. Sprinkle cilantro in at the end.

 

dried dal picture sources: Dried Moong Dal / Dried Toor Dal / Sprouted Moong Dal 
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Thank you so much Anjali for sharing these recipes! (If you want to find more of her recipes, you can find Anjali on TwitterFacebookPintrest and Google+. And her blog, obviously!)

Raise your hand if you are craving Indian food now!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife
    at

    Mmmm I LOVE Indian food–so this all sounds awesome. Thank YOU for the guest post from all of us 🙂

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