WHB: Minty Dal Two Ways

 

‘Tis the time for the hostess to do her bit! This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, this time hosted by me! It is only fit that my entry features one of my favourite herbs: mint.

I introduce you to my latest inspiration – Red Lentils Dal with Garlic and Mint (Geeli Sabut Masoor)! I was hooked as soon as I red the title of this recipe. Mint, lentils, garlic – gorgeous…. I was not disappointed: the dish was fragrant with mint and garlic, and comforting. Simple and yet interesting and different (at least to me). A dal with personality, so to say.

There are 4 main cooking stages in this recipe: 1. frying the garlic and cayenne, 2. adding the lentils and cooking them, 3. adding mint and green chilies, 4. making the tarka. Though I liked this dish, I am also suggesting another way of cooking it, to make the garlic taste more fresh, and mint more pronounced and ‘cleaner’. Read on to find out how!

IMG_8554-1

 

Whole Red Lentils with Garlic

and Mint (Geeli Sabut Masoor)

 

Madhur’s recipe:

 

SOURCE: adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘The Ultimate Curry Bible

PREPARATION TIME: 5 min

COOKING TIME: about 1 h

CUISINE: Indian

SERVES: 2 – 3

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee

2 cloves of garlic, crushed to a pulp

+ 2 cloves of garlic, sliced lengthways into 3 wide slivers

3/4 tsp cayenne pepper

185 g whole red lentils (or even brown or green lentils)

1/2 tsp turmeric (I used more, about 3/4)

1/2 tsp salt (reduced from 1 tsp, but you may want to add more)

3 – 4 tbsp finely chopped mint

4 fresh green finger chilies, sliced

1 dessert spoon ghee (Madhur uses vegetable oil).

 

METHOD:

1. Put the oil, garlic and cayenne in a pan.

2. When it starts to sizzle, stir once or twice, and add lentils, turmeric and 750 ml water. Stir, bring to boil, and reduce the heat and simmer for about 55 min or until the lentils are tender. (I talked here about the magical transformation that lentils undertake when cooking.)

3. After the lentils are nearly done, add salt, fresh chilies and mint. Stir and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

4. To make the tarka, put the ghee in a pan, and add garlic. When it starts turning golden, empty the contents of the pan into the pan with lentils, and put the lid on tight for a minute. Then, stir the dal for the flavours to combine. 

 

Notes:

Delicious. I love the fact that mint and chilies are added late so their flavour is more pronounced in the dish. Also, I substituted vegetable oil in the tarka for ghee because I love that buttery flavour of ghee.

However, I thought frying the garlic in oil at the beginning made it taste a little heavy, which is why I decided to try it this way next time. Firstly, I would skip the first stage of frying the garlic in oil (which also reduces fat content). I discovered that red lentils (masoor dal) are fantastic with turmeric, so I decided to increase the amount of turmeric used to 3/4 – 1 tsp. Also, I decided to make tarka slightly differently by heating the ghee, then adding dried red chilies and garlic, and after that quickly adding the mixture to the lentils. So here’s the new recipe, this is what I’m cooking next:

IMG_8553-2

 

 

Whole Red Lentils with Garlic

and Mint (Geeli Sabut Masoor)

 

My way:

 

SOURCE: inspired by a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘Ultimate Curry Bible

PREPARATION TIME: 5 min

COOKING TIME: about 1 h

CUISINE: Indian

SERVES: 2 – 3

 

INGREDIENTS:

185 g whole red lentils (or even brown or green lentils)

1/2 tsp turmeric (I used more, about 3/4)

1/2 tsp salt (reduced from 1 tsp, but you may want to add more)

3 – 4 tbsp finely chopped mint

4 fresh green finger chilies, sliced

1 dessert spoon ghee (Madhur uses vegetable oil).

3 cloves of garlic, sliced or chopped

3/4 tsp cayenne pepper or 3 – 4 dried red bird’s eye chilies  

 

METHOD:

1. Put the lentils, turmeric and 750 ml water into a pan. Stir, bring to boil, and reduce the heat and simmer for about 55 min or until the lentils are tender. (I talked here about the magical transformation that lentils undertake when cooking.)

2. After the lentils are done, add salt, fresh chilies and mint. Stir and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

3. To make the tarka, put the ghee in a pan, and add garlic and chilies (or  cayenne if using). When it starts turning golden, empty the contents of the pan into the pan with lentils, and put the lid on tight for a minute. Then, stir the dal for the flavours to combine. 

IMG_8553-1

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For interesting dishes with mint and coriander, try this Coconut Chicken Masala and Hariyalli Chicken! 

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19 thoughts on “WHB: Minty Dal Two Ways

  1. ooooh…this post rocks. One of my fave Indian authors, with my fave lentil & fave herb. You’ve got such an envious mint patch…mine is running WILD; but I love it. Your version of the dal is one I like better because of the reduced fat…great flavvours here. YUM!! If you cook this dal & keep it thick, try kneading it into flour & making nice dal parathas…that tastes nice too!

  2. My daughter’s favourite food is lentils, with dal being her favourite dish! I will add this to my repertoire. I love Madhur Jaffrey – I have World Vegetarian and Quick and Easy Indian. I will have to add the Curry Bible to my wish list.
    My daughter can’t eat dairy and won’t eat meat so Asian foods offer up a lot of great, flavourful vegetarian dishes for me to make her. I must remeber to use mint more often, thanks so much!

  3. Pingback: WHB - The Round-up! « Maninas: Food Matters

  4. I love mint and lentils and turmeric, so I don’t think there is any doubt I’d love this recipe. I do think your ideas are good for improvising the recipe.

  5. Pingback: Punjabi green lentil dhal – incredibly easy and incredibly tasty « Maninas: Food Matters

  6. Pingback: Andrea’s Gorgeous Tarka Dhal – The Recipe « Maninas: Food Matters

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