One needs a break doesnt one.. after some eureka moments as posted day before(the glutenfree steamed Naan flat bread and the regular Naan bread ).:).. so here I am after a day's break with some comfort food. Indian Daal.
Most dal soups and curries/gravies are naturally glutenfree and generally vegan if not cooked in butter or cream. Daals are an everyday staple in my house and most days I forget to take pictures. I started adding Kale and chard to the Daals lately, amps up the nutrition and tastes great too! Check out all my Daal posts here.
There are several different lentils and beans, whole or split, which we cook one type at a time or in combinations of 2-3-4 or 5.. My dad's favorite is the paanch rangi daal(5 color daal, with 5 lentil/beans).
The basic Tadka/Tempering is similar for all daals with variations in the spices used(basic: oil, spices, chili, ginger, garlic, onion, tomato) The same Daal/lentil/beans can pick up a completely different taste with different spices. Here are some changes you can make to the tempering.
-Fennel (Saunf) and Nigella (kalonji)seeds compliment each other, esp with split lentils
-Mustard and cumin seeds, or mustard and coriander seeds
-Cumin and carom(Ajwain) seeds,
-add a bay leaf and/or add cloves(Laung)
-add garam masala
-add only garlic or only ginger
-burn the garlic till it is crisp brown
-skip onions/shallots or skip tomato
-add fried onion or fried shallots or fry some fresh cilantro with the spices
There are also regional preferences, like some regions in india prefer mustard seeds in all Tadkas while my mom cannot live without some cumin. I like fennel seeds with whole lentils,(red and mung bean). and coriander, nigella and mustard in yellow lentils.
You dont need all the spices. you can use just garam masala in the tadka. Add some garam masala to hot oil, add onion and then tomato and cooked lentils!
Curry powder is a modified version of garam masala with added spices that make it not so authentic. Keep an eye out for my mom's home made garam masala which I have to remember to get from her today!
Whole Red lentil and Mung bean Daal stew with shallots and tomatoes.(Sabut Masoor aur Mung)
1/2 cup whole red lentils (masoor)
1/2 cup whole mung beans(green gram)
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2.5-3 cups of water (less for thicker stew)
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin or fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 bay leaf
1 Serrano chili pepper
5 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 inch ginger chopped
6-8 curry leaves
1/8 teaspoon asafetida(hing)
5-6 fat shallots chopped
1 medium tomato chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
chopped cilantro for garnish.
Soak the lentils for atleast 2 hours to overnight. Drain the water and keep ready.
In a pressure cooker, add the oil and heat at medium.
When the oil is hot, add mustard and cumin/fennel seeds and cover(the seeds will sputter out of the cooker).
Add in the curry leaves, asafetida(hing), coriander powder and green chili. Mix for a few seconds.
Add the ginger, garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes until shallots turn golden.
Add in the chopped tomato and turmeric powder and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes until tomato is mushy. This is the Tadka.
Add the drained and washed lentils, water and salt and pressure cook on low-medium heat for 3-4 whistles.
Let the pressure release by itself before opening. Serve hot topped with fresh cilantro.
To refresh the daal, add a fresh tadka/tempering. heat oil, add mustard and cumin seeds and some red pepper flakes and pour over the daal.
You can also pressure cook or slow cook the lentils till done and keep, and then add the tempering/tadka to it before serving, simmer for 10 minutes and serve.