Thursday, March 6, 2014
All Dalled Up
One of the most tastiest and nutritious dishes is the Indian dal.It's a healthy dose of beans ,flavored with even better for you spices.It makes a great meal on it's own with naan or as a player in a a complex Indian dinner.Best of all any bean can be used and the recipe can always be varied. David Tanis wrote about dal's benefits in his A City Kitchen column in yesterday's New York Times Wednesday Dining section.Dal,which translated means dried legume is an everyday dish in Indian cuisine, sort of like what green beans or mashed potatoes are in American cooking.To first make the dish choose the beans.Lentils and split peas are the most common choice,according to Mr. Tanis however chickpeas or fava beans can also do the trick nicely.Simmer any one of these in water and add turmeric for a bit of flavor.cooking time is only twenty minutes and you can leave it to pursue other kitchen prep chores.Another suggestion from Mr. Tanis is buying a pressure cooker if you fall in love with the dish and plan to make it often. Dal is basically a blank canvas, waiting top be livened up.Most cooks add a cornucopia of spices sizzled in ghee ,the clarified Indian butter?Mustard and fennel seeds can be added for zing but also coriander can be sprinkled in.Chop in garlic and onions in the hot butter until they are lightly browned.Add chiles to this for the characteristic bite of Indian food. Also texture is key in making this dish as well.It. The perfect dal should be soft and thick, collapsing in a rough purée.If you want a more velvety, creamier texture, put it through the blender .Some prefer the mixture a bit more chunkier, if that's the case then just use a whisk.Dal can accompany braised lamb or roasted chicken or just served with basmati rice and plain yogurt. Dal is a tasty ,quick and nutritious dish that can be the star or the side.It's an easy dish ,using only a few ingredients .Enjoy it for a change from the ordinary, if you're craving something different.