15 July 2008

Easiest. Dal. Ever.

Some days V and I get home from work and we're in a creative cooking mood. Other days we're thisclose to calling for pizza, but since we're trying to save money we have to think of tasty things we can make quickly. One of our favorites is nimbu dal (lemon dal). V used to get this from street vendors on his way to school sometimes, irritating his mother who had just tried to feed him a big and filling breakfast only moments before!

All you have to do is cook the dal and then garnish it to taste with a few savory toppings. We like to cook a big pot of it so that we can eat it for dinner and then have leftovers to pack for lunch for the next day. What follows is not an actual recipe, but more of a technique.

Nimbu dal

Put some moong dal into a pot with water, and cook it until the dal is very soft and as thick as you like it. Serve it in bowls with the following things on top to taste:

Minced green chiles
Red chile powder
Black salt (a small pinch usually)
Burnt cumin seeds (just roast cumin seeds in a pan until they are dark brown, then crush them up in a mortar and pestle)
Chopped cilantro and/or cilantro chutney
A little butter
A couple dashes of lemon juice

Then you can mix it all up and enjoy! I like it by itself, and my husband likes it with parathas or rotis. I don't have a picture, unfortunately, but it looks nice with all the garnishes on top before you mix them in.


Cagey said...

I agree - that looks easy. I cannot wait to try it. We need a quick, Go-To meal like this.

D. Jain said...

One thing I should mention though, if you try this: if you're not used to using black salt, be very sparing with it at first. It's got a sulfur taste that takes a little getting used to. I love it now but when my husband and I were first together I wasn't sure I liked it. That, and heeng (asafetida).