buttery moong dal with garlic and cumin

prep time:  tbd
cook tme:  tbd
servings:  6 - 8

1 cup moong dal (split mung beans) soaked 2 hours in cold water, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 green chile - slit lengthwise
4 garlic cloves - mined
1 large shallot - diced
garam masala or red chile powder
plain basmati rice - freshly cooked

1.  put dal, turmeric and salt in a large soup pot.  add 7 cups water and bring to a gentle boil, stirring.

2.  turn heat very low and cover pot with lid slightly ajar.  check pot and stir frequently, as the dal has a tendency to boil over in the beginning.  skim off and discard any foam that rises.  cook for about 45 minutes, until quite soft.  taste and adjust salt.  for a smooth, velvety consistency, puree dal in a blender, then return to pot.  if ou prefer some texture, just beat with a whisk for a minute or two.

3.  heat ghee in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  add cumin, chile and garlic and cook until cumin is fragrant and garlic is lightly colored, about 1 minute.  add shallot and continue cooking until shallot is softened, about 1 minute more.  pour contents of skillet into pot and stir into the dal.

4.  transfer to a serving bowl or individual soup bowls.  sprinkle with a pinch of garam masala or red chile powder and/or serve with basmati rice, if desired. 

- new york times, march 2014

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