Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Indian Feast Night


On Saturday I cooked a bunch of Indian food and had some friends over for dinner. The picture above shows what we had; kheema (spicy ground meat with peas), potato bhaji, chana masala, bhindi (recipe from Jan 25th on this blog), dahl (basically yellow split pea soup) and of course basmati rice. Today I'm going to give you the dahl recipe. I'll add on some of the other recipes later.

Dahl
Makes about 8 servings

1 lb bag of yellow split peas
2 cans of chopped tomatoes drained (petite diced is best)
Juice of one lemon
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp of cumin seeds
3 or 4 red chilli's (more or less depending on heat level)
6 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp of canola oil
salt

Prepare the split peas by rinsing them a few times and looking for any impurities. Yes, sometimes there is a little stone amongst the split peas. If a stone ends up in your bowl, it can create a very painful experience. After you have completed the cleaning process, fill your pot with water (about a three to one ratio of water to split peas). Bring to a boil. It will be necessary to skim the top where impurities will show up in the form of white foam. Simmer for approximately an hour, stirring occasionally, until you can mash up the split peas. If the consistency is too thick add water, and if it's too thin boil some of the liquid off.

Once the split peas are cooked and at a consistency you like, you can start the next part of the cooking process. In a separate pan, heat up the oil; add mustard seeds, chilli's, cumin seeds and turmeric. Once the mustard seeds start to pop and sizzle, add the garlic and stir. If the oil is getting too hot, remove from heat and saute the garlic for a minute off the heat. Once the garlic has just started to brown, add the tomatoes, and stir again. Now pour a few spoonfuls of the cooked split peas into the pot, and then transfer the whole mixture into the big pot of split peas. Stir, add lemon juice and salt to taste and simmer for a few minutes.

The step with the oil is the most difficult because if you get the oil too hot it's easy to burn everything. If you burn your seeds/chilli's and/or garlic, start from scratch. If you don't, your entire pot of soup will be ruined.

Eat over rice or like soup; the choice is yours!

2 comments:

Jeff said...

Very tasty recipe, it's easy to make as long as you pay attention to the seeds!

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