Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Dal Tadka

A rainy evening and bhindi-fry for dinner. No way it could go with sorpotel.  I prefer veg at nights and the thought wafted before me - 'Why don't I cook some dal?' The dish has always been a favourite for me ever since I gorged on it on lonely nights in wintry Delhi. I used to even make it on Sundays in my one room barsati in Sheikh Sarai. I love a home-cooked meal. And when I cooked it myself the joy was even greater. It was nothing less than a creative act. The sustenance it provided cast a halo around my day.

I haven't cooked for years. So when I did the dal tadka for dinner today I was jubilant. It was a totally different experience with my 3 year old son helping out dashing this way and that in the kitchen to proffer me the ingredients. As I watched all take a second helping I thanked my stars I had not lost my touch. At a pinch I could save the day with dal.

Ever since my articles began appearing in the Weekender I used to file the 'A la Carte' page of recipes hoping to cook those dishes sometime -- only to languish for years. Till a few hours back. The confidence it has instilled in me is terrific and I am raring to go for my next dish! With freshly-made rotis I was in seventh heaven.

Here's the recipe that inspired me:                          

Dal Tadka

Preparation time 45 mins; 7.15 p.m.-8 p.m.

1 cup toor dal
1 tomato chopped
Pinch of turmeric powder
Pinch of asafoetida
Pinch of sugar / jaggery
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves chopped

For tempering / tadka
1/4 cup onions finely chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp jeera
3-4 dry red chillies halved
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp oil

-Cook dal tomatoes and turmeric powder with 3 cups of water in a vessel.
-Heat oil in a pan and add ingredients for tempering. Once the mustard seeds start to pop and the onions turn transparent add the cooked dal.
-Add salt, asafoetida, and sugar and mix well. If dal too thick add water, if watery let it simmer.
-Garnish with coriander leaves.
Recipe featured in Gomantak Times Weekender, Panjim, 4 May 2014; pix source foodviva(dot)com

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