Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cookery shows are therapeutic...

I just love poring over recipe books,watching cookery shows and reading food blogs . Basically anything to do with food excites. Never fails to lift up my spirits, like Maria I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so sad. Very often as I am reading through recipes I can almost visualise the dish, smell the flavor and even taste the dish. Many of the recipes( especially on Blogs) sound familiar and tend to be low on " new news" but what truly delights are the food stories, the passion of the narrator/the chef . The fact that they all love good food goes without saying. As I watch, read, surf I feel a strange sense of bonding with all those unknown humans, we are kinda connected through food.

During one such show I watched a famous chef prepare Dhuli Urad ki Daal. Dhuli Urad is used only to make Dahi vadas in my house so the title of the dish got me interested. Also reminded me of a dear friend who years back had commented : "You Easterners treat the 'daal' as a sidekick, something that is around but nobody pays much attention to( she went on to marry a Bengali but that is another story, some other time)". True, we could never quite understand how Punjabi's salivate over a meal of Rajma Chawal, I mean I too likeove Rajma but 'age bhi to bolo na', what else with it?

I have come a long way( gastroniomically for sure) and today enjoy a simple meal of freshly made garma garam rotis with a basic daal. So daals do occupy center stage now and my friend( if she is reading this blog) would be amused.

I reproduce a leaner version of Dhuli Urad Ki Daal. I particularly liked the bit about cooking it in milk( which is so unusual) and simmering/dum cooking it on low flame. Also most Daal preparations that I am familiar with are watery in their consistency, this one is a dry dish and is quite like the 'daal puri(kachori) stuffing'. Takes longer than regular Daal( which you just pressure cook and lagao tadka) but is flavorsome and delicious to taste.

Dhuli Urad ki Daal


Dhuli Urad Daal: 200 grams
2 tbsp oil ( or ghee if you are not the types to worry about clogged arteries)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder( if serving it to children I would suggest use 1/2 tsp)
2 cups milk( toned milk will do just fine)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 whole red chillies
10 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 thinly sliced onion
1 tbsp corriander
Salt to taste


  • Soak the Urad daal in water for 15/20 minutes

  • Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a non-stick pan and add the daal, fry for a few minutes.

  • Next, add turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, half a cup of water and mix well. Let it simmer for a few minutes.

  • Add the milk and let the daal cook on low flame for close to 30 minutes. Remove from stove.

  • Heat the remaining oil and add cumin seeds, once they sputter add red chillies, garlic, ginger and onion and saute for a few minutes. Add the tadka to the daal .

  • Garnish with freshly chopped corriander leaves and serve hot with chappati

This takes a long time to cook but the colour, aroma and finally the taste make it worth the wait.

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