Recipe: Urad Dal with Yogurt
Yield: 4 Servings
1/2 ts Garlic chutney (see below)
1 c Urad dal 5 c Water 1 c Plain yogurt 1/4 ts Turmeric powder 1 ts Salt 2 ts Fresh lemon juice Fresh coriander leaves -- (optional)
1 Clove garlic; very finely -- chopped
1/2 ts Cayenne
1/8 ts Coriander powder
1/8 ts Cumin powder
This is in response to requests I've seen here from time to time. The following recipes are from _Flavors of India: Recipes from the Vegetarian Hindu Cuisine_, by Shanta N. Sacharoff, reprinted without permission. Comments in parentheses are mine, and I've paraphrased some portions. I've tried these and several other recipes from this book & highly recommend it!
These dals are great served with rice or one of the Indian breads, and adding a good hot curry and several condiments almost makes a feast! My favorite condiments are mango chutney (which comes preserved in a jar like jam) and cucumber raita (beat 1 c, plain yogurt with a fork and add a diced, peeled cucumber, 1/4 t. salt, couple pinches cayenne and maybe some coriander or mustard powder -- should be cooling rather than spicy). Wonderful drinks can be made with the sweetened mango pulp available canned in most Indian groceries (or obviously with a blender and fresh mangos if available) -- just mix with milk or with tonic water and lime. Canned leechee fruits in sirup make an easy desert.
(The urad dal gives this dish a distinctive flavor, so, while it may be possible to substitute another sort of lentil, such substitution will produce a very different dish.) The urad dal, sometimes spelled udud or ured, is formed from a small black urad bean which is first skinned and then split in half. The split urad bean has a dusty white color, and in India it is also ground into a flour and used to make several types of snacks.
For the garlic chutney, make a paste of 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped, 1/2 t. cayenne, 1/8 t. coriander powder and 1/8 t. cumin powder.
Mix 1 c. water with the plain yogurt and beat with a fork until smooth. to this add the turmeric powder and the 1/2 t. of garlic chutney. Beat again to make an evenly smooth liquid and et the bowl aside for a moment.
In a medium-size pot, bring 4 c. water and the salt to a boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, clean the urad dal under running water and drain. When the water boils, add the drained urad dal. Bring the water and dal to another boil and cook uncovered for 10 min. Stir once, cover the pot and lower the heat to between low and medium. Cook the dal for 20 min. until its grains are easily mashed when pressed between two fingers. Remove the covered pot from the heat and let stand for 10 min. Add the yogurt mixture, stir once and return the pot to low heat. Simmer for 10 more min., stirring frequently. By this time the yogurt will have combined with the dal to form a thick sauce- like mixture. Turn the heat off and stir in the fresh lemon juice. If you like, top this with some finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Serves 4-6.
(JILL M. NICOLAUS)
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