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Monday, April 16, 2012

Fast and easy Darbari Dal (Indian Lentils)



The word darbar in Hindi refers to the king's court.  It is a word that was introduced by the Moghuls, the Persian rulers of India.  Darbari dal, then would mean dal/lentils either served in the king's court or dal that is fit for a king! With a name like that, it's gotta be good!  Things that are THAT good usually are very fussy and time consuming. Not this recipe.  The use of the pressure cooker makes this a fast and easy recipe, perfect for any busy weeknight meal.  I couldn't resist transferring the dal from the pressure cooker to the cute little pot featured in the pic above.  My husband picked it up from India last year and I just adore it! :)

This recipe is from the renowned Indian chef, Tarla Dalal.  All of the ingredients used are common in Indian cooking, however if your pantry is not yet stocked with these basics, you can find them at your local Indian grocery store, most of the bigger grocery stores that carry Indian products, World Market, or online here. Shipping is a flat rate of $9.99 throughout the US, but it's well worth it because of the quality products you will receive.  I know the owners personally and they are a super sweet and helpful couple.  :)  



Darbari Dal

Whistles: High 3, Low 1
Soaking Time: 1 Hour
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1/3 cup masoor dal (split red lentil)
1/3 cup moong dal (split green gram)
2 tbsp toovar (arhar) dal
3 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds (zeera)
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1/2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic (adrak-lehsun) paste
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seeds (dhania-zeera) powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
2 tbsp fresh curds (yogurt/dahi) , beaten
2 tbsp cream

For The Garnish
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)

For Serving
steamed rice
salad of your choice

Method
1. Clean, wash and soak the dals together in a bowl for an hour. Drain and keep aside.
2. Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker, add the cumin seeds, onions, dried fenugreek leaves, green chillies and ginger-garlic paste, mix well and sauté on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes or till the onions turn translucent.
3. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander-cumin seeds powder and garam masala, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes, while stirring continuously.
4. Add the dals, salt and 2½ cups of hot water, mix well and pressure cook on a high flame for 3 whistles.
5. Lower the flame and pressure cook for another whistle.
6. Allow the steam to escape using natural release method, ( refer handy tip) before opening the lid.
7. Add the curds and cream and mix well.
8. Garnish with coriander and serve immediately with rice and salad.

If you don't have cream u can add sour cream. If u didn't have either (or you wanted to skip the cream) you could just add more yogurt (curd). I also like to serve it with a squeeze of lemon/lime juice and fresh, sliced onions on the side.

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