Methi Arhar Daal

I know I haven't been cooking much for the last week or so. Call it the biye bari syndrome. And if that was not enough, I've been eating out and ordering in quite a lot in the last few days. This is not to say that I haven't been setting foot in the kitchen at all. The late night ham sandwich, cheese omlette or hot chocolate are being rustled up regularly to fix my midnight hunger pangs. But those are not what you call proper cooking, isn't it?

So today I decided enough is enough. No eating out is going to happen in the next one month. I'll cook everyday, multiple items at that, won't call in for food while in office and basically try being somebody who's very proper about what she eats (okay, I'm stretching it now).

I haven't made daal for the longest time now. A few days back I saw this blog post by my friend Rupsa and her rendition of rajma-chawal made me want to get back to basic comfort food again. Now I am not very fond of Bangali daals. I think they just kill it by the generous splattering of kalo jeere and paanchphoron everywhere. Not that they aren't spices with great potential....but EVERYWHERE? Why? So barring Mushoor daal, koraishuti/maachher matha diye moong dal and Tok daal with aam, I have virtually given up on what they make in Bengal. And no, this has nothing to do with my living in Delhi for the last 2 years. My tastebuds have been oriented towards the Dhaba style creamy, thick and rich dal from as long as I can remember.

I make this Lucknowi daal with garlic and milk quite often and thought of getting back to the groove with a familiar recipe. But when I saw a bunch of methi leaves lying on the kitchen shelf, I thought of injecting my Arhar daal with a hint of methi. I'll post my Lucknowi daal recipe soon enough just as soon as I make it (I had promised myself before I started this blog that I won't post any recipe till the time I have pikchaars to go with it). So as of now, I present to you my Methi Arhar Daal.



Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

Arhar/Toor daal (split pigeon pea): 1 cup
Methi leaves (fresh or dried): a handful
Garlic: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1 tsp
Asafoetida/ Heeng: a pinch
Jaggery: 2-3 tbsp
Ghee: 1 1/2 tsp
Salt, to taste

Method:

1. Soak the daal in 2 cups of water for an hour. Drain. Pressure cook in three cups of water with turmeric powder and salt till four whistles.

2. Open the lid when the pressure reduces and mash the dal well.

3. Bring the daal to boil with half a cup of water and jaggery.

4. Heat ghee in a non stick pan, add garlic and asafoetida and sauté till garlic turns light brown. Add the methi and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

5.  Add the dal and and stir well. Add water or salt if need be.

6. Serve hot with steamed rice or roti.


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