This last weekend for my Oscar dinner I decided to make a dal dish that I'd fixed a few days earlier and just loved. It's a dish that I've been making for years, but it's one of those that had fallen out of the mealtime rotation. You know, one of those dishes that everybody loves and you make a lot, and then for some reason newer shinier dishes come along and seduce you with their sexy ways (vada I'm taking about you) and so the old dish sort of falls off the menu for a while. Those are my favorites to revive. "Yow!", I think to myself, "where have you been all my life and why did I stop cooking you?!! C'mere you sexy toor dal you." Another great thing about this dal dish, like a lot of the things I like to cook around here, it can be made in about 1 hour.
This recipe originates with Mrs. K M Matthews .
Here's what to do:
Rinse and drain 1 cup of toor dal..(yellow split peas, don't be scared)
Put it in a heavy pan along with:
3 and 1/4 cups of water
1/8 tsp of turmeric
Bring it all to a boil and turn the heat down, put a lid on things (slightly ajar) and let it all simmer for about 45 minutes.
Now, toss in:
1 Tbs of chopped shallots
1 tsp of ground cumin
Toss in 3 green chilies slit down the middle and cook for another 10 minutes or so until the dal is nice and tender.
Keep it on a low heat while you prepare the grand finale.
The Grand Finale:
In a small skillet heat 2 Tbs of vegetable oil (I use coconut oil)
When the oil is hot toss in:
1/2 tsp of brown mustard seeds
When the mustard seeds start to pop add in:
10 fresh curry leaves (these can be found at most Asian markets)
2 whole dried red chilies broken into pieces
2 Tbs of chopped shallots
Now, since tomatoes are not exactly in season here right now, I used about 1/2 of a can of tomatoes.
With recipes like this, it's no wonder Mrs. K M Matthews was such a culinary legend. So if you don't already serve dal at home, this is a great recipe to start with. Dal is not just for dinners out anymore.
Coming next, the perfect rice dish that's a perfect partner for this dal you can follow me on Twitter @kathygori.This is also an exciting weekend for me, I'll be taking my new waffle iron for a test run (I thrill easily) and experimenting with some gluten free waffles! I hope I don't need the jaws of life to get them out of the iron.