I've always loved sorrel. It's not spinach and it's not watercress and it's not even chard. It's it's own self and has a pleasantly tangy lemony taste that adds a beautifully seasonal kick to foods, so when I can get my grubby little paws on sorrel, I love to cook it. But then I found out something very weird and strangely, eerily, Gothically cool about this unassuming little plant. Sorrel can be poison. Yes, you heard me correctly. Sorrel leaves contain something called oxalic acid (also found in rhubarb, ooooh scarey!) that yes, in large quantities can be well simply... poisonous. However sorrel when eaten is cooked not raw, and when I say large quantities I mean really large quantities . So you're not going to be in danger no way no how unless you look like this guy.
Fugu on a bed of sorrel leaves, don't worry about it.
Dal With Sorrel
The great thing about this recipe, is once the dal has been soaked, the dish itself cooks up pretty quickly. The first thing to do in prepping this is soaking.
Rinse and then soak 1/2 cup of toor dal for 2 hours.
1/4 tsp of fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp of turmeric
Blend everything together with an immersion blender or a food processo.
1 tsp Kashmiri chili or 1/2 tsp of cayenne mixed with 1/2 tsp of paprika
1/4 tsp of jaggery or dark brown sugar
Mix it all well together.
So far so good. It's time to season.
In a skillet or pan heat 2 tbs of vegetable oil
When the oil is hot toss in:
1 tsp of brown mustard seeds
2 dried red chilies broken in half
1 tsp of urad dal
3 peeled crushed shallots
8 curry leaves
1 chopped red onion
1 cup of chopped fresh sorrel
1/4 cup of grated fresh or dried unsweetened coconut.
This dish was really appreciated this week as it lasted a couple of days. It's just as good left over as the first day. My dad has been in the hospital for most of the week suffering from dehydration as an after-effect from flu. My time has been mainly taken up with doctors, hospital visits and parent wrangling. I haven't had much time to cook or write. We picked him up this evening and he's now home with mom, safe and sound and feeling better. The dal was great warmed up this evening too after our drive back from the hospital.
Coming up next, I'll be dipping into even more dal dishes. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori