Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Cauliflower & Spring Onion Dal

I eat a lot of lentils, usually in vaguely Indian stews, and so far these have been sadly underrepresented on this blog. This was pretty much what I lived on during my vacation, at least on the chillier days, but I actually went almost three weeks without taking a single food picture, so what you see is a reconstruction. (And wow, gas stoves are SO MUCH QUICKER than my regular electric one.)

Cauliflower & Spring Onion Dal

I don't have a particular source for this recipe, but I think it's safe to say that everything I know about Indian cooking I learned from food blogs.

Cauliflower & Spring Onion Dal
serves 1 greedy person as is, probably two with rice

¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
½ dried red chile
2 pods cardamom
3 whole cloves
about ½ cup moong dal (split, skinned mung beans)
about a cup of cauliflower florets
one fairly mature spring onion, chopped
oil for frying
about a cup of water
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp dried coconut, toasted
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp black mustard seeds
salt & pepper to taste

Rinse the dal well. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan until sizzling, add the first five ingredients and stir for about 30 seconds. Add cauliflower and the white bits of the onion and fry until the cauliflower is nicely browned. Stir in the dal and add some water, reduce the heat to a minimum and cover. Let simmer until the dal is very soft and starting to go mushy. Stir in the green bits of the spring onion, cover again and take off the heat.

In a small frying pan, heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds. Let sizzle until the mustard seeds start to pop, pour over the dal and stir to mix.

Note: if you're serving this with rice, it's probably a good idea to make it a bit less dry. So increase the water a bit!


Nina said...

I used to really dislike lentils (so mealy!) until I tried the Indian varieties. These days I cook a lot with moong and toor dal, and it's always wonderful. This is definitely worth trying!

Wendy said...

Have you seen Mallika's blog?
It' superb.

Jeanne said...

Sounds astonishingly good - I definitely want to try that. I am a huge fan of lentils, after not really eating them as a teenager/twentysomething. Now, when my husband orders some supercharged lamb curry I am far more likely to have some form of dal as a main course!

deinin said...

Nina, yes, me too! Although I keep meaning to try puy lentils in a salad or something.

Wendy, thanks for the link!

Jeanne, lentils ARE lovely - I actually prefer them to almost any other (plant-based) source of protein, but before getting the guts to try my hand at dals at home I didn't really know what to do with them. And so far, this is my favorite home-made one.

Supriya Raman said...

Yum! As an avid Indian Food Blogger and just an overall Foodie, I can say you got this right.

Traditionally, mustard seeds are more southern and eastern indian cuisine based. They are not paired with west and northern indian ingrdients like cloves and cinnamon. Just my two cents worth :)

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Cauliflower & Spring Onion dal is really very amazing...It is good for health...Thanks for posting this recipe of dal...

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