Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Plain musoor dal

(This extremely basic recipe is for all those of you who keep coming to Timid Cook via the search for "How to cook dal" and there seems to be many such searches! Hope this helps)!

Last friday, we returned from a short trip to Goa, sun tanned and over stuffed (with goan goodies), extremely happy but to a bare refrigerator. We were too tired to go shopping immediately so I had to make do with what I could find. Rice-musoor dal-begun (brinjal) bhaja! Ah! Comfort food.

There are varities of musoor dal recipes...the difference being the ingredients used for tempering or "chowNk". This recipe uses a small onion, garlic and cumin seeds.

You will need:

Musoor dal: 1 cup
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Bay leaf: 1
Red Chilli: 1
Salt to taste

For tempering
Onion: 1 small
Garlic: 3-4 cloves
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Oil: 1-2 tbsp

How to:

  1. Wash the dal well with several changes of water. Drain.
  2. In a pressure cooker, put the dal, turmeric, the bay leaf and the red chillie and salt to taste.
  3. Add 1 & 3/4 cup water (a little less than double the quantity of dal) and cook for two whistles (might take more in winter). Leave aside for the steam to escape and the lid to open.
  4. Slice the onions into fine rings. Mince the garlic.
  5. In a kadai, heat oil and add the cumin seeds.
  6. When the start to splutter, add the onion and garlic and stir well. Cook till the onions turn pink.
  7. Add the cooked dal to the kadai.
  8. Add water to make the dal thinnish. Sometimes, while cooking the dal in the pressure cooker, all the water evaporates.
  9. Adjust salt and cook the dal in the kadai on high flame for 4-5 minutes.
  10. Remove from fire and serve with rice (along with other veggies ... I prefer this dal - rice combos with fries or "bhajas" - brinjal or parwal or aloo and sometimes, fish!

Bon apetit!

Orange Peel Cake

Saturday was the coldest night that Delhi has had for a very long time. 6.8 degrees. Shiver me timbers. But this also had a happy flipside. R sent me a surprise package, which arrived intact thanks to her fabulous packaging and the weather: An orange peel cake. Scrumptious. I gave a slice to my help J and her comment was that I should get the recipe so that we can eat it more often. So, R obliged.

You will need:

Flour: 2 cups
Baking powder: 1tsp
Sugar: 1 cup
Eggs: 3
Vegetable oil: 3/4 cup
Orange essence: 1 tsp or Orange marmalade: 1 tbsp
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp
Orange peels: 1/2 cup
Warm milk

How to:

  1. Mix 1 & 1/3 cup flour and baking powder and sieve this three times.
  2. In a bowl, add 3/4 cup oil and 1 cup powdered sugar. Mix well.
  3. To this add two tbsp flour followed by one egg and mix well. Then add another 2 tbsp flour and another egg. Repeat this till all the three eggs are in the batter.
  4. Add a bit of warm milk to smoothen the batter.
  5. Add 1 tsp each of orange essence and vanilla essence. If you don't have orange essence just add 1 tbsp marmalade and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and add half a cup of chopped orange peel.
  6. Grease a tin with butter or oil and dust with flour. Pour the batter and bake in an oven (preheated for 5 minutes) at medium for 40-50 minutes or till a inserted knife comes out clean.

Mmmm....just the thing with a hot cup of coffee!