Monday, April 14, 2014

Asparagus Chutney

I had a big bunch of Asparagus in the fridge last week, so thought of using up some of it to make the chutney. I served it with Moong Dal Dosa. The combo tasted very good.

Ingredients: (Makes about 1.5 Cups)
6-7 Spears of Asparagus,
1 Teaspoon oil
1 Tablespoon Chana Daal,
1 Teaspoon Urad Daal,
1/4 Cup Grated Coconut,
4 Dried Red Chilies
1/8 Cup Water
Salt to Taste

2 Teaspoon Oil
A Pinch Asafoetida
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds,
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds,
1 Teaspoon Urad Daal

Wash the asparagus. Discard the rough end portion (white portion) of the stems. Chop the green part in small pieces.
Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add the Chana daal and urad daal. Roast on low flame, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the daal starts to turn golden brown. Do not let the daals turn dark brown. Add the asparagus and dried red chilies. Sprinkle some water over the asparagus. Cook covered for 5 more minutes or until the asparagus starts to get soft. Stir often, and sprinkle more water if needed. Once the asparagus starts turning soft, add the shredded coconut. Cover and cook again for 2-3 minutes. Do not let the mixture dry out or stick to the pan. Sprinkle water as needed. Take off the heat and let it cool.
Transfer the mixture to a grinder jar and add 1/8 Cup water. Grind to a thick paste. Add more water if you desire. Transfer to a serving bowl.

For tempering, heat oil in a pan. When it is hot, add the Mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the urad daal. Cook until the daal just start to change its color. Then add cumin seeds. Cook for 10-15 more seconds and then add Asafoetida. Immediately switch off the stove and pour the tempering over the prepared paste. Mix well.

Serve with Paratha, Dosa, Idli or Pulao.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dal Makhani in Slow Cooker

A friend gifted me a slow cooker when we moved into our new house. I had been thinking of using it for a long time, but never got around it.

Finally, last night, we decided to make daal makhani for dinner for today, so I thought I will put the slow cooker to work.

Traditionally, daal makhani is made by cooking the the whole Urad daal (Mah ki Daal) on low flame overnight, so I thought it would be a perfect thing to try to make in the slow cooker.

Using a slow cooker does require some prep time though, so make sure to set aside 20-30 minutes in the morning, if you plan to turn on the cooker before you leave for work. The reward is, when you come home in the evening, you will have food, all cooked and ready for you.

Here is what I did for daal makhani in slow cooker.

1 cup Whole Urad (Mah ki Daal or Kaali Daal)
3 Tablespoon Kidney Beans,
Water to soak
3 Cups water for cooking,
1 Tablespoon Oil or Butter, (I used oil)
1 Pinch Asafoetida
1/2 Cup Onion, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped,
1 Inch Piece of Cinnamon,
1/2 Inch Piece of Ginger, Grated
Salt to Taste,
2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds,
3 Teaspoons Red Chili Powder,
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala,
1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder (I used Cumin-Coriander Powder, as I was out of Coriander Powder),
1/4 Cup Cream or 2% milk (I used 2% Milk for Low Fat Version)

The night before cooking, wash and soak the daal and kidney beans in enough water to completely immerse them.

Next morning, drain the water from the daal and transfer it to the slow cooker insert. Add 3 cups water, salt, chili powder, garam masala, ginger, and coriander powder.

Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon. Once the seeds stop spluttering, add the asafoetida. Cook for 5 seconds, then add the onion and garlic. Cook on medium-low flame until the onions turn translucent. Switch off the stove, and add this to the daal mixture.

Put on the lid of the slow cooker. Cook on high for the first 2 hours, then cook on low for 5 hours. Add the milk or cream and cook on low for another hour.

Turn off the slow cooker. Mash the daal a just a little bit with a potato masher.  Serve hot with rice, naan or kulcha.

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