Ingredients: – (Serves 2-3)
The recipe can be used to make any lentil variety you wish to. Just adjust the cooking time depending on the lentil type and whether it is split or whole.
For Tempering: –
Notes: Hing (asafoetida) is a pungent, unpleasant smelling indian spice but adds a lot of flavor to the tempering. Try getting it in powdered form in indian stores, trust me its worth the buy!
Pick the urad dal and thoroughly wash it under a stream of water, 2-3 times. Let soak in enough water for at least 4-5 hours. Note: Soaking the dal is really important so that you don’t end up overcooking it on the stove. Once soaked, drain the water & discard. Spread the soaked lentils on a paper towel.
Cooking the Dal (lentils) – In a heavy bottomed pot with a lid/kadhai, add the soaked lentils along with turmeric powder, salt to taste & 1/2 cup of water. Note: -This quantity of water may sound less, but if your lentils are soaked properly, this amount of water is sufficient to cook them. Transfer the pot to the stovetop, cover with a lid & let the water come to a boil on high heat. When boiling, you will see some scum/foam on top of the lentils.Using a spoon, remove it. Once boiling,reduce the heat to minimum and let the lentils cook on low for about 8-10 minutes. You may need to go and gently stir once or twice in between while cooking to prevent lentils from sticking to bottom. Also if you feel that water needs to be adjusted, do so but add very less quantity of water at a time. The whole idea is not to end up with mushy lentils. We want the grains to remain intact and al dente. After you see that all the water has been absorbed by the lentils (approx 12 minutes from start), remove from heat and let the lentils sit in their own steam for 5-8 minutes. Fluff up with the help of fork once done. Tip:-Once the lentils have cooked & are hot, avoid stirring or mixing too much- they will become mushy.
Tempering the Dal: In a saucepan, add the ghee and let heat on medium. Once heated, add the cumin & coriander seeds and let crackle for about 30 secs. Be careful while adding the spices to hot ghee, they splutter. Reduce the heat to low and add the hing powder, sauté for 10 seconds. Just take care that the spices don’t burn. Add the ginger julians and garlic next and cook for 1-2 minutes till you smell the aroma. Increase the heat to medium and add the sliced onions and let the onions cook till they turn golden brown.About 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat once the onions have browned and add the red chili powder.
Immediately add this tempering to the cooked lentils along with garam masala and chopped green chilies. Mix thoroughly, adjust the salt if required and squirt some fresh lime juice.A dollop of melted ghee on top tastes amazing too.
Serve warm with flatbreads or rice.
What I need:
- 1.5 lb of [bone-in ]mutton, cut into medium pieces [or lamb or beef]
- 1.5 cups of buttermilk [slightly sour]
- 3 fat garlic cloves, grated
- 2″ shoot of ginger,grated
- 1 tsp nutmeg, grated
- Salt to taste
Whole Spices :
- 2 cups onions , thinly sliced
- 10-12 whole dry red chillies
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorn
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 nos black cardamoms, cracked open
- 3 bay leaves
- 5-6 cloves
- 1″ shoot of cinnamon
- 1 twig mace
- 4 tbsp cooking oil [I use mustard, you can use olive/canola]
- 2-3 cups warm water
How I did it:
- Wash and pat dry the mutton pieces.
- In a ziplock plastic bag, pour in the buttermilk, grated nutmeg,grated garlic & ginger along with salt.Give it a shake to combine well.
- Next, tip in the mutton pieces into the bag and give it a shake again to make sure that the buttermilk covers all the pieces.Lay the bag flat in a big square tray and let marinate overnight or at least 3-4 hours.
[Method 1 : Cooking in an Open pot [with lid]/Dutch oven]
- Heat the oil in a pot/dutch oven to a smoking point on medium heat.TIP: When using mustard oil, you need to heat it up till the point it starts smoking to ensure the raw smell is gone.For 4 tbsp oil, atleast good 8-10 minutes.If using olive/canola, the heating time will be way less.
- Once heated,reduce the heat to low and wait for 5 minutes to lower the temp a bit so that spices don’t burn.Add all the whole spices except dry red chillies to the oil and cook until the spices emit their aroma..around 3 minutes.
- Next add the onions, raise the heat to medium and cook the onions stirring constantly untill they become translucent to light brown.
- Add the dry red chillies then.
- Strain the mutton pieces from the buttermilk mixture, retain the marinade.
- Add the mutton pieces to the pot and on high heat, cook the mutton pieces for 10-12 minutes until all sides of the meat have browned.
- Next, add the marinade & 2 cups of warm water to the pot, check the salt and cover the pot/dutch oven.
- Let the water come to a boil on high heat and then reduce the heat to as low as possible.
- Let the meat simmer in the pot/dutch oven for good 4-6 hours periodically checking to make sure the liquid doesn’t dissipate, and adding warm water if needed.
- The stew is considered finished when the meat is very tender, just about to fall apart from the bones and the flavor of the gravy is intense. Adjust the salt again if needed.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro & serve with warm khamiri rotis [yeasted flatbreads] and onions.
[Method 2: Using a pressure pan/cooker]
The time taken by this popular Indian method is very less and the taste is slightly different and less intense. The cooking steps remain the same except that you need to cook the meat as per your pressure cooker.To give a rough estimate, the meat will take at least 25-30 minutes with 6-7 whistles on a low heat to become tender.