Today’s lunch Thali combo is one of my all time favorite. My mother raised us with Daal Chawal (Lentils-Rice ) as our afternoon meal. Every afternoon lunch that I have seen in my life at my home has had Daal -Chaawal in it. It is the most comforting meal, easy to do, complete protein meal, as well as super tasty. In detail I have shared in Pulses and Lentils the importance of Lentils-beans in an Indian Diet. In Indian Sub-continent you will see numerous varieties for everyday choices. Though the Brown Lentil i.e. Sabut Masoor is not very common in every region, but it is a favorite in North-East region of India called Uttar Pradesh. Specially with the introduction of raw mangoes in late March Sabut Masoor becomes a regular as a summer dish. It is cooked with Raw mango and tempered with Onions browned in loads of Ghee with Red Chilli. So below I am doing two recipes from today’s Thali.
Brown Lentils – Sabut Masoor
2 Cups of Masoor Daal ( washed, and soaked for at least 20-30 minutes in regular water)
1 medium onion finely sliced lengthwise
1 tbsp of Ghee
1 tsp Ginger finely grated
1 tsp green coriander finely chopped
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Turmeric
- Boil soaked lentils with 4 cups of water, salt and turmeric till they are soft. Which will take around 30 minutes on a medium heat. Alternatively use a pressure cooker that will do this job in only 2 1/2 cups of water and cook the lentils in 15 minutes. The texture should be like above. Not too thick not too runny.
- Add Fine chopped green coriander and freshly grated ginger. Cover the pan back (to let the steam work on the flavors of ginger and coriander).
- Heat ghee and fry onions till brown.
- Switch off the heat, add chilli powder and immediately pour it over the cooked daal and invert the onion pan over the Daal pan to create smoke flavaor. This is called tadka.
Baingan Ka Bharta:
This is popular in many many forms all over the country. There are as many versions as there are regions. But the basic technique is more or less same. I always feel this has some connection to the Middle Asian Baba Ganoush . Persia has a lot of influence on the cuisine of India, though it is not the exact recipes yet you will see distinct similarities in many dishes.
So here also like Baba Ganoush we will need a fully charred roasted Eggplant . I do it straight on flames, as it saves time, energy and it gives me just the right texture.
So first lets gather its Ingredients:
- 1 Large Baingan (Aubergine / Eggplant)
- 1 medium Onion finely diced
- 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped
- 1 medium hot green chilli–finely chopped (optional)
- 6 cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
- a small piece of fresh ginger (finely chopped)
Spice Mix :
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp green coriander powder
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
Char Grilling the Eggplant
The best way to char-grill Eggplant is direct flame . Put it on a direct flame for a couple of minutes to char the surface. This takes a few minutes on each side. Keep rotating the eggplant for an even charred surface. Once completely done, rest the eggplant till it cools down (it helps the skin to come off easily), peal the skin and mash the aubergine.
Alternatively, this can be done on a hot barbecue. I don’t grease the eggplant, but that is an optional method to grease the outer surface. This will keep the skin moist.
Instructions for Masala Base:
- Heat Oil in a heavy pan or Kadhai
- Add cumin seeds
- Add chopped onions, ginger-garlic-green chillies
- Saute for a while till everything is light golden brown
- Add chopped Tomatoes
- Now add all dry spice powder mix
- Saute till soft and till the masala start leaving fat.
- Then add the mashed eggplant, Sprinkle some water.
- Cover and let it cook for around 5 minutes on a low heat. Occasionally uncover to check and stir.
Garnish the dish with chopped green coriander
Serve Hot Daal-Chawaal
Enjoy your meal!