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Old 05-23-2005, 12:51 PM   #1
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Dahl

Got to try something different yesterday. It was a sauce, reminiscent in texture to a thick, split-pea soup. The flavor was more like chili, and the color was bright yellow. It was called Dahl and was served over white, sticky rice. I loved it. The dish was presented by a freind who has returned from a two-year mission to India, to give us a taste of something he enjoyed.

And whatever you think you know about curry, you can probably forget it. Here in the U.S., we have a very limited knowledge of the stuff. My freind says that there are so many different versions in India, ranging from sweet with fruit, spicy versions made with a tomato base, and everything in between. I gather that curry is kind of like salsa, with so many variations, most of which we know nothing of.

But for the Dahl, I don't know the measurements yet, but the ingredients are yellow split peas, tumeric, cummin, chili powder, and chiles, with salt to taste. I am going to have to make this one. And I'm seriously thinking of entering it in our next chili-cook-off. I know it isn't real chile, but it tastes so very similar and will surprise everyone. It could be a winner.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 05-23-2005, 02:06 PM   #2
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I've had dal several times, but have never made it. I thought it was made with red lentils. It is quite delicious. I'd search under the spelling 'dal', because that is how I've seen it spelled in restaurants.

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Old 05-23-2005, 02:08 PM   #3
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Goodweed:

My Indian next door neighbors shared this recipe with me. Every time I make a batch I share it with them. The always rave about how good it is.

There are any number of versions of Dahl or Dal. Give this one a try sometime.

Andy M.

Dal Makhani



2 Red Chile Peppers
1” Ginger Piece
2 Garilc
1 C Urad Saboot (whole black beans)
2 Tb Channe Ki Dal (split gram dal)
1 Tb Ghee or oil
1 1/2 tsp Salt
5 C Water
4 Tomatoes (14 oz. Can)
3 Tb Butter
1 Tb Kasoori Mehti (dry fennugreek leaf)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Ketchup
1/2 C Milk (if needed)
1/2 C Cream
1/4 tsp Nutmeg


Soak the peppers in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Make a paste of the peppers, ginger and garlic in a food processor.

Wash and pick over the beans. Place them in a pressure cooker with the garlic, ginger, pepper paste and the tablespoon of ghee or oil, the salt and the water.

Bring the pressure cooker up to pressure and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Puree the tomatoes in a food processor and add them to the pressure cooker along with the butter, Kasoori Mehti, the Garam Masala and the ketchup. Simmer for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally and mashing the beans slightly.

Add some milk if the mixture appears too thick.

Continue cooking to thicken.

Stir in the cream and nutmeg.



If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can do it low and slow in a dutch oven.
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Old 05-23-2005, 02:39 PM   #4
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Goodweed, recipe for dahl varies depending on which part of India you are from. There are several varieties that even vary by culture (Hindu's vs Muslims, as Muslims add lamb to the dahl they cook and that version is equally delicious and more in line with the chilli that you are referring to).

The variety of beans that are used to make dahl are so many that to a novice it truly would be mind boggling. There is moong (split and green), tur, masoor (lentils) which are red or black, urad (black or white) and chana dal and then of course kidney beans along with black eyed peas.

Dahl's can be hearty like a stew (with tomatoes, onions, chillies, spices and garam masala with our without meat) or it can be made in form of a soup with hints of sweet, spice and sour (common in the south, also called Sambar). Then there is dahl that is creamy and mild (the version that Andy shared above).

The taste and flavors change depending on what variety of beans are used to make it.

It's difficult to share just one recipe. I think Andy has shared one which to me is a North Indian recipe and is more formal and what you will find in restaurant menu's. To me the true down home dahl recipes use tur and chana dal (split gram) and are something you will not find easily in a restaurant.
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Old 05-23-2005, 02:54 PM   #5
 
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I like this recipe ... it's quick and easy!

Spicy Dhal Soup

Once you have the spices on hand it's a snap to make. Low-fat, healthy, and tastes great!

Spice Paste:

2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1 T. ground coriander
1 t. ground cumin
2 t. turmeric powder
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
2 T. hot water


Put paste ingredients in food processor and process to a rough paste.

HEAT 3 T. vegetable oil in large, heavy pan and fry the paste for 5 minutes. You have to stir continuously so it doesn’t stick and burn.

Add:

3/4 c. red lentils
3/4 c. yellow split peas
4-5 cups vegetable stock
1 can Rotel brand canned, chopped tomatoes w/green chilies


Bring it to a boil, cover and simmer gently. Check at 30 minutes, if not sooner. Stir frequently and add more stock or water if necessary.

* Optional: You can make a cream of yogurt mixed with cilantro; for richer flavor use crème fraiche. Add a dollop when serving.

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Old 05-23-2005, 09:03 PM   #6
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That is a fine looking picture. Makes me hungry. I suspected that as with most soups, stew, chowders, sauces, etc. there is no "right way" to make Dahl or Dal, but many depending on the specific likes and dislikes of the person making it. And like good chili, it is probably very regional as well. Thanks to everyone for giving me more info about this "new-to-me" dish.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 06-03-2005, 08:42 PM   #7
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Goodweed, if you have and Asian or better yet an Indian market near you check it for premixed spices for different dishes. They work very well and you don't have to stock your pantry with a whole lot of things you would only use once in a while. I make dahl soup from one called Sambhar and it is as near to the taste at the restaurant we eat at as you could get and maybe better.
Ross
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