Monday, September 15, 2014

Marwadi/Rajasthani Methi Moong Dal, Lentils With Fenugreek Leaves

Dal-roti or dal-chawal is the staple Indian food. No matter what religion you follow, no matter what and how much you earn, no matter if you are a non vegetarian or not- one thing that every Indian love is daal. Again, there are many types of daal and many ways to make each one of it but no one can ever get over with their love for lentils. Lunch or dinner, served in party as well as on a daily basis- the fact is no Indian meal is complete without daal. For vegetarians eating daal is more important as it the only healthy source of proteins for them, ofcourse after paneer.

As said, there are many ways of preparing daal and if not thousand there are atleast hundred recipes to make it. Be it very simple yellow daal that can be relished with plain rice, or another version of the same dal but made in microwave. Or you might fancy- Lehsuni daal tadka which is infused with strong garlic flavours and is a perfect match for jowar ki roti. If runny and smooth dal is not your preference then you must have Massala Dal which contains whole grains of lentils and is quite dry- a must have with jeera rice.

Having said that, today I bring before you my favorite dal recipe which is very healthy as it includes green leafy vegetable- interesting isn't it? I am talking about Marwadi/Rajasthani Methi Moong Dal. This daal is thick and smooth flavoured with chopped fenugreek/methi leaves, spiced up with green chillies and a final tang is given by sprinkle of lemon juice. The idea is to have dark yellow colour with only green bits visible, and that is why the recipe doesn't call for tomato or even red chilli powder.

If you ever visit Rajasthan or a marwadi family over lunch or dinner during winters, you will surely find this dal in the menu. Reason?? Well, methi leaves are available in abundance throughout the winters and the usage of it crafts the boring moong daal to be very appealing and appetizing. One fine day, when it was raining really bad and the temperatures went down, I craved for this daal. Remember my tip on how to preserve/store fresh methi leaves?- well I used the same leaves to make this daal- who wants to wait till winters??

This daal is really thick and you have to enjoy this with parathas or rotis. All you need is dollop of ghee, some marwadi lehsun ki chutney and bajre ki roti to make it perfect meal.

1/2 cup yellow moong dal/split yellow gram
1/4 cup chopped methi leaves/fenugreek leaves
2-3 green chillies/hari mirch
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste/adrak lenhsun
1 tablespoon lemon/juice nimbu ka ras
1 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
Pinch aseofetida/hing
1 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves/dhaniya
Salt to taste

In a pressure cooker, add moong daal with 1 cup water, turmeric and salt. Cook till 2 whistles releases.
In kadai/wok heat 1/2 tablespoon of ghee and 1 tablespoon of oil. When hot, add in hing and jeera.
Also add in ginger garlic paste, cook till raw smell fades away. Mix in green chillies and methi leaves. Cook till methi leaves becomes mushy.
Finally mix in cooked daal and lemon juice. Mix and let it boil.
Serve with dollop of remaining ghee and chopped coriander leaves.

I have shared authentic marwadi way of making this daal. If you want you can gram massala, tomatoes and even chopped onion.
Some people don't like chopped methi leaves, in that case puree methi leaves and that add. Doing so, will make the dal look green, but there will be no change in the taste.
For better results, it is advisable to soak moong dal for 30 minutes in the water before cooking.

Serving suggestions:
This is smooth but a thick daal, so serve this with thick rotis- like jowar or bajre ki roti.
For thali menu- serve it with roti, kachumber salad, bharwa bhindi and lehsun ki chutney.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Marwadi Or Rajasthani Lehsun Ki Chutney/ Spicy Garlic Chutney- For Almost Anything

When you are away from some things or someone only then you realize how important those things are or how much you miss them. For example, after wedding you miss spending time with your parents- you miss your mom’s cooking, dad’s scolding, arguing with your sibling and the home where you were born; or you miss your school/college days- playing with your friends, pranks on teachers, even those punishments and sharing tiffin during recess. Well, time and tide waits for none, and we all must thank Mr. Graham Bell for inventing telephone, at least we can call up our parents, brothers and sisters and friends and talk about our lives or recall those golden days.

While some inventions have made our lives easy, some inventions are still to take place. If you follow me on Facebook, you must know that I and my husband went for holiday in Turkey and I shared the pic Here. Turkey offers great variety of dishes for vegetarians and I will love to post about that soon. Even though Turkish cuisine just like the Indian also possess lot of spices but the overall taste is not very spicy, thus I missed very hot and peppery Indian food. Every day I would eat raw green chillies or some pickle to suffice my craving but no invention could fill that gap- no telephonic call-no skype. :)

So finally we reached London and the very next day I died in to make spicy-no wait- very spicy, Marwadi Or Rajasthani Lehsun Ki Chutney. This chutney is mother of all the chutneys that I have made so far- as this our traditional recipe being followed over ages-finger licking good. Ofcourse highly spiced and very garlicky but indeed a must have with plain simple Yellow Daal or Tava Pulav and if you want carve up the whole rajasthani thali with Dal Bati and Churma. No rajasthani would have their Bajre Ki Roti or Gatte Ki Subji or Papad Ki Subji or Marwadi Aloo Pyaz Ki Subji without this chutney on side. Mr. Husband and myself love the classic way- spread the thick layer on Massala Parathas- roll and bite:)

After a quick call with Maa, and noting the ingredients and method I was all set to go. Maa strictly advised to add little water as this chutney is very much like paste- coarse and thick. Another instruction was to use sarson ka tel (mustard oil) for tadka which uplifts the taste and gives boost to flavors and aroma. Little warning though- this is very spicy and garlicky (I told this so many times-I know!!) so please adjust as per your taste and do read my serving suggestions in the end- I have some pretty awesome ideas :)

1/4 dried whole red chillies/sukhi lal mirch
1/4 tablespoons whole coriander seeds/sabut dhaniya
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves/dhaniya
10 cloves garlic/lehsun
1 large tomato chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon kashmiri red chilli powder/lal mirch
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons mustard oil

Soak red chillies and coriander seeds overnight. If you dont have time, just boil them up in water till chillies turn soft. Drain water and keep aside.
In the grinder, grind soaked red chillies and coriander seeds, salt, lemon juice, sugar, red chilli powder, tomato, coriander leaves and garlic. Blend in to paste.
Next heat mustard oil in the pan. When oil turns very hot, switch off the flame and add in the grinded paste. Mix well.

While grinding- resist adding water. If you have added water try to evaporate excess water on heat after mixing in the oil.
You can also add mint leaves in this chutney however the authentic recipe doesn't call for it.
Again, please adjust spice and garlic level as per your taste.
This keeps well in fridge in air tight container for 10 days.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as a side with dosa, idli or cheelas.
Great accompaniment with sandwiches and rolls and savory snacks like pakodas, dhoklas, momos or tikkis.
Serve the Indian way with daal and rice or parathas.
You can also serve as a dip for bread, nachos or crackers.
This goes well as a spread for tacos, enchiladas, frankies or pitta pockets.