Last Friday was a very cold and damp day here in my city. It was drizzling all live long day. I was feeling over-worked and sickly and decided to just lounge around in my pjs and my sleeping robe.
Also, the weather was making me wish my ma was here, so she could make me some simple and healthy home-cooked food. So I decided to make some for myself as soon as soon as I felt a little better. I made two incredibly simple and healthy recipes -absolutely made for such days.
I made bhindi masala( spicy okra fry) and simple daal-fry(pulses in water). We Indians love daal, which is basically pressure-cooking the pulses and then adding a bit of spices and then lightly sauteing it. If you cook it thick you can have it with roti (Indian bead) and if watery, then you can mix it with your rice and ghee and also sprinkle lemon and it will be ridiculously tasty. Okay, I love daal.
For the daal, I used this as a guide. This is a new find and I love their choice of recipes so much.
I used toor daal. I soaked it for half an hour in water. Since I used a tiny bit just for me I soaked it for a short time. Soaking them makes the pulse cook faster when pressure-cooked.
Next I put the pulses, double the quantity of water, salt to taste and a pinch of oil in a pressure-cooker and cooked for only one whistle or 10 minutes on high. They looked like this.
Not over-cooked, just enough cooked with each pulse separate.
Next in a small frying-pan , heat a little bit of oil. Then add mustard seeds when the oil is hot. When they stop spluttering, add half a dried red chilli, a few curry leaves and a pinch of hing powder. After stirring for a while, add two whole green chillies and onions.
When the onions become slightly translucent, add some minced garlic and ginger and keep stirring. Next add the tomatoes and stir for a while. Then pour the saute into the pulses container and stir it on a low heat. You can add more water at this point if needed. Sprinkle some red chilli powder and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. ( which I was out of). And this delicious thing took may be 10 minutes. Simple ,right?
Okay for making bhindi masala, I sought help from this.
Wash and dry your okras. I used a very small amount. Patted them dry with a paper-towel.(this helps preventing them from being sticky when you slice them) and then cut them into really thin pieces.
In a large frying-pan, heat some oil and add cumin seeds. This is what you will be needing for this preparation.
Next add the minced garlic, chillies and onions. Add a pinch of salf to quicken the onion frying process. When the onions appear translucent, toss in the okras.
Then cook for a while. Next add about a teaspoon of turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder ,garam masala and some salt. Keep stirring and cooking.
Then add a pinch of ‘chat masala’. This can be found in all Indian stores, this is a tangy powder and gives a good twist to anything. I also mixed in just a wee bit of lemon juice. That is it!
The more I grow up, the more I keep craving the simple home food I grew up on. It is incredibly tasty and healthy and so nostalgic when had in a different country. Thank you ma for making me love daal 🙂