By Monish Gujral Lentils are a good source of proteins. All mothers are always busy forcing bland blended dal down their young ones’ throats, telling them how healthy it is. And why not? I have always had a childhood crush on lentils. Boy! What a thing to have a crush on. But it was only natural for a young lad whose grandfather had invented dal makhani way back in the 1920s at Moti Mahal. Not only me, but the whole world loves this black magic. However, it was not only this particular dal preparation that my taste buds fancied but it was all varieties of dals cooked with passion.
Lately, I have been experimenting cooking simple lentils with a twist , to give the humble lentil an upmarket image.
There is a variety of lentils in the market ranging from different colours, textures and quality. Traditionally, lentils were cooked as simple daily routine menus. Nowadays, however, the practice seems to have reduced in the wake of other western options the kids want to eat and working parents easily succumb to these pasta, pizza and noodles treat children want daily.If we could make this simple dal interesting and easy it will find its way back to modern kitchen shelves.
Let me share a great, tasty and healthy recipe that surely will find its way to everyone’s heart. This is one of the recipes which I shall be cooking as a part of the Moti Mahal launch in Manhattan in November.
The special Moti Mahal menu I have created will include some fusion recipes like brain curry on puff pastry, chicken and gram kebabs from my book “Kebab Trail” (which is the current World best cook book in foreign cuisine) and a new fusion dessert.
- 1/2 cup Red masoor dal
- 1/2 cup Moong Dal washed
- 1 cup Channa dal
- 1 Kg Chicken cut on 15 pieces
- 1/2 cup Oil
- 3 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Red chili powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Dry mango powder
- 2 tsp Coriander seeds roasted and coarsely crushed
- 3 tsp Cumin seeds roasted and coarsely crushed
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 cup Tomato puree
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste
- 1 tbsp Garlic paste
- For tempering:
- 2 tbsp Clarified butter
- 1/2 tsp Asaefotida
- 2 Whole red chili dry
- 1 tsp White cumin seed
- 1 tbsp Chopped coriander leaves
- 2 Slit green chili
- Heat oil in a wok, put the whole spices and spice powders and ginger garlic paste; saute for two minutes.
- In a frying pan, add clarified butter and all other tempering ingredients; let it simmer for two-three minutes and put over the hot lentil and chicken preparation; Serve hot, garnished with chopped coriander and slit green chilies; Alternatively for vegetarians one can substitute chicken with soya chops.
- Boil all the lentils together in a pan with four cups of water; once cooked, remove from fire and blend into a fine mixture in a food processor.
- Pour the lentil in the chicken and stir till it’s well blended; add water to suit the consistency you want for the dish.