I thought I was done with pre-holiday posting and could get on with my life with minimal cooking & much entertaining till the next week. Only 2 more days to a 4 day holiday weekend makes you feel like that.
But then there came the snow, and what a snowfall it was. Unlike the washingtonians who take their snow seriously and stock themselves up, we are more lackadaisical. We think, what will 12 inches of snow do to us as so we relax, until we see we are in deep sh** err snow and the pantry lacks bare necessities like onions and Marie Biscuit. Fortunately there were enough leftovers from the Friday night impromptu party, to tide over two meals. But the soul was still craving deep fried pakodas or something hot in a bowl.
What could a Bong female do in such a situation but make a bowlful of Bhaja Moog er Dal(Roasted Yellow Moong dal). She went an extra half mile, in her head, not snow and added cauliflowers and shrimp to it. That made it a bowl of warm, yellow goodness in the midst of a white snowy December.
In other news we have a Christmas tree this time, yeah our first time. The Christmas potluck party has decided to be hosted in our home and since we were asked not to cook anything except, ahem, Rice, the best we could do is bring home Christmas cheer in way of a cheap, $35 plastic tree. Sorry Charlie Brown, couldn't get a wooden Christmas Tree, this time.
Charlie Brown's Christmas on Hulu, free until Jan 1, 2010
Get this recipe in my Book coming out soon. Check this blog for further updates.
Bhaja Moog'er DalRoast the Dal Dry roast 1 & 1/2 cup of Yellow Moong Dal for 6-8 minutes at medium heat. You should not burn the dal in the process, as soon as you get a nice , warm roasted nutty aroma, you know you are done. Note: Dry roast means, do not use oil, roast it dry. Wash the roasted dal in several changes of cold water. Cook the Dal You can cook the dal two ways. If using a pressure cooker, put the roasted and washed lentils in the cooker with double amount of water and a little turmeric. Cook for 3-4 mins at full pressure. If you are not using the cooker, put the dal with about 4 cups of water and a little turmeric in a pot on the stove top. Let it cook. The dal will bubble and froth, skim the froth. Add more water if necessary and cook till lentils are soft and edible but not mushy. This will take a good half hour to get cooked Temper the Dal I have used cauliflower and shrimp here. You can make this completely vegetarian by using cauliflower and green peas or just green peas. You can also use greens like finely chopped spinach though peas and cauliflower are more popular choices. Clean and devein 8-10 medium sized shrimp, sprinkle salt and keep aside for 5 minutes. Chop quarter of a cauliflower in small florets. We need about 10-12 small florets. Heat Oil(or Ghee) in a soup pot/kadhai. Fry the shrimp with a little turmeric. As soon as they turn a light orange, remove and keep aside. Fry the cauliflower florets till they get little brown spots, remove and keep aside. Add a little more oil to the pot. About 1/2 tsp of ghee at this point works very well. Temper the oil with 1 tsp of Cumin seeds, 2 small bay leaf, 1" thin cinnamon stick, 3 dry red chilli. When the spices sputter, add 1 heaped tsp of fresh grated ginger or ginger paste. Saute for half a min and add the cooked dal. Add salt and mix well. If the dal is too thick, add about 1 and 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer and come to a boil. Add 1/4-1/2 tsp of sugar and mix. Add the cauliflower and shrimp, mix and switch off the heat. If you have not used Ghee as the cooking medium stir in 1/2 -- 1 tsp of Ghee and let the dal sit for 10 mins to soak the flavors before serving. Note: I do not add ghee when I am making this for just us, so you can skip if you want but it does lend a lot of flavor. I like a slight hint of lime in my dal and so I added a tsp of sliced lemon grass to this dal. This is definitely optional but lends a nice touch. Eat this dal as a soup or with white rice. This dal goes to MLLA 18 hosted by Srivalli and started off by dear Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook