Tuesday 25 October 2011

Khatti Meeti Dal Chawal and Shubh Diwali!!! :)

I know, I know you must be wondering, what, dal chawal and Diwali?!! Well there are two answers to that. Firstly, I don't have too much of a sweet tooth and hence voted against making one. Secondly, we are off to Kerala tonight for a much awaited week-long vacation and thus I thought it wouldn't be a good idea to cook anything before that. And so I decided to make the very famous dal chawal, but with a slight twist! This will be a good wash down after you have had a good rich Diwali spread of yummy food and delicious sweets and savouries.

It has been a little over a year since I moved to Bangalore with my husband. When we moved away from home, we left behind quite a few luxuries that we did not recognize as such until their loss was felt..immensly! One of those was the simple pleasure of having food that we grew up with, the simplest of meals like the Chor, Parippu curry and Meen Vevichathu (rice, lentils and fish curry; Kerala style). Though I make this quite regularly at home, the joy of having that cooked, lovingly, by our mothers in exactness to our preferences is a different feeling altogether. But luckily for us, we get to go home quite often and I make use of that opportunity to gobble all the yummy dishes cooked with so much of love! :) Can't wait for our trip home.

My husband and I are quite South Indian at heart when it comes to a daily meal. But we do love our chapathis and dals and other North Indian delicacies too. Rotis, Parathas, chole, dal and chawal, you name it, we like it. If there is the aroma of a good garam masala in the curry, then we are happy campers.

Dal is made differently (even pronounced differently; Dhal in the South and Dal in the North) across the country. Dal is actually not so much a South Indian staple, we have Sambhar for that. But with increasing culinary exposure and interaction, you find some form of it all over the place. But lovely, fresh aromatic basmati rice cooked along with dals is a popular dish among the North Indians. And so I decided to borrow the concept from the North and add a bit of my own flavours to it to make this yummy dal chawal, the perfect comfort food! It's simple, basic ingredients, tasty and when cooked with lots of love, tastes awesome! :)


Basmati rice - 1/2 cup
Water - 3 1/2 cups
Ghee/Oil - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 2
Green chilli (slit lengthwise) - 1 (small)
Garlic (finely chopped) - 5 to 6 cloves
Ginger (finely chopped) - 1 small piece
Onions (finely chopped) - 2 (small)
Tomato - 1 (small)
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Bayleaf (tejpatta) - 1
Carrot - 2 (small)
Peas – ¼ cup
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Pav bhaji masala – 2 tsp
Tamarind pulp – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves
Peanuts - 1/4 cup (dry roasted)


Wash and clean the dal and keep aside. Wash and soak the rice for ½ an hour and drain and keep aside.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and cumin seeds. When cumin seeds crackles, add chopped garlic, ginger, green chilli and onions and saut'e till onion becomes light brown. Add chopped tomatoes and saut'e till soft. Now add all the veggies along with masala/spice powders and saut’e on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and dal and mix well and saut’e for another 2 minutes on a medium flame. Add 3 1/2 cups of water along with salt and sugar and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles. Switch off the flame and allow steam to go completely. Once the steam has gone completely, add the roasted peanuts and coriander leaves and mix well. Serve hot.

And there was lunch in a few minutes! Piping hot rice doused with the nostalgic dal! Oh it was heavenly. Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali. Enjoy :)

Notes: You can add any veggies of your choice; like: Cauliflower florets - ½ cup; Brinjal – ½ cup; Beans – 1/4cup etc...

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