Winter is setting in here, the cold blast reminding me every morning of the coming days of torture. Already, the layer of clothing has been increased by one; time is near when I need to hide beneath few layers of clothing just to keep myself insulated. Trees shorn of leaves, grasses turning paler, number of people walking on the roads almost getting nil are all foreboding signs of a dreadful winter looming in near future, the season I looked forward to when I used to stay in Kolkata.
Though Kolkata is a place where summer is just unbearable with soaring temperature and heavy humidity taking toll on its inhabitants, but given an option to choose between Kolkata summer and Ohio Winter, I will always go for summer. At least in summer, no matter how horrible the temperature is, after nightfall, you may go out to spend a pleasant evening with friends in open air whereas during winter after a heavy snowfall, when the entire neighbourhood and surrounding areas get covered in snow and ice sheets, staying indoor for days is the only option open to you, standing or walking in open air becomes a thing completely unimaginable.
Masoor Dal Fry is an awesome treat to savour in winter nights. Teamed up with a heap of rotis, this steaming dal fry gives pleasure at every mouthful.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 40 minutes
ü 300 gm whole masoor dal or whole red lentil
ü 1 large onion (chopped)
ü 2 tomatoes (chopped)
ü 5-6 green chillies (chopped)
ü 4-5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
ü 1 tsp turmeric powder
ü 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
ü 1 tsp kashmiri red mirch
ü 1 tsp dried kasuri methi
ü 1 heaped tbsp garam masala powder
ü Salt to taste
ü Lemon juice, according to taste
ü Coriander leaves (for garnishing)
ü White oil for cooking
ü 20 gm of salted butter (optional)
ü 1 tsp cumin seeds
ü 1 tsp black mustard seeds
ü 1 tsp hing powder or asafetida powder
ü 1 string of curry leaves (about 10 leaves)
1) Soak masoor dal in water for 3-4 hours. Take the masoor dal into a pressure cooker, dung chopped onions and tomatoes. Add butter and turmeric powder. Pour 2 1/2 glasses of water, just enough to cover the lentil and snap the lid in place. Pressure-cook upto 3 whistles.
2) Heat oil in a wok. When oil turns hot, add the ingredients for sauté and allow them to sputter. Add garlic and green chillies. Fry till garlic turns brown. Pour the cooked dal in.
3) Add cumin powder, kashmiri red mirch, garam masala powder and salt. Cook for 10 minutes.
4) Add dried kasuri methi and lemon juice. Simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
5) Serve hot with roti or chapati.