The key to Indian key is to master the basis methods. Once mastered the rest can be improvised using your creativity producing some outstanding dishes. One of the staples in India are Dal’s. We are going to showcase two styles. The first is this made with Split mung Dall.
Ingredients: Serves: 4
- 1 Cup Split mung dal ( Wash & Soak in water for 2 hours )
- Tablespoon of Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- Mustard Seeds
- Cumin Seeds
- Curry leaves
- Hing (Asafoetida)
- Coriander/Cumin Powder
- 2 Cloves Garlic, 1 inch cubed of fresh ginger, 2 green chilies ( cleaned, peeled & crushed)
- 2/3 Tablespoon of chopped tomatoes ( Tinned Italian chopped tomatoes work well)
- Fresh Coriander for Garnish
- Wash the dal and soak in water for 2 hours. Ideally overnight
- Wash and dry the green chilies, Peel the garlic and ginger. cut into small pieces and crush in a mortal pestle.
Method & Technique
- Drain the the water from the Dal.Retain the water for the cooking later.
- Heat the ghee in a pan until hot , Put in a pinch mustard seeds, hing, wait until they begin to pop, put in a large pinch of cumin seed along with the curry leaves. As soon as the cumin start to turn brown put in the dal and stir.
- Wait a short while for the dal to heat and add in the crushed garlic, ginger and chilies and stir and cook for 60 ish seconds and add in the dry spices. (1/2 tsp of cumin.coriander powder mix, 1/4 tsp of turmeric, salt to taste stir and add in 100/200ml of retained water. Bring to boil, place the lid on and simmer until the dal is soft. Finally add in the 2/3 tablespoon of chopped tomatoes. Still and cover until the tomatoes are cooked.
4. Transfer into a serving dish and garnish with chopped coriander.
( Great with Roti or rice)
· Split mung beans – Are one of the most popular staples in India and are highly regarded in Ayurveda they are lighter and easier to digest than most other beans and are used widely for healing specially in the restorative and cleansing Indian dishes such as khichadi and dal.
· Ghee – Is a digestive it helps improve absorption and assimilation it nourishes the Ojas, tejas and prana it is good for improving memory and lubricates the connective tissue and is tridoshic also regarded as a deepana now Pachana.
· Mustard seeds – Are pungent and heating, with pungent vipaka. Their most powerful action is to assist in healing the bronchial system. Mustard seeds are very helpful with sprains and pains and are also digestive
· Cumin – Is an aromatic seed that can be used for all doshas and is it a vital part of Ayurvedic cooking because of his distinctive taste and wonderful medicinal qualities. Used for any digestive complaints one might almost say just “close your eyes and use cumin”. Cumin Kindles the gastric fire and improves the absorption of minerals and in the Intestine it helps the relief problems of gas and can also act as a mild pain reliever, stomach pain and also nausea and diarrhea. Cumin is also very restorative to the issues it it is pungent bitter and cooling.
· Bay leaf – Is sweet pungent and heating with the pungent Vipaka. It increases Pitta decreases Vata and kapha it promotes sweating, is a digestant and a stimulant Kindles gastric fires and also can be diuretic
· Turmericc – Is the best medicine in Ayurveda it cures the whole person. Turmeric is pungent, bitter, astringent and heating and has a pungent Vipaka. Turmeric can be used for all doshas. In Ayurveda used for cough, diabetes, hemorrhoids, cuts, wounds, burns and skin problems it helps reduce anxiety and stress.
· Hing or asafetida come back to it later
· Salt – Is heating it increases Pitta and kapha decreases vata. Sea salt has a pungent Vipaka. Salt is a digestant and improves the flavour of food it is a laxative and a antiseptic and can also be used to induce vomiting. Rock salt is a mineral salt that is very digestive has a special flavour, a sweet vipaka and is not as aggravating to pitta in kapha and it does not retain water in the body.
· Garlic – Is a good tonic for the heart, lungs and muscles and help prevent gas and breathlessness it can be used as a painkiller and is a aphrodisiac.
· Ginger or fresh ginger root is pungent and heating and has a sweet vipaka although it is a tridoshic balancing in pitta individuals should use it in moderation. Ginger Kindles the digestive fire and improves digestion absorption and assimilation of all foodstuff. Ginger can improve circulation relieve congestion help breakdown blood clots and may aid in preventing heart attacks it is a good domestic remedy for common colds, cough and breathlessness
· Chili’s come back to this later
· Coriander – Is sweet astringent and cooling with a sweet vipaka. It is tridoshic it has good digestive properties can reduce fever and is a diuretic .