Thali Menu #136 -MILAAP – Celebrating the spirit of India
India is truly a multicultural melting-pot with history dating back a few thousand years. No surprises therefore that this rich long history has left a mark on all aspects of life including food. India boasts of a culinary heritage that is unique and varied every few hundred kilometers, if you were to travel the length and breadth of the country.
This August as India celebrates her 72 year of independence, we present Milaap~ meaning confluence, where we will take you on a culinary journey criss-crossing the country, and present curated Thali menus of iconic dishes from four states (North, South, East, and West of India). We promise you, the Thalis will be as grand a celebration as they sound!
Our second Milaap is with the states of Kashmir (North), Tamilnadu (South), Assam (East), and Gujarat (West). Each of these states has a distinct culinary tradition influenced by geography, long history of different invasions and distinctly unique cultures with almost no similarities in their food habits or the ingredients used, cooking styles or their dishes.
A challenge for us at Daana that we relished with delight, was to curate a menu that allows each state to shine through in equal measure with its culinary hallmarks and yet persent a perfect harmony and balance of flavours and textures.
We hope you enjoy this week’s thali as much as we enjoyed curating and cooking this for you.
Recipe of the week
Maa Ki Dal
Slow cooked creamy, earthy black gram lentils
- 1 cup whole black lentils
- ½ cup Channa Dal/ Split Bengal gram
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 inch ginger, crushed
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 4 cups water
- salt to taste
- coriander leaves for garnishing
- Rinse the whole black lentils and channa dal in water 2-3 times and soak it in water overnight or at least for 4 to 5 hours
Preparing Maa ki dal
- In a pressure cooker or deep stock pot heat 1 tbsp ghee, add cumin seeds. when they sizzle, add chopped onions, fry the onions till golden brown.
- Add the pureed tomatoes and mix well.
- Add the crushed ginger-garlic or ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilies, and all the dry spice powders mixed with a little water.
- Sauté the masala till the oil starts to leave.
- Add the soaked Whole black gram and channa dal
- Add water and salt to taste
- Cover the pressure cook for about 15 to 18 whistles or 30 to 45 minutes if cooking in stock pot, till the lentils have become soft and buttery. if still they are not cooked well, then continue to pressure cook/ slow cook as necessary.
- If the dal looks thin and runny, then simmer without the lid, till it reaches a creamy consistency.
- Garnish Maa Ki dal with coriander leaves and dollop of ghee.
Serve hot with steamed rice, roti or naan