Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A simple dal and a Salad with a zing!

Most of the times, it's simplest foods that are eaten more heartily. Be it, Dal, chawal/roti, sabji, or rice, rasam and poriyal or a salad - Very simple food; Very comforting... Is that why, whenever the complexities of life surround us and life just seems too busy to handle, we seek comfort in simple foods?

One such comfort food for us is a simple meal that comprises of green gram dal, rice and curd.. Sometimes a sabji accompanies this hearty fare.. sometimes a salad and sometimes just plain ol'e pickle and papad.

Simple green gram dal
Green gram dal (Green mung) - 1 cup, soaked for an hour
onion - 1, finely chopped
garlic - 1-2, finely chopped
red chillies - 1-2
curry leaves - one sprig
mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
cummin seeds - 1/2 tsp
asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
lemon juice - 1 tbsp
oil - 1 tbsp

Soak green mung dal for an hour and boil till soft. Season with the remaining stuff in the following order - Heat oil, add mustard, wait till it pops and then add cummin and asafoetida, then add the red chillies, curry leaves and onions. Saute till the onion turns translucent and add to the dal. Add in the lemon juice and serve hot with steamed rice or roti. (I served it with store bought masala vada and THE salad with a zing!)

Carrot Salad - the salad with a zing!
Fresh carrots - 4
coriander leaves - a handful, finely chopped
green chillies - 2
ginger - 1/2 to 1 inch,
for that zing!
lemon juice 2 tbsp
salt, to taste

Grate the carrots. If the carrots are tender, you can grate them directly, after washing. If not, wash them and slightly scrape the skin using a peeler and then grate the carrots. Grate the ginger and green chillies. Add the lemon juice and salt and finely chopped coriander leaves. Toss them using a wooden spoon. Let the flavors mingle for 1/2 hr and enjoy!