I had earlier written about the microwave masoori daal which K makes inspired by mom and has now taught Banu and me. This is the easiest daal to make in the world.
Well, I discovered the second easiest daal to make today. This was inspired by something K cooked in the early years of our marriage when she shocked me by not roasting the moong daal before cooking it. I remember getting quite agitated then.
Today's daal was so easy that I managed it with a bad back and when I was blind with hunger. I didn't want to have the rotis and Bengali cabbage shobji which Banu made yesterday and which were in the fridge by themselves. It seemed to dry. I needed something to go with it.
So here's what I did:
- I soaked half a cup of moong daal in 3 times the water in a pressure cooker. I added half a teaspoon each of turmeric and sugar and some salt to this
- I broke two basic rules. I didn't roast daal unlike in the Bong bhaaja (fried) moonger daal. Nor did I soak it for a while as other daals should be. I was hungry. I switched on the gas. Waited for 3 whistles of the cooker and another 2,3 minutes then on low flame. In an ideal world should have given it more time. Lifted the whistle of the cooker with a spoon to let out the steam and opened the cooker. I was in a hurry and ideally shouldn't have been in the kitchen
- I placed a pan on the gas and melted a teaspoon of ghee, added some shada jeere or cumin seeds
- When it crackled I added a dry red chili and a split green chili, brought the daal to boil, added a pinch of red chilly powder and jeera or cumin powder to it
- I let the daal in the pan to bubble on a high fame for 3,4 minutes and switched it off as the daal thickened
The result was fantastic and I am not even a big daal lover. It was warm, the ghee added just the right touch of indulgence and coquetishness with the latent heat of the chillies adding to the mystique. The touch of sugar added balance. The under spiced daal did bring alive a rather simple lunch of roti and cabbages. Credit goes to the ghee or clarified butter to a large extent if you ask me.