Monday, October 16, 2006

Kaancha Mooger Dal with Lau

After a hectic weekend of partying and wedding festivities our palates and tummies were still dealing with the after effects of over indulgence. We were craving a simple dal and rice dinner. So here's what we made last night.

Yellow Moong Dal - 1 cup
Lauki/Lau - 1 small, chopped to make about 2-3 cups*
Tomato - 1 small, chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Green Chillies - 3 to 4, slit and deseeded
For tempering:
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 .5 tsp
Dry Red Chillies - 2, broken

1. Pressure cook the dal, with the vegetables, salt, turmeric and two cups of water. After two whistles, turn off the heat and wait for 5-6 minutes and then release the pressure. The dal and vegetables should be soft to bite but still hold shape.
2. Add green chillies and another cup of water to dal. Adjust seasoning and let it simmer on low heat.
3. In a separate ladle heat the tempering ingredients. When the cumin starts sputtering add to simmering dal. Check seasoning one last time and serve hot with rice.

*At grocery stores I have seen it marked as fuzzy squash, Chinese okra (go figure that!) and sometimes, just sometimes as Indian squash. To me it has always looked and tasted just like lau/lauki/dudhi- that most bland and watery of summer vegetables. It was only sometime last year that a friend explained how different the true Indian lauki is from all these other pretenders. It seems the Indian lauki is the much thick skinned cousin of the fuzzy squash. Oh well!

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