Sunday, December 25, 2011

Best wishes for Christmas 2011...

Wishing all my followers, readers, visitors  a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the  New Year. May your Holidays and New Year be filled with Peace, Joy and lasting Happiness. Today we have wonderful Christmas weather here in Cary,  contrary to last years extreme winter weather that had brought  White Christmas in NC. It is cloudy with temperatures reaching mid 50s. Morning I took a stroll around home, captured few morning shots also yesterday on the Christmas eve enjoyed beautiful sunset. I am glad to share those pictures with you. Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth.

Sunset on Christmas Eve...2011.

25th December 2011....Morning 8.30 am.

Monday, December 12, 2011

French Green Lentil Curry / Dahl with Fresh Green Peanuts. (Quick Pressure Cooker Lentil Curry / Dal)

Every day Dal cooking needs some variation. I let my instincts decide what combination of lentils and beans to use.  Green peanuts with shell were in season. I got them from local Indian grocery store. Peanuts were extra large, fresh, crunchy and milky.  In Indian cooking peanuts add nice taste and texture to various curries and sabjis. I  paired  shelled green peanuts  with French green lentils, used minimal garam masala spices and made this curry / Dal.  This is simple and quick  "One whistle pressure cooker curry/ Dahl". It tastes absolutely delicious with meals or can be enjoyed as a soup.

Rice and shrimp curry, Snake gourd+beetroot stir fry, French green lentil dahl.

Ingredients :
  • 1 cup - French green lentils - picked and thoroughly rinsed.
  • 3/4 cup - fresh  shelled raw green peanuts  (during off season soak regular peanuts in water for 8 hours)
  • 1 medium size onion - finely chopped
  • 4-5 - Fresh garlic cloves
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger
  • 2-3 Green chilies
  • 1/2 T.spoon - Turmeric powder
  • 1 tiny bay leaf - 2 inch long
  • 2 cloves (lavang)
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 T.spoon - corriander seeds - grind to fine powder
  • 1/2 T.spoon - cumin seeds - grind to fine powder
  • 1 Tb.spoon - oil
  • 1/2 cup - fresh chopped cilantro
  • 5-6 cups water
 Method for preparing lentil  and Green peanut curry in Pressure cooker.
  1. Check for any stone particles in French green lentil then thoroughly rinse in water. Shell green peanuts, rinse in water. Combine both in a bowl, cover with water - keep it aside. No prior soaking is required.
  2. Combine garlic, ginger, green chilies in a small blender jar,  ground to coarse mixture. Alternatively You can chop green chilies and use microplane grater to grate ginger and garlic.
  3. Combine 1 tsp corriander + 1/2 tsp cumin - grind to fine powder.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker / pressure pan. (minimum 3 quart size). Add two cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick - allow to sizzle for 25-30 seconds. Quickly add chopped onions, saute for 7-8 minutes over medium heat until onions turn soft and transparent.
  5. Now add coarsely ground ginger-garlic-green chili mixture, turmeric powder - mix and saute for 1 minute.
  6. Add corriander-cumin powder, French Green lentils and green peanuts.*Check image below* Mix and stir fry for 2 minutes over medium low heat, then add 4 cups of water. Add salt and let it simmer. Once it starts to boil, place pressure cooker lid. Remove or lift whistle while you close the lid. Once you secure and lock pressure cooker lid put back whistle. Maintain medium heat. After it blows first whistle, reduce heat to low, allow dal to simmer for 7-8 minutes. shut off the heat. Allow it to cool.
  7. When the hissing pressure sound calms downs, open the lid. Add  chopped cilantro, one cup or more water to adjust dal consistency. Check and adjust salt seasoning. Start heat on, continue to simmer for about 6-7 minutes over medium heat. Shut off the heat.  Serve with rice / roti or enjoy as a soup by adding  dollop of butter on top or drizzle some Ghee.

Picture taken during cooking step No. 6

Tazaa Moongfali / Kacche Shengdane and French Green Lentils