Yes, I eat when I am depressed! :-/ Generally my comfort foods are deep fried chicken wings or bacon, pancakes and eggs or a huge helping of ice cream and a slice of dark chocolate brownie. (Heart attack on a plate.) Only recently I discovered that there are certain dishes, tastes, aroma that reminds me of my uncomplicated childhood and sure does cheer me up. One such preparation is masoor dal (Lentils). Lentils? As a comfort food? Yes, go on, roll your eyes!
I am talking about a particular recipe of masoor dal with grated coconut, ginger and cumin powder, generally prepared during some bengali festival that I can’t recall. It won’t probably be much of a comfort food to you but it tastes pretty damn good. So here is the recipe.
- 1/2 cup of massor dal (lentils)
- 1 cup of water
- Half a cup of grated coconut (try and use fresh coconut)
- 2 green chillies
- 2 cm long ginger (or ginger powder but doesn’t taste the same. Yes I am a snob!)
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Wash the lentil with plenty of water. Cook it in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water and turmeric.
- Peel the ginger and grind it together with the chillies.
- On a very low flame heat a pan. Add a spoonful of oil, the grated coconut and the ground ginger and chillies. Cook for a minute or two and then add the cumin powder and a little bit of salt. Cook for some more time.
- When the pressure cooker is done you should get a very thick masoor dal. Add a little water if you want to. Then add the coconut and ginger preparation to the lentils.
- Cook the whole thing for a minute or two. If you want add more salt. Add water if you want a thinner consistency.
Traditionally this dal has a thick consistency. As it cools It thickens further. My mother pointed out that this recipe should have three clear notes : ginger, cumin and coconut. “Shhhh …. this is a secret,” she told me.
Well, I do hope you enjoy this dish. If Something goes wrong let’s try and figure out what, together.