A few weeks ago, our air-conditioner went kaput and we spent as much of the day as we could outside our house. Quite a few air-conditioned stores that day saw us wandering about aimlessly, touching and feeling the goods, never buying. Our last stop before we went to dinner in another air-conditioned place, was a bookstore. Or rather, as large bookstores tend to be, a books, music and gifts store.
For a while now, my favourite bedtime reading has been cookbooks, when mysteries and chicklit are hard to come by, and though my conscience knows I don't need any more cookbooks, I succumbed when I saw this well-produced book called Pumpkin Flower Fritters on Bengali cooking. I told myself that it had recipes my other Bengali cookbooks didn't, paid for it, and walked out without daring to look at it any longer in case the guilt got compounded.
It turned out my justifications to myself were well-justified - it DID contain some recipes that my other books didn't. Here's one recipe that I tried from it - it's unusual in that paneer/cottage cheese is mixed with moong dal, delicately flavoured, very heavy, and I don't think I'll try it again.
It's not really this yellow!
Warning: The quantities here make A LOT!
Roasted split moong dal: 250 gm
Paneer: 15-16 pieces
Potatoes: 2-3, medium-sized, cubed (The book recommends 8-10 small new potatoes, halved)
Chopped ginger: 2 tsp
Green chillies: 8-10
Cinnamon: 3-4 pieces
Red chillies: 2-3, broken into pieces
Cumin seeds/jeera: 1 tsp
Fennel: 1/2 tsp
Bay leaves: 2
Sugar: 1 tsp
Salt, to taste
Oil: 2 tsp
Ghee: A little
Boil the dal in hot water. Cook till half done. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan, fry the paneer pieces and remove. Fry the potatoes.
Add to the dal, and boil till cooked. Add half the chopped ginger and sugar.
Heat more oil in the pan and add a little ghee.
Add the red chilli pieces, cumin seeds, fennel, and bay leaves. Now add the rest of the ginger and the crushed garam masala.
Add the dal.
Bring to a boil and add the panee pieces and green chillies.
Simmer a few minutes.
This goes off to Susan's My Legume Love Affair, hosted this month by Annarasa.
MLLA Paneer/Cottage Cheese Lentils/Moong Dal Potatoes Vegetarian Bengali Humour