When it became clear a few months ago that I would be going abroad, it also became clear that I would have to tell myself sternly that I couldn't come back with stuff for the pantry that I would only throw out a while later. It's quite another matter that while I shopped very little, all my purchases were heavyweights which attracted their own set of consequences on the way back home.
One of them was a packet of split peas which I've never seen in the parts of India I live(d) in. Of course, I didn't want to make anything as ordinary as green pea soup with that - I had plans for it already, which I executed once I returned. It helped that I had had a great Bengali meal at Sandeepa's place when we met - Begun Bhaja, Dal, kaancha amer ambol/chatni Jhinge Chingri Posto, Pathar Mangsho, so I knew which book to consult for a split peas (matar dal) recipe as soon as I returned.
This is a book of Bengali cuisine called Pumpkin Flower Fritters by Renuka Devi Choudhurani and has a recipe for Split Pea Lentils With Vegetables. Since it's only been a little over a week since I've returned, I don't have too many veggies crowding the refrigerator so I made do with just one of the many listed in the recipe.
And that's the result in the photo - don't miss the jaunty chilli in that bowl - it arranged itself so, I didn't arrange it that way.
Split pea lentils/matar dal: 1 cup
Drumstick (vegetable): 1
Tomato: 1, small
Green chillies: 3-4
Salt, to taste
Oil: 1 tsp
Ghee: 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies: 2, broken into pieces
Bay leaf: 1
Panch phoron with some mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Asafoetida: A pinch
Strip some of the hard skin from the drumstick and cut it into two-inch pieces. Slice the tomato into 6 pieces and slit the green chillies.
Wash the dal in warm water and rub with salt and a little oil. Set to boil in a pan of hot water (I haven't mentioned the amount as I initially used just over one cup of water and then added as and when I needed).
When the dal is half cooked, add the salt.
After it cooks a little more, add the drumstick and a few of the green chillies. When it all cooks, remove from the fire.
Heat the oil and ghee and temper with the chilli, bay leaf and the panch phoron. Add the asafoetida and tomato. Saute for a few seconds and add the rest of the green chillies. Pour in the dal and boil for 2-3 minutes.
This entry goes to Susan's My Legume Love Affair - 14.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a great day out with Susan, whom I met in New York City. She planned a day of walking for us and took me through Wall Street and several other areas. We walked from about 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. One of our stops was Madison Avenue - as soon as we saw this scene, we had to stop and shoot several pictures of it.
I'm not sure how good it is technically, but for me, it felt like the sight of the day.
MLLA Split pea lentils Mator/matar dal Drumstick Bengali cuisine Meeting bloggers Travel New York City