Dahl

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Posted By: MD
Posted In:  Beans
Page Views:  1159 views
Preparation Time:  60 minutes
Cooking Time:  60 minutes

Other Info

Serves:  14.


Additional information: Seasonings: Nicaraguans didn't use anything else. My last batch
had fresh dill and cilentro (yum). You can also add hot spices oranything else you like (add at the end and taste the beans first, youmay not "need" anything at all.Clean (sort out bad beans and rocks, if any) and wash beans. Cookuntil soft. I use a pressure cooker; it takes about 2 hours. If youdon't have a pressure cooker, soak the beans in cold or roomtempurature water overnight and cook in a pot. As they begin to cookis the time to add salt, if you use any, and some whole cloves ofgarlic (unpeeled is fine). You should end up with extra bean-water.

Prepare a large frying/saute pan or a pot. I recommend non-stick ifyou have it (especially if you plan not to use oil). The family Ilived with used cast iron. You have a choice here of refrying all thebeans, or just enough for one meal (pick the size of your pan/potaccordingly).

Heat oil in the pan and add chopped onion (chopped garlic too if youforgot it when the beans were cooking or just like it a lot). Sauteonions until slightly brown. (Note: if you don't use any oil, add theonions after you add beans. The onions will have a different flavor.)

Take the pan off the burner for a second, quickly add as many beans asyou plan to cook and lots of bean water (stand back, it willsplatter). Now comes more waiting. If you are impatient (or hungry),cook the soupy beans down once (30-45 minutes). If you want moreflavor (and have the time), cook the beans down several times (keepadding bean water or regular water (cold or room tempature)). Thisprocess can take several hours. The longer you cook the beans, thesweeter they will be. The texture will be softer and smoother too, sodon't do this if you like your beans to have individual personality.If you only add a little water at a time, you can stop the process onquicker notice (disadvantages: you are more likely to burn the wholepanful). Stir a lot when there is little water, a little when thereis a lot of water.

Zero to 10 minutes before you finish cooking, add any of the followingoptional ingredigents: chopped tomato, fresh herbs, lime/lemon juice(about one teaspoon per large serving of beans--this adds flavor andhelps cut any greesiness).

Serve. These can be a side dish or center piece dish. Serve withrice, tortillas, potatoes/yuca (cassava root), fried eggs (if you eatthem), or whatever you like. Store in fridge (I haven't triedfreezing) and reheat as often as you like.

Variations:
A very common Nicaraguan dish is Gallopinto ('guy-oh-'peen-toe--namedfor the colors of the rooster (gallo) and pinto). To make it, addcooked rice when you add the beans to the frying pan (about 50-50 orto taste or availability). Cook down once.

If you cook the beans down a lot but keep the final version soupy, youwill end up with black bean soup. Such soup is a Cuban (and Dominicanand Puerto Rican, I think) dish, but I don't know enough about Cubancooking to tell you what to do with the soupy beans to make them thefull dish.


Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups masoor dahl (orange in colour).
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 dried red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon vegan mustard seed (tsp = teaspoon)
  • 0.25 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 0.5 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt to taste.

Directions

Put dahl in about 3 cups water and let boil. It normally takes about an hour for the dahl to break up and pulp, however what I do is to start soaking it in water before I leave for work. This way it takes much less time to cook when boiled later. (gas, electricity SAVINGS!!)

Spice Mixture: (To be added when dahl is about 80% cooked or even earlier if you like) Slice the onion into thin slices. Heat the oil in a frying pan, when hot, add red chilies and mustard seeds. After seeds pop, add the asafoetida, and immediately turn down the heat. Add the onions, start frying on low heat until they are "transparent", then turn up heat until they are quite brown, but not burnt black. Add coriander & turmeric and turn down heat. After a minute, add about 0.5 cup of the boiling dahl mixture to the frying pan and stir energetically so that the spice mixture gets mixed well, and onions break up.

Pour it back into the dahl pot, add salt, cook for another 10 minutes or until dahl is done, whichever comes later.

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