There was rice, bread, papad, achaar and then there were dhals..a great variety of dhal from different parts of India. All dhals were carefully cooked with great interest and all tasted good! Rushina Ghildiyal, the main flame behind this event of celebrating Dal Divas, invited us all to her APB Cook studio to showcase our speciality.
How could I miss?…since I was in Mumbai this time, I was keen to attend this one.
Rushina has been promoting Indian cuisine since some time now and there have been series of events organised by her, observing different days like Biryani day, pickle day, bhajiya day, masala day, vadi day, but I have always missed it for some reason or other….
Although I have blogged on it..whenever I could... you could read it
Chutneys my family enjoys around the globe
Dhal Divas too, I would have missed because there was another commitment that got cancelled and luckily I was able to attend.
It was a potluck with all the women showcasing their speciality. Rushina made a list so that there were no repeatition.
I was asked to make green split dhal. Now dhal is a comfort food, not that I eat everyday (no, not when I make Chinese, Italian or continental, not even when I make non-veg) when I eat dhal..its only dhal. A complete meal by itself.
I was asked to share my recipe…so..here it is…I cook with instinct, no measurements, no fixed methods..
I boiled 2cups of green split dhal, adding 1tsp of turmeric powder in a pressure cooker. After 3 whistles, I put off the gas and went for a bath.
Till then dhal had cooled off and it was safe to expose it. Mixed it well, added 2 cups of water and kept it back on the burner. Boiled dhal also tastes good, if I would just add salt and black pepper and eat as salad,it would be nice but I decided to cook it.
Added 3 chopped tomatoes, 2 inch grated ginger, 5 green chilies and a small bunch of chopped coriander leaves. The phone began to ring.
“What are doing? Are you free today?”
“No, I am making dhal for Dal Divas day”
“I want too”
“Ok ..will send you.”
Went back to the kitchen to mix the dhal. Chopped spring onions and garlic.
Another phone call for another small chat. This one wanted to taste too. I must remember to make bigger quantity next time. (Or not answer the calls when cooking small quantity)
Also must remember to keep my phone away from kitchen.
Kept a tiny deep pan on another burner. Deep fried spring onions in 2tbsp of ghee. Added the burnt spring onions to the dhal.
Added more ghee to the pan and deep fried chopped garlic till it was dark brown. Added this to the dhal mixture.
I must taste to check if it is proper. Added salt to adjust the taste, added mango powder to add sourness, added peri peri sauce for pungent taste and added cardamom powder for flavour.
If I like it, its good enough.
Got dressed and left for the potluckparty. Reached the venue after one hour, a bit delayed because of too much traffic.
I was in for a surprise. Chef Ashish Bagul of BKC Trident was to demonstrate four different dhals from East, West, North and South of India.
There were cholar dhar
Mohini moong dhal fit for royalties
Vala chi amti
Khade maash ki dhal
I am reminded of my NRI friend who had visited India and was amused when she heard series of pressure cooker whistles from different kitchens at lunch time. Dhal is best cooked in pressure cooker and then there is tempering done that is not only for flavours but also for improving the nutrient value of the dish and helping to absorb many hidden nutrients in the vegetables.. Pure ghee is the perfect choice for tempering dhals and different regions of India use different combo of tempering depending upon the climate and the culture of that place.
I am not sure if any other place in the world has such a big variety of dhal preparation like in India. But it’s the tempering that makes Indian dhal so interesting and so aromatic.
The kitchen was filled with strong aroma of food..such lovely fragrance of ghee and spices, that I couldn’t wait to taste.
I wanted to taste all the dhals…24 different dhals. I tasted them all and relished it. All these ladies are great cooks. (You might wonder if I have large appetite to try them all..but I did not eat accompaniments, no rice, rice, no bread, no roti)
Made new friends, learnt new techniques, a great day to celebrate.
DalDivas was fun……. What did you cook on 25th Jan?..do share the link of your dhal if you did…..