soothing yellow dal tovve

17th November 2013

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I wake early and after my morning practices and duties, I take my morning tea up to my room, open the doors wide and sit enjoying all the different bird calls that welcome in the morning.  Usually, it is still dark and I am blessed to witness that mysterious time of the darkest darkness, just before dawn, and how the gentle and incredibly generous light coaxes itself into a new day… I am always surrounded by colour and song.  It is actually my favourite moment of the day.

This morning, raindrops tinkled, leaving everything so clean and vibrant.  It was magical.  This is how it looked.

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soothing yellow dal tovve

Moong dal is one of my favourite dal as it is so soft, soothing and is known for its very easy digestion.  It is a green round mung dal which is skinned and split.  In India, this particular dish is usually made with ash gourd, which is categorised as a very sattvic vegetable.  As ash gourd is very difficult to come by here, I have replaced it with zucchini, which makes a very nice alternative.  

You could use red lentils, but it doesn’t quite have the same soft, soothing, pure quality found in the moong dal.  Moong dal (split, green gram dal) can be foundatn your local Indian store.

ingredients :

1 cup moong dal (split, green gram dal)

1 zucchini, peeled and chopped into small pieces

1 carrot, peeled and chopped roughly

water to cover

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ghee

1 Tblsp ghee/coconut oil

1 small green chilli (I used a very, very small chilli for a softly, mildly spicy flavour)

¼ cup dried, shredded coconut

1 large tomato, chopped finely

8 curry leaves

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

juice of half a lemon

handful of fresh coriander

salt to taste

preparation:

Wash the moong dal in several changes of water, taking care to discard any pebbles and defective beans.  In a heavy bottomed saucepan, place the moong dal and add water, enough that it covers 2 inches above the dahl.  Peel and finely chop the zucchini and carrot, and add to the saucepan with the teaspoon of ghee and the turmeric powder.  Simmer until the dal softens and breaks downs, about half an hour.  Heat the tablespoon of ghee in a small pan, add the chilli (cut on one side and the top taken off), allow to sizzle, then turn off the flame.  Take the chilli out and set aside the ghee.  In a high speed blender, add the coconut, chilli and enough water to make a smooth liquid.  Blend for a few seconds, then add to the pot, using the water from the dahl to get all the coconut mixture from the blender.  Finely chop the tomato and add to the dahl.

Using the small pan with the previous ghee, reheat and when hot, add the curry leaves, cumin seeds and asafoetida powder.  Allow to sizzle for a few seconds, then turn off the heat.  Be careful not to burn the spices.  Add the spices to the dal mixture, salt to taste, freshly squeezed lemon and the fresh coriander.  Allow to sit for the flavours to open up.

Serve with a steamed broccoli and whole barley. Perfect food for these cooler Autumn evenings.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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