So last week

Mallika Basu - So last week

Posted 5th March 2007

punjabi-dhal.jpgThe highlight of last week was getting a lift home in my boss’s new Aston Martin DB7. He zoomed down South London’s mean streets, complete with a red tie, bespoke suit and white hanky. Part James Bond, part South American drug lord. Very impressive either way.

Another highlight was finding a little treasure of a Punjabi restaurant in Covent Garden. My friend from Milan stopped in London briefly and we arranged to meet for dinner. She wanted good Asian food, i.e. an Indian.

My curry-loving colleague suggested Punjab, a good food, no-frills north Indian restaurant in Covent Garden. And he did me proud. The food was superb. Very authentic. Very tasty. And quite spicy – the way it would have been served in a dhaba in Delhi.

We ate kali dhal, saag gosht, tandoori chicken and baingan. The waiter suggested we were ordering too much and he was right. But we ate it all anyway. It brought back memories of long winter holidays at my mother’s relatives in Delhi. They are all Dilli-walehs or Delhi-ites as we call them and the food they cooked was always to die for.

They made a very wholesome dhal (lentils) with lots of veggies that we kids ate with rotis and yoghurt. The recipe is very simple and you can add carrots, peas and spinach to make it even more healthy. I use a little spoon of ghee to give it a buttery flavour, but you could use butter or just oil.

I’m hoping someone in Milan will be cooking this for herself and her gorgeous hubby and beautiful baby soon.

This recipe serves four:

250 gm huskless mung lentils
1 tomato, chopped roughy
200 gm of fresh spinach washed, or three cubes of frozen spinach
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Half inch ginger, chopped fine
Half tsp turmeric powder
Half tsp chilli powder
1 dry whole red chilli
Salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee/butter/oil

Wash the lentils under cold water until the water runs dry. Add twice as much water as lentils to a pot, mix in the turmeric and bring to boil on a high flame.

When the water is boiling, lower the heat and continue to cook on a medium flame.

In another smaller pot, heat the oil and add the whole red chilli. Then fry the ginger and garlic until brown and add the tomato and chilli powder. Keep stirring until the tomatoes disintegrate.

Mix this tomato mixture in to the lentils. Add the spinach. Stir well and leave the lentils to cook. If it starts drying up, add more hot water.

The lentils are done when you can’t see the individual grains, and just have a thick soupy texture. Add salt to taste and serve hot.

22 responses to “So last week”

  1. Pille says:

    I haven’t had proper Indian food since I moved back home! I’ll make sure I’ll pay a visit to an Indian restaurant in London next month:) Until then, I’ll survive on your tempting sag aloo and dhal recipes, Mallika:)

  2. asha says:

    YUM!! Mallika, looks great sweetie.I made Punjabi dal too,lot diff. from this one and will post on Wed.Isn’t that most satisfying dish you could think of? Tasty dal with some rotis or rice.Enjoy :))

  3. Meena says:

    Love the new look, Mallika! And the Dal is going on my to-try list! 🙂

  4. Trupti says:

    Mallika….

    I like this new layout! Aston Martin eh??? Didn’t you offer him any dhal in return?

  5. Monisha says:

    First time here, you have a lovely blog!
    There is nothing more comforting than some good ol’ dal and your photo proves it. A staple in my home.

  6. Padmaja says:

    hi mallika!!
    very pleasant and subtle colours chosen, very nice header img as well!!!
    dhal, rice and papad! yum yum!!

  7. Mallika says:

    Thanks for noticing the new look girls!! I could kill some dhal but I am still at work so it will be difficult!!

  8. Trupti says:

    Mallika,
    you could kill some dhal..or kill for some dhal…..heheh. Just kiddin’,came to see if you had posted anything new and just had to comment…

    trupti

  9. sandeepa says:

    hey whats with boss giving you a lift and all…maybe he wants to invite himself over for the Dal
    I make Moong Dal with all veggies too but didn’t know the Punjus did it this way too

  10. D-man says:

    the new “look” is nice! The dahl too, it reminds me that the dahl days of winter are soon to be over, I must make another soon.

    take care,
    D

  11. Shilpa says:

    Nice… please post more Punjabi recipes when you make them! I’d like to see how they can be prepared quickly! 🙂 Thanks for popping by my blog! Shallots are a more noble substitute to onions, you just need to use less, I guess.

  12. Mangs says:

    heya!
    mailed you back!

    and… yummmm… will do tonight!

  13. rinku says:

    Hello,

    I am a fairly regular lurker on your blog, just thought it was time to say hello. Especially since I see you love a good drink with your food like me. This dal sounds pretty nourishing.

    Rinku

  14. CookingChat says:

    sounds like a great restaurant. the recipe looks great, I do a lentil soup a bit like this but will have to try your version.

  15. Hitu says:

    I tried to make daal the same way but add some jeera into it for the flavour …as i like jeera flavour anyways …

  16. Jag says:

    This is my favourite! I have a one-pot variation that turns out the same:

    http://www.route79.com/food/daal.htm

    Love the pictures on your pages by the way.

  17. i need a punjabi food. i am craze about this.

  18. Hi everybod i love punjabi food. Can i have some punjabi food.

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  21. […] browsing the web and finding inspirational recipes (such as Punjabi Dhal and Southwestern Yellow Split Pea Soup), here’s how I made our delicious Split Mung Bean […]

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