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[icon] Mushroom Daal--fully vegetarian - Indian Food Lovers
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Subject:Mushroom Daal--fully vegetarian
Time:01:15 am
I formulated and cooked the recipe this evening. VERY nice savoury, warm, aromatic winter dish. Instant comfort food. If one happened to have any squashes on hand, adding them alongside the mushrooms would, I believe, elevate it to heavenly proportions.


1/2 cup ghee or oil
1 large or 2 small onions
3-4 cloves garlic
1 good hunk ginger
2 small green chilis (optional)
1 heaping Tbsp cumin seed
2-3 Tbsp fenugreek seed (or more. fenugreek is the main spice in this daal)
1 tsp turmeric
3 cups water (approximately)
1 cup orange lentils
half pound mushrooms (any kind, white button will do) torn into bite-size chunks
salt to taste
1-3 tsp of fresh black pepper (to taste)
1/2-1 cup of plain yogurt (to taste)

Chop the onion, grate the ginger, crush the garlic. Heat the ghee or oil on medium-high, then dunk in the onion and stir occasionally. After it's softened and shrunk (5-7 mins), add garlic. After about a minute of frying and stirring, add ginger, and fry the lot for about 5 minutes, until you can smell a change in the garlic and ginger (the change from raw to cooked, not the cooked to burned smell). If you want to make it a spicy daal, dunk in the chili at the same time as the ginger. Add fenugreek seed and stir for 2-3 minutes, then add the cumin and turmeric. There should be enough oil to make a greasy paste of the spices; they shouldn't suck up all the oil and turn dry. If this is what happens, add more oil. Fry this masala, stirring constantly, for another 5-7 minutes. A wonderful roasted smell should convey itself to your nostrils. Spices can take a good bit of heat, so don't worry; a bit of a burnt smell means they're unlocking their flavour. Once the masala has turned golden and smells warm and roasty, dunk in the orange lentils. Coat them with the masala; you'll be able to smell a new aroma once the lentils have combined with the spicy onions. Once they're fully coated, add the water and the mushrooms. At this point you can dunk in a good bit of salt, but not too much--it can always be added later once the daal is ready to taste. It's also not a bad idea to give the mixture a goodly amount of cracked black pepper. Cover the lot and let it boil, turning down when it starts to get vigorous. After about half an hour (but you can let it cook for a lot longer if you really want to mush things up), the mushroom and lentil mix should soften. If it looks like just a thick chunk of lentils boiling, add more water. The ideal look here is very softened lentils in fairly thick liquid; they should have a goopy, chunky texture. If you're satisfied with how mushy they are, turn off the heat and fold in the yogurt. You can add less or more depending on how tart a flavour you want. The yougurt will, however, put the right creaminess into the texture. Taste for salt; add more if needed. Then eat! It goes with basmati rice or chapati or nan or any other nice bread, really. I like multigrain buns or crusty baguettes with daal...or if my mother makes her delicious bosnian breads, bonus!
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Time:2007-08-23 01:17 pm (UTC)
I had the ingredients for this hanging around (a crop of mushrooms was ready to pick this morning, and finally, something to use all this fenugreek I have in!)

Burned the lentils to the pan, as I always seem to do, but yummo. Thanks for this.
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[icon] Mushroom Daal--fully vegetarian - Indian Food Lovers
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