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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I love weekend lunches. In my family we always prefer going out for lunch over dinner.
 It's more relaxed, you can eat more, feel less guilty ,sleep when you get home in the afternoon and work off some calories in the evening walk.

So typically on Sunday, when the house has been cleaned and the prolonged obligatory baths completed, we head out for LUNCH. Now this is not at 13:00 hrs - we're still talking 11:00 hrs.

 It's a leisurely drive on roads that are almost irrecognisable without the crazy traffic. We cruise into a parking spot without the proverbial eagle eye in operation and without getting cursed for our good luck - and we're all set to go. Surprise! surprise! we left home only minutes ago - not hours. Ah! how I love such surprises.

And then we begin ordering -
Since we're teetotallers and on other days loyal to our balanced diets - we go the whole hog on these lunches. There's hardly a starter that we haven't ordered by the time we are through with our respective choices and the poor waiter is looking us up and down incredulously. Shamelessly enough we plod on and order drinks and ask him to come back later for our lunch order.

So we spend a good hour and half chomping away on the starters, lazing and basking in the shaded afternoon sun and generally catching up on the weeks gossip. (On weekdays our only conversation is via mobile phones - we're too grumpy to talk in the morning and too tired to talk at night)

Then comes the time to order lunch. Now this is a slightly touchy issue or rather was - until I picked up a crucial recipe. I would always order - Dal Makhani (kali dal) and my husband could not see any sense in a otherwise fanatic non-vegetarian ordering dal at a restaurant especially since dal makhani is always ridiculously overpriced everywhere. 

Then one day I decided to root out this contentious issue from our otherwise peaceful Sundays and this is the recipe I picked up.
It is so easy and so low on oil that I now make it on any odd day - not necessarily waiting for a Sunday. I have stopped ordering this dish at restaurants and that has brought down my restaurant bill considerably


For most of the time the dal is pressure cooking (25 mins) or simmering (10 mins) on it's own. The only human touch is in frying the tomatoes (5 mins). So 5 mins is about the only time invested. And there's no makkhan (butter) in the makhani - so eat all you like 

  1. Measure out a katori of sabut Urad ki dal. Wash it well until the rinsed out water runs clear
  2. Put the dal into a cooker with about 8 times the amount of water
  3. Throw in 2 whole red chillies , A tsp of ginger garlic paste and 3/4 tsp of salt
  4. Close the cooker and cook it on high flame until the first whistle and then on lowest flame for another 20 minutes.
  5. Turn off the flame and allow the cooker to cool
  6. Meanwhile - Heat a tablespoon of oil in a kadhai
  7. In this oil fry 1 chopped tomato
  8. Add a tsp of ginger garlic paste to the fried tomato
  9. Turn off the flame and add 2 tsp of kasoori methi to it.
  10. When the cooker cools open it and add the fried tomato to the dal
  11. Add a glass of milk to the dal to dilute it and mix well
  12. Simmer the dal on the gas at minimum flame for 10 minutes
You can add more milk if you like or simmer for longer if you like the dal very thick.


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