Uttaranchali Massor dal (Lentil broth as made in Uttaranchal , India)

Uttaranchali Masoor Dal
I was going through the stats of my blog when I realized that one of the readers was interested in knowing how masoor dal is made in Kumaon, Uttaranchal. Thus I thought of blogging the recipe for cooking my humble masoor dal as it is made in Uttaranchal. Really speaking sometimes the taste of childhood and the love with which mother / grandmother cook and serve make even simple thing too special and we try to replicate them. I will give the recipe for the dal but from where I am going to bring the same love and care as my mother had poured into the dal. God forgive me for my audacity of trying to replicate the taste.

Preparation Time: 5 min.

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Servings: 4 Large servings

Ingredients required For making masoor Dal:

150 gm. masoor dal1/2Tea spoon Turmeric powder2 Tea spoon Ghee (If the ghee is melted then 10 ml.)Salt to taste1/2Tea spoon Cumin Seeds2 Tea spoon Jambu (Herb from Kumaon)2-3 Whole Red Chilies 1Pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
Directions For making masoor dal:

Wash masoor dal till water comes out clean.In a thick bottom cooking vessel take Washed dal5 ml. ghee SaltTurmeric powder250 ml. waterWashed Masoor Dal, Turmeric powder, salt and waterHeat the ingredients in the vessel on high flame till water starts boiling.Lower the flame, cover and cook on low flame with occasional stirring for 20 min.Masoor dal after 20 min of cooking on low flameIf required add hot water in little portions as such that the dal should not become too thin and watery. Cook till the dal becomes soft but not completely dissolved in water.Masoor dal after 25 min. of cooking on low flameRemove from gas.Masoor dal ready for seasoningIn a small pan / serving spoon heat ghee.When the ghee is very hot add cumin seeds.Cumin seeds will splutter, add whole red Chilies. Chilies will change the color to dark red.Immediately add Jambu and Asafoetida.Lovely flavor of seasoning will come and jambu will start becoming brown in color.Seasoning (Tadka) readyAdd this hot ghee with seasonings to the hot dal and cover the immediately after putting the spoon with seasoning in the dal.When the seasoning is put to the dal should be covered immediately to avoid spilling of dal and seasoning. Also covering the dal after the seasoning is added will make sure the taste and flavor of jambu, cumin, red chili and Asafoetida seep nicely to the dal. Seasoning (Tadka) added to Cooked hot dalUttaranchali Masoor DalMasoor dal as made in Uttaranchal is ready to be served with rice (Bhaat), Palak ka kapa and bhanga (A Kumaoni seed used to make chutney) ki chutney.Garnish with fresh, finely cut coriander.
Do not change ghee to any other cooking oil the taste will not be the same. If you want reduce the amount to half of the amount told in ingredients. Taste of this dal depends on the exact state it is to be cooked if cooked less it will not mix with water if overcooked it will become like a paste.If you are cooking in pressure cooker keep the cooker on medium flame till pressure is built and the moment cooker gives first whistle, switch off the gas and allow the cooker to cool. Dal will get cooked while cooker is getting cooled.Since Jambu is available only in Kumaon so if you do not have it, no option other than do not use it. The flavor which red chilies, cumin seeds and Asafoetida impart to ghee itself is heavenly.
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