have a wonderful, safe 4th of July celebration and enjoy!!
Well.....nothing much happened last week over here apart from driving the kids to keep a few appointments, being busy renovating the house one room at a time and trying to empty the fridge as much as possible. As for as the weather goes, it rained for 5 days which was a big relief for us but now back to the usual hot and humid again! Since we have moved here, I have noticed that it rains every year on 4th of July without fail just before the Independence day fireworks starts at the Lake, looking forward to that this year too!! :P
Updated on the 5th! Told you it would rain on every 4th of July,here are the videos! :D
For this week's post, I decided to make an easy and nutritious Dal Bukhara in the slow cooker. In North India, as the book says, they traditionally cook the whole black gram/Kali dal overnight on a little stove on low heat charcoal embers to get a perfectly cooked, soft beans and lightly season to serve with Parathas or rotis next day. Very few Indian restaurants offer Dal Bukhara on their menu, definitely not as common as Dal Makhani.
Here is a website I found which gives you few Indian dishes you can make in the slow cooker. Check it out for more ideas!
I try to make the same dish about 4 month's ago for the first time trying to replicate the traditional overnight cooking process, I cooked the dal on low heat in the slow cooker the whole night. By next morning the dal had become slimy to touch and to taste although it smelled good and tasted good! :P
Learning from the above experience, last week I started the slow cooker in the morning for evening dinner with soaked Kali dal in it on low heat, cooked for about 5-6hrs. This time it was perfectly cooked, I seasoned it and cooked for half an hr again. Here it is, a perfect tasty Dal Bukhara!! :)
Unlike Dal Makhani or Dal Maharani, Dal Bukhara is made with just whole black gram without any other beans added and lightly seasoned, garnish of cream or butter as an option.(I didn't add that much of cream and butter as they recommended in the book but just few tbsps for taste and some of butter for garnish. Whole black gram provides chockful of fiber and protein, makes a great brunch or dinner on weekends. This recipe is adapted from a book "Indian Menu Planner" authored by various master chefs of Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi! (I have made some changes to the recipe as I always do!)
Mansi from "Funnfud" blog is hosting an event called "Healthy Cooking" this month for which we are supposed to cook healthy food to send it to her, to eat well and live well. Here is mine!
Dal Bukhara, a simple dish made of Black whole Urad, also called Sabut Urad, Maah or whole black gram or Kali dal, which is a slow cooked and lightly seasoned dish, is full of fiber, low in fat, high in protein and a very nutritious dish to be served whole wheat Chapatis or Parathas. Have fun hosting Mansi! :)
Health food: Hectic lifestyle makes us all easy to skip a nutritious meal and grab a fast food on the run. But it is very easy a plan a healthful dish if we educate ourself and choose the right kind of meal. Proteins are necessary addition for our health. A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein and under 1 gram of fat, animal protein comes with bit more fat than vegs and beans. Vegetable sources of protein such as beans, nuts and whole grains are excellent choices and they offer healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals. The best animal protein would be fish and poultry which has naturally are less fatty. For more info, click here, here, here, here and a fun health food site for kids is here! Enjoy reading these and now, let's make some yummy Dal Bukhara, shall we? :)
Dal Bukhara, slow cooker style!
Note: I have changed the proportion than it's given in the book as we need less dal at home. You can also use a heavy bottomed dish or non-stick cast iron dish like Le Creuset Dutch oven /dish instead of slow cooker. Idea is to cook for a long time on low heat without burning the dal at bottom of the pan. It's easier in slow cooker, might even work in the oven at 200F, cooked for few hrs!
1 1/2 cups of dry Whole black gram/Kali dal/Sabut Urad (click on Dal Maharani to see the Black gram photo), soaked overnight and drained,
1 small onion, very finely minced, and 1 Bay leaf, cooked with dal (optional),
4 tbsp cream (low fat or fat free is fine or use sour cream if you like), (btw books says 2/3 cup cream, if you want to be authentic go ahead and add to the dal or skip the cream altogether but some cream added to the dal makes it delicious!),
1 tbsp of butter for garnish or skip it. (book says 1/2 cup, I bet it tastes good but ain't trying it! :D)
1 1/2 tbsp butter or Canola oil,
Ginger paste 1 tbsp,
Garlic paste 2 tsp,
1/2 cup Tomato sauce, canned is okay,
1 tsp sugar (optional but helps to reduce the acidity in tomato sauce),
2 tsp pre-made Dhana-Jeera or 1 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds pd+3/4 tsp Cumin pd (my addition), 1/2 tsp chilli pd/to your taste,
Some cilantro and salt,
1 fresh red chilli, sliced as an option, looks pretty in contrast to Kali dal! :)
To make it:
1. Soak black gram overnight, wash, drain all the water in the morning. Add beans to the slow cooker along with 4-5 cups of water, bay leaf, minced onion if you are using, cover and turn heat on low (cook on high if you want it within 4hrs), keep a timer on for 4 hrs and go do other stuff! :D
2. After 4hrs, check the dal, add 1 fresh chilli sliced to the dal, cover and leave it alone for another hr if it's not completely done. Check back after an hour. If it's 90% cooked, cover it and start making the seasoning. Beans should be soft, still somewhat whole when done but not mashed too much like a smooth gravy!
Now the book says, you have to add all the above seasoning ingredients raw to the dal directly and then cook for one more hour. I don't like the raw smell of ginger-garlic in the dal even after it cooks in the dal, so I prepare the seasoning separately and then add it to the slow cooker.
3. Heat a pan with butter, add ginger and garlic paste, let it sizzle for 2 mins. Add Tomato sauce, pinch of salt, 1 tsp sugar, chilli pd. Let it cook for 2 mins or until raw smell of the tomato sauce goes, oil shows a bit on top. Check the dal once more if it's almost cooked.
4. Add all the seasoning to the soft dal now, add enough salt, spice powders and butter. Mix the dal gently.
5. Before adding cream, add some hot dal to cream in a bowl first, mix well and then add all the cream to the dal to avoid curdling the cream and mix the dal well. Turn off the heat, let it cool down. You can take out the dal in a bigger serving bowl now.
6. To serve, add dal in a bowl, drizzle a tsp of cream on top or a dab of butter, along with some freshly made Parathas on the side!
Dal Bukhara and Parathas, a healthy and hearty meal:
Dal Bukhara tastes better the next day. Reheat in the microwave to serve, enjoy buddies! :)
********************************************************************************************************************* After all the wonderful article on Protein and low fat healthful food, why are you making a post on how to make Ghee/clarified butter, did you say? Shhh..!! Just make some ghee, will ya!! :D
"Fat is necessary and a concentrated source of energy. Health institution recommend that we should have not more than 30% of total calories in our daily intake and 1/3 of that 30% may include saturated fat. There are good fat like non-saturated fat, both polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated and bad fat of course is saturated fat. We shouldn't avoid all kinds of fats just because you hear fat is very bad!" Info from here, check out this site.
How I make my homemade Tuppa or Ghee or clarified butter:
Yes, we eat few tsps of this heavenly saturated fat called ghee everyday at my home. My folks have been doing that too for ages and for generations back home in India!:D
This was in my draft for ages now, I have been planning to post but never had the chance until today. This is how I make ghee/Tuppa in Kannada or clarified butter at home every 3 months or so. I add 2 tsp of ghee to the whole dish at the end of cooking everyday, it helps to enhance the taste and keep the fat to minimal. This way there is no need to add individual portions of ghee when we eat our food as we do in India! :)
Flavored butter like this recipe has a very subtle since I add whole spices, is great for adding in any savory dish and some sweet dishes as well, as I served ghee with Sojjappalu in my previous post.
If you like to add ghee to sweet desserts like Mysore Pak, skip all the other spices except salt and turmeric. You can also make just plain ghee without adding any of the spices shown above as well, ghee looks cream colored when done.
Step by step photos, click to enlarge the collage:
6 sticks of unsalted Butter or 3 cups of butter,
few curry leaves,
3 whole cloves,
2 peeled whole garlic, lightly crushed,
pinch of chilli flakes or 1 whole dry red chilly,(optional)
4 whole black Pepper corns,
1/2" cinnamon stick,
1/8 tsp of salt,
1/8 tsp of good quality Turmeric.
A clean dry Bottle, a fine meshed metal strainer, a funnel (optional but helps).
How to make Ghee:
DO NOT use salted butter, you will end up with very salty, odd tasting ghee. You can add 1-2 pinchs of salt to unsalted butter to get the grainy looking ghee!
1. Add all the above in a big pan, three times bigger than the butter mix to prevent spilling over, heat on medium until butter melts completely. Turn down the heat medium low ie #2 knob on the oven and let it simmer for an hour.
2. Heat must be on low so it doesn't foam too quickly and spill over. After an hour, check the bottom of the pan for golden bits of solids. Don't let it brown. If it is still too light colored, let it simmer for 15 mins more or until you get golden solids on the bottom of the pan. Got to watch the pan carefully at this stage.
DO NOT BURN the solids! Turn the heat off, take the pan off the heat and leave it for 3 mins.
3. Put a clean dry towel underneath a clean dry bottle (wet surface might crack the glass when hot liquid hits!), pour the ghee thru' a strainer placed on a funnel until you just have solids and spices left over on the strainer. You can throw away the solids now or use it to make seasoned Ghee rice or to temper the sambhar! :D
4. Cool the bottle completely without the lid on the counter top. When cooled, store in the fridge or you can leave it on the counter top as long as there is no moisture in the bottle. Use dry spoon to scoop every time.
5. If you have Ghee pot like above, scoop some ghee in it, keep it outside while you keep the bottle is in the fridge. Replace whenever you need into the ghee pot from the bottle.
Note: Ghee will go rancid outside the fridge if you keep it for months or you have not let solids become golden, have taken the pan off the heat early when the solids are still looking creamish. WAIT until it get golden and do not let it turn brown, that means ghee is burnt, will get a burnt smell! Add a tsp of ghee to any dish at the end of cooking to enhance the taste. Enjoy the super tasty 100% saturated fat, in moderation of course!! :))
No Kannadiga wedding is complete without a tsp of melted ghee streamed down on the hot Bisibele Bhath or a dollop on the hot white rice! As a brand new young bride many yrs ago, I was given a pot of ghee to serve when we were at my husband's estate the day after our wedding, feeding a crowd of relatives who came from near and far to see us! Wish I had a photo of me serving Ghee!! ;D
I tried these dishes last week and my last list here (hopefully!:D) as well until September! I try not to cook too much this week so we don't have any leftovers when we leave home. Thanks to all you for posting these delicious recipes. We enjoyed having them on our dinner table. Keep it up and enjoy blogging my dear buddies! :)
Dosakai Pachadi from Padma's blog (Used regular Cucumber instead of Dosakai! :D)
Baalekai paladya from Ramya's blog.
Stuffed Baby Brinjal from Latha's blog.
Pav Bhaji from Nupur's blog.
Kathirikkai Pithlai for Sowmya's blog.
Cheddar garlic biscuits from cham's blog.
Pindi Chana from Viji's blog. (Private blog)
Paneer Tikka Masala from JZ's blog.(Added some green peas)
Khasta Kachori from Lakshmi G's blog.
Have a fun weekend. One last and a special post to go here next Wednesday. Hugs to all of you!:))
July 02, 2008