Tuesday 4 June 2013

Khatti Daal ( Lentil cooked in Tamarind)

                                          ** Click on each picture to see a large image**

Actually if I translate the name it does not give you THAT khatti feeling which gives reading “Khatti Daal “ :)
A small introduction for those who never heard of it or its new to them
Khatti Daal is a very famous Hyderabai daal cooked in tamarind (imli) water. I think no week is complete without this main dish as it’s a must every week : )

Unfortunately I don’t cook it every week as like 10 million (my brother is an exceptional case, he takes after my Mom and us all : ) ) other men my hubby darling is no fan of too khatti things :( But this does not stop me from not enjoying what i like so I make the first stage together and then I split my share and cook further, so this way we both are happy :)

I remember my Mom also used to make it the same way, all her typical Hydearabdi dishes were  finger licking and sadly I have forgotten so much with the passing time ……but my childhood memories take me back to Karachi where my Nani used to cook this nearly every other day and that too for dinner.
The large pot of Daal on one stove and a pot of Khushka on the other, and then we used to stand with our plate right in front of her and she used to take it out hot and fresh in each plate and then we used to sit in a circle and enjoy with all the family.
Some things always remain so fresh in the memory.
This daal is not cooked like the normal masoor daal which is a bit thicker, this actually has a very thin consistency and that is the taste of it. It is very easy may be a bit of more time demanding but cooks fast.
My Mom darling always used to add 3-4 thick green chilies in the Daal pot and used to say, when the chiles turn in faded green color the daal is ready and I used to wonder haai :I how does this work. :/ and now I make all my daals the same way and I know what she meant : ) The daal boil and boil so long till it turn so soft that we see no hard grain in it and exactly the time where the green chilies also become light and soft in color and form.


This is how my Mom used to make so I have followed her steps , I just made a puree of tomatoes as I find it easier to mix all, she used to peal and then cut small tiny cubes and add, the outcome is same just that she used to stir it well so the tomatoes become a paste and I already add the paste form.
1 cup Daal Masoor ( red/orange one)
½ cup Daal Mong ( yellow one)
4-5 garlic pods (crushed)
2 large tomatoes( make a puree)
1 ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
¾ tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
4 green chilies (whole,NO slits)
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp cumin powder (bhunna zeera powder)
1 ½ tsp tamarind paste (imli paste)
3-4 glasses of water (more if needed)
*Wash and soak the daals in a bit hot water for around 20 minutes
*Add in the pot along with all the spices, puree, and crushed garlic and the 3 glasses of water, leave 1 for later!
* let it cook on a medium heat so the daal is well mixed while being cooked
*you will see no more hard grains of the lentil so now we sieve it
*make sure to take out the green chilies out of the pot before you start the second stage!
*take another pot, place a large fine sieve on it and pout this ready daal onto it
*You will get a nearly water like daal in the other pot, just press out the rest daal in the sieve by mixing and pasting it through the sieve so you get nearly all the daal’s taste and spices form it
*now mix in the tamarind paste ( I bought the readymade one) and whisk well so all seems smooth
* now add the 1 glass water and now cook again on a medium heat
**It is important that we cook the daal again after adding tamarind because if it is not cooked well, firstly it will taste like nothing, secondly you can get a sore throat very soon!**
*Let it cook at least 15 -20 minutes till you see the color of the daal turning a bit brownish and the tamarind shows up a little on the sides too
*many add lemon in it to make it more sour but personal taste, it shouldn’t only be sour it should also taste good : )

*Now make the Baghaar(tempering) the way we make for all other daals
I used:
1 onion fine sliced
3 garlic pods sliced
5-7 red whole chilies
6-8 cloves
6-8 black pepper corns
7-9 karhi pattay (karri leaves)
1 tbs white cumin seeds
½ tsp brown mustard seeds
½ cup desi ghee (clarified butter)
*heat the oil, add the red chilies and fry till nice brown
*add the onions and fry till light brown
*add the cloves and black pepper… fry
*add the garlic…..fry add karhi leaves…. Fry sprinkle the mustard seeds… fry
*in the end sprinkle the cumin seeds fry till they sizzle and pour this all over the daal and cover the lid immediately so the aroma stays in the pot and not all over in the home :D
Serve it with Khushka, I always fry my Daal pappadum with it and have kachumbar and acchar , what a perfect Lunch.  Alhamdolillah!!!



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