Yes, there is something called food perfume. It is the intense fragrance of a delicacy cooked in such a way that it perks up even the dullest of appetites and makes one go “hmmm..now that’s making me hungry!”
Cooking spinach/palak with moong dal was one of my favorites until my Mom-in-law who is visiting us here, whipped up this amazing methi dal last weekend. While she cleaned the fenugreek/methi leaves with immense patience and chopped them finely, I just assumed all along that they would go into a dish that I was very familiar with. So off I went, into the interiors of the house, only to be drawn back towards the kitchen a few minutes later by the strong aromatic fenugreek food perfume. The fragrance of fresh methi leaves sautéed with minced ginger and onions lugged me into the kitchen with such strong force that I followed the aroma blindly, coming face to face with a pot of stunning, flawless moong dal with white, bright green and red blemishes simmering away to glory on the stove. While I impatiently hovered around the slowly bubbling dal and grabbed my camera to get ready for a photo shoot, I soaked up the recipe from my Mom-in-law.
Here is how she made it:
- 2 bunches of fresh fenugreek/methi leaves, cleaned and finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups of cooked moong dal (split green gram)
- 1 medium sized onion, diced
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
- 1 ½ inch piece of ginger, finely minced
- 5-6 green chilies, minced (adjust according your tolerance for heat)
- 1 ½ tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cups of water (adjust according to your desired consistency)
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a pot on medium heat and add the jeera/cumin seeds. Let them sizzle and stir in the ginger, turmeric and green chilies.
- Add the chopped onions and fry until they turn translucent
- Add the diced tomatoes and sauté a few minutes, until pulped
- Add in the chopped methi and sauté the leaves until they start to wilt, just for a couple of minutes. Do not over cook the leaves if you like to retain the robust flavor of methi
- Add the cooked moong dal, water and salt and mix well. Bring this to a boil on medium heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes
- Serve hot with plain steamed rice and/or rotis. If you are like me, you’d just enjoy this solely by the bowlful as an amazing, flavorful soup!
All dishes green! JFI Green Leafy Vegetables round up!