Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Seasonal Salad with Apples, Pecans, and Cheese

Mixed Greens Salad with Apples and Pecans, Balsamic Vinaigrette
Mixed Greens, Apples, Pecans, Goat Cheese, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

There is hardly any story here. This salad is a cafe classic that became a favorite at home for two main reasons - it tastes good, and it is immensely satisfying. It is great as a first course salad but works just as well as a light main dish by increasing the quantities or by adding an egg or other protein on the side. It also follows my current mantra of making something using few stellar ingredients each of which contributes towards a great end result.

The crunch of sweet apples is offset by the tangy creaminess of the cheese and the nutty pecans, all providing great character to the basic green salad. When local apples start showing up in the farmers market in fall and winter, this is a salad I look forward to. The dressing is my all time favorite too, one that I must've made over a hundred times by now. Sometimes even when I eat outside I choose a salad just because I see the words 'balsamic vinaigrette' on the menu.

A note on the mustard

Even though the mustard is used in such a tiny amount here, its taste really comes through, so use a good mustard that you really like, or leave it out. I absolutely do not mean to be a snob, but at the risk of sounding like one I have to say that the best prepared mustard I have had is a champagne mustard I bought a couple of years back in Paris, at La grande ├ępicerie. It was seriously good stuff, and a regular Dijon mustard also bought there is a close second. Sadly, I have yet to find anything like either of those here.

Mixed Greens Salad with Apples and Pecans, Balsamic Vinaigrette

Like most salads, the following quantities should be used only as a general guideline and not as a precise recipe. These are for 2 servings, and can be scaled very easily.

Ingredients for Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
a bit of coarse salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for salad

mixed geeens, about 4 cups
1 small apple
big handful of pecans, or walnuts
4 Tablespoons feta cheese, goat cheese, or any type of blue cheese
salt and pepper

Tossing it together

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the mustard, honey, and vinegar, and slowly add the olive oil, whisking until everything emulsifies together. Add coarse salt and ground pepper.

Heat a medium sized skillet and toast the pecans for a few minutes just until they start to turn a shade darker. Keep an eye on them, they take turn bitter if roasted too much. Let them cool.

Rinse and dry the salad greens. Core the apple and slice it thin.

Spoon the dressing over the greens a little at a time, and toss until the leaves are light coated with the dressing. Add the apples, pecans, and cheese, and a little salt and pepper to taste.

Sending this over to Andrew for his event 'Waiter, there is something in my Seasonal Salad'.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Baroda Dal Dhokli

Considering that I was fairly familiar with Gujarati food throughout my life, I found out about Dal Dhokli very very late, and when I did, my first reaction was 'whoa, this is like fresh pasta, on steroids!'. As soon as I tasted it, it was such a revelation that something so simple could taste so good, that I had to immediately ask the person who made it, for the recipe, and ever since I have made it several times myself. Dal Dhokli consists of two main parts, the dhoklis which are pieces of thinly rolled out dough, and the thin dal in which they are boiled until cooked. The overall result is thicker than soup, and substantial enough to be eaten as a main dish. This is a very comforting sort of meal, and even good to eat when one is under the weather (like I am right now, unfortunately). A crudites style salad rounds off the meal very nicely. For those not familiar with the dish, I should add that these 'dhoklis' bear no relation to the more popular and accessible 'dhoklas'.

Even though I like my usual recipe a lot, I wanted to try out something different for a change, and I found one that looked good in 'Rotis and Naans of India' by Purobi Babbar which happens to be quite a favorite cookbook of mine. This book is low on contextual information but it is a solid compilation of recipes that always work really well, or at least have worked really well for me so far. Even though the book has recipes for things besides rotis and naans that look very promising, that is the only section I have used.

In this particular case, I don't know why the title in the book says 'Baroda' Dal Dhokli and what it is (if there is anything) that distinguishes it from the Dal Dhokli made in other parts of Gujarat. Perhaps someone like Priyanka might know. Even though I made several changes to the original, I was rather pleased with the result. Pleased enough to want to use this recipe until I decide to fall back on the old favorite. I did not add any garlic in the tadka as specified, used brown sugar instead of white, and instead of amchoor, the choice of acid was (you guessed it) Meyer lemon juice, squeezed over the dal at the very end. Another thing I did this time (and was left wondering why I didn't think of it before) was to make a double batch of the dhoklis and freeze them, so that next time around I only need to make some dal and pop in the dhoklis.

Gujarati Dal Dhokli
Photo taken in a small window of opportunity right before dinner, with the squeezed lemon landing fortuitously in the background.

Here is my recipe, adapted. The book says it serves 6, but based on experience, I'd say not more than 4.

For the dhoklis

1 cup wheat flour (chappati flour, atta)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon oil
water for mixing.

Sift the flour and add the spices and salt to it. Rub the oil into the flour, and slowly add water to make a stiff and smooth dough. Divide the dough into 4 or 5 pieces, and roll out each piece into a rectangle about as thick as a chappati. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into pieces about 2" X 2" in size.

Dhoklis: Rolled and Cut
Making the dhoklis

For the dal

1 cup (or 160 grams) toor dal
1/2 of a medium yellow onion
1 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (I used rajwadi)
1 teaspoon amchoor (or lemon juice)

1 Tablespoon oil or ghee
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
5-6 cloves
2-3 dried red chilies (boriya or small round chilies)
10-12 curry leaves
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
2-3 Tablespoons of chopped cilantro
ghee, optional

Chop the onion fine. Cook the dal with turmeric and onion using 5 cups of water, in a pressure cooker or directly on stove top. When it is fully cooked, whisk together until smooth, and add salt and sugar. Bring the dal to a boil, add the rajwadi garam masala. If using amchoor, add it as well. Add the dhokli pieces to the dal, and cook for a few minutes.

In the meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan for the tempering (vaghaar) to be poured on top. Add the mustard seeds and when they start to pop, add cumin seeds, cloves, chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida, and pour the mixture on the dal. Add the chopped cilantro leaves, and if using lemon juice, squeeze it on top. Add a little ghee, if you like. Tastes best if served immediately.

The old favorite

I am also adding here the usual dal dhokli recipe I have used until now.

For 2-3

For the Dhoklis

3/4 cup chappati flour (atta)
1/4 cup besan
1 tsp ajwain
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Mix the atta, besan, ajwain, chili powder, and salt, and add enough water to it to make a stiff dough. Roll out the dough, cut it into pieces, separate the individual pieces and leave them on a large tray to dry out for 1-2 hours.

For the dal

3/4 cup toor dal
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 green chilies
1 inch piece of ginger
about 10 sprigs of cilantro, chopped

1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
5-10 curry leaves
pinch of fenugreek (methi) seeds
pinch of urad dal
pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
salt to taste

Cook dal with turmeric in a pressure cooker. Whisk it to make sure it is smooth. Make a paste of the chilies, ginger, cilantro.

In a large and deep pan, heat the oil, and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, and finally add the cooked dal. Add the ground paste, and plenty of water. Add the cumin and coriander powders and salt. Bring it to a boil. Add the dhokli pieces to the dal and cook it for a few minutes on medium heat until the dal starts to thicken and the dhoklis have softened and cooked.

Freezing Dhoklis
Dhoklis: Frozen
If you wish to freeze dhoklis, lay out the individual dhoklis without crowding on a tray and keep it in the freezer for a few hours, and then transfer to a freezer bag or container and put it back in the freezer. When you are ready to use them, they can be put directly into boiling dal without thawing.

Sending this entry to RCI: Gujarat.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Popped Rice Chiwda

lahyancha chiwda

A recent invitation to a housewarming party said 'no gifts please'. While I appreciate the sentiment, I have known the hosting family for a long time, and hadn't met them in a while, so I just didn't feel it was right to go there empty handed. I decided on taking an edible gift instead, in place of an unwanted trinket that they were probably trying to avoid.

I thought of muffins or some kind of breakfast bread that they could have the next day, but wasn't sure if they ate eggs, so dropped that idea. They would also in all likelihood have some food leftover from the party that day, so I thought perhaps something that would last a little longer would be better. Something old-fashioned, but familiar, something healthy, but delicious, and with this list of criteria, I zeroed in on chiwda, more specifically lahyancha chiwda. It is much quicker to make than the traditional Diwali chiwda that I make annually for Diwali (of course) and all the ingredients needed for this chiwda were already at home.

Chiwda: of Lahya

Lahya (plural) is the marathi term for popped grains. The original recipe called for popped jowar (jondhalyacha lahya), but I have not seen those here. The popped rice lahya on the other hand are found quite easily in Indian grocery stores, and in giant big bags too, referred to as puffed paddy. This nomenclature doesn't sound right to me, because puffed paddy could also apply to regular kurmure that are used to make bhel, but that doesn't bother me. It is the store strategy of packing things in giant bags and thus forcing me to buy more of what I need that is actually very annoying.

This chiwda is adapted from a recipe in Ruchira, and needs two uniquely maharashtrian ingredients - goda masala and metkut, that together impart a wonderful taste distinct from the regular chiwda. Metkut is a multi-purpose powder made out of various grains and spices, and is one of the many things that I have never made myself. I bring a packet of metkut made at home every time I go to India, and it usually lasts in the fridge well until my next trip back. Metkut is also increasingly available now in well stocked Indian grocery stores in the US. If you cannot find it here, of course, you can look for it when you travel to Maharashtra. In Bombay, you will need to head to a store that is geared towards a more niche marathi clientele.

Chiwda: Ingredients
Spices, Nuts, Lahya, Curry Leaves

Before making the chiwda, check to see if the popped rice is crisp and crumbly. If not, spread it out on a cookie sheet and keep in a low temperature oven (between 150 and 170) for about 15 minutes, until the grains can be crumbled by just pressing it between a finger and thumb. This method works for me, but the grains available here could vary in quality.


6 cups of lahya (popped rice or jowar), crisped in the oven if required

4 Tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
10-12 curry leaves
1/2 cup peanuts (or cashewnuts, or a mix of both)
1/2 cup coconut curls

1 teaspoon red chili powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons goda masala
4 teaspoons metkut
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)


Mix the chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, goda masala, metkut, sugar and salt in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a large wok, kadhai, or Dutch oven. Add the mustard seeds, and when they start to pop, add the asafoetida, turmeric, curry leaves, and the peanuts. When the peanuts are almost fried in the oil, add the coconut curls, and when they start to turn golden brown, take the wok off from the heat, and let the oil cool slightly.

Stir in the remaining dry spices into the oil, and then add the popped rice to it, and using a large spoon mix until the grains are coated with the spice and oil mix.

Let cool completely before eating, and store the remaining in an air tight containers. It can last for several days.


  • This is a moderately spicy chiwda, so reduce the amount of chili powder if you like it mild.
  • Keep the chiwda slightly undersalted when you make it, as it tends to absorb the salt in about a day.
  • Metkut often has salt added to it, so make sure you adjust the quantity of salt according to how salty the metkut is.

An Alternative to Popped Rice

I have also made this chiwda using Kashi Wholegrain Puffs, and it tastes just as good. The story goes that I bought the cereal while on a virtuous eating mission, but did not like it at all as a regular cereal with milk. So something had to be done with it, and turned to this chiwda formula to take it from blah to ah!

Chiwda: Of Kashi Wholegrain Puffs

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Lemon Scented Shortbread

For full flavor minus tartness

Meyer Lemon Shortbread

The urge to use the Meyer Lemons in a dessert had been quite strong for a while, even though I was trying very hard to use them in healthy(ier) everyday things that use lemons anyway. A good squeeze flavored a batch of hummus, some went into guacamole, in dal, in rasam, in all good things that need a little tartness. However, other than some lemon zest in a pasta with broccoli, the zest had been largely neglected. It had also been a long time since I baked anything with just good old flour, sugar, and butter. So finally, I gave in, and decided to do something sweet with the lemons.

I used a recipe for Lavender Shortbread from pastry chef Gale Gand, but used Meyer lemon zest instead of dried lavender. Very tender, flaky, and pleasantly lemon flavored, these were delightful to bake, and even more so to eat. I have made shortbread cookies before, but this was the first time I used a recipe that calls for cornstarch, and I don't know if that was the reason but these were one of the best I have ever eaten. Dare I say, even better than some of those special packages of black and red tartan that come from countries yonder.

They are also likely to be easily adaptable to other flavors, as long it is something that can provide big flavor in small doses. Orange zest for sure, but I think cardamom, which is a huge favorite of mine, would also do well.

The recipe is perfect as it is but I used a food processor with the dough blade instead of a stand mixer. I thought that 1/4th teaspoon salt would be too much, and that just a pinch would suffice. I am noting the recipe here for future use, along with some changes that might make it more useful.

As an aside, this was easily the most distracting photo session I have had with food. At every moment I wanted to grab one of those cookies, making it very difficult to focus. Yes, pun intended.

Meyer Lemon Shortbread: b&w

Meyer Lemon Shortbread

Tender, flaky, and not too sweet


8 tablespoons (1 stick) cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
zest of two lemons, about 1 teaspoon


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 by 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Stir together the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl.

Cream the butter until soft in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a food processor with the dough blade. Add 1/4 cup sugar and mix until incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix at low speed just until the ingredients are almost incorporated, then add the lemon zest, and mix until the dough starts to come together.

Flour a work surface, turn the dough onto it, and knead it 5 to 10 times, to bring the dough together and smooth it out. Reflour the work surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a little less than 1/4-inch thick to fit the 8 by 8-inch pan.

To transfer to the pan, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, lift it up, and unroll into the pan. Or, press the dough thoroughly into the pan with your fingers. Prick the shortbread all over with a fork, to prevent any buckling or shrinking. Sprinkle the surface evenly with 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, deflate the dough by knocking the pan once against the oven rack then rotate the pan to ensure even cooking and a flat surface. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until golden all over and very lightly browned. As soon as it comes out of the oven, sprinkle the surface evenly with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Let cool about 5 minutes. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 3 rows by 5 rows making about 1 1/2-inch by 3-inch bars.

Let cool completely in the pan. Remove from the pan and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Sending this to Jhiva - Lime and Lemon.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Moong Dal Khichadi with Potatoes

Comfort Food

There is an old marathi adage, that goes 'vyakti titkyaa prakruti', which means 'there are as many personalities as there are people', and the food extension of it might be that there are as many khichadis too. Some like it soft, almost mashed, some prefer it more pulao like, with all grains intact. Some like it mild, others prefer it spiced. Either way, it is a quick and easy one pot meal of rice and dal that is comforting to eat and effortless to make, and almost everyone who grew up with tends to recall fondly. The rice in it adds the starch, which has to somewhat magically mean comfort in any language, and the dal adds a good source of protein which is easy to digest. It is also a dish that is found throughout the country in some form or the other - khichdi, khichri, khichuri, venn pongal, even kedgeree, which was adopted by the colonials, are all variations on the same theme, and just some of the names by which I know it.

I recall a friend in school who said that she disliked khichadi because it reminded her of the times when she was sick, and I just couldn't relate to that, because at our house, khichadi was always a Sunday dinner feast. It was never bland, always delicious, and served with several simple accompaniments, making it a warm, hearty meal to wrap up the weekend before we all started another rigorous week. I saw the friend's point later in life, after I heard about the mild, very soft khichadi that some people make when in need of some kind of recuperation, which also confirmed how two people who lived within minutes of each other saw the same thing so differently.

The general rule I follow when making khichadi is to use 2 parts rice to 1 part of dal, usually moong dal. If there is some time, I like to soak the dal for about an hour and the rice for about half an hour, as the dal gets softer and it helps to speed up the cooking. If there are any vegetables on hand, those can be added to it too.

Moong Dal Khichadi

Moong Dal Khichadi with Potatoes

The basic, simple maharashtrian moogachi khichadi can be made in several ways. This is a version I made once after returning from a long and tiring trip, and it turned out really good, so I had to make a note of it. What I do usually is more or less the same, with variations. The potato is a great addition if one believes that there is no such thing as starch redundancy, but other vegetables like cauliflower and peas are also very good in this khichadi. Goda masala is the main flavor component here and it has no substitutes. Any other compatible masala could be used here, but that will change the taste accordingly.

The usual accompaniments to it at home were yogurt, fried sandga mirchi (dried chilies stuffed with spices), roasted papad, pickles, thinly sliced onion, and extra grated coconut and chopped cilantro. A good spoonful of ghee used to be poured over the khichadi itself.


1 cup of rice
1/2 cup of moong dal
1/2 medium red onion
2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida
4-5 cloves (optional)
4-5 whole peppercorns (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1-1/2 tsp goda masala
1-1/2 tsp salt

1 medium potato
1 teaspoon oil
1 Tablepoon of grated coconut
2-3 Tablepoons of chopped cilantro


Soak the rice and moong dal in water for about an hour and drain. Slice the onion.

In a large wide pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add asafoetida, cloves, and peppercorns. Add the onion, and stir fry till it changes color. Add turmeric, and the grains. Stir everything together, and add 4-1/2 cups of water. When the water starts boiling, lower the heat, add chili powder and goda masala, and cook covered on medium heat for 15-20 mins.

While the khichadi is cooking, chop the potato into small fries. In a wide saute pan, heat a teaspoon of oil and saute the potato on medium-high heat until it is golden brown outside and tender inside. Add a little salt. When the khichadi is done, add the potatoes to it.

Garnish with coconut and cilantro.

Serve with the accompaniments suggested above.

Sending this over to the Monthly Mingle, where the theme this month is Comfort Foods.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Kancha Moong Dal with Meyer Lemon

In praise of 'Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals'

A lot of cookbooks pass through my hands - at bookstores, in libraries, and through the virtual world of amazon's 'search inside' feature. While there are plenty of books I love, and even more that I want to buy, very rarely do I come across a book that makes me want to jump and evangelize! Chitrita Banerji's 'Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals' did just that, very recently.

This is a fairly old book, first published in 1997, divided into four main sections called Basanta-Grishma (Spring and Summer), Barsha (Monsoon), Sharat-Hemanta (Early and Late Autumn), and Sheet (Winter), and each section delves into details about the food of that season, the whys and the hows of it, and how it relates to the produce, the beliefs, stories, fables, festivals, and so much more, that it is difficult to describe it in a few words. The book talks about the differences and contrasts in food between the various regions in Bengal, of Ghotis and Bangals, of Hindus and Muslims, of rich and poor, of the past and the present, along with plenty of recipes interspersed within the narrative. And yet, as it tries to cover so much ground it never feels as though it is meandering. The fact that Bengali cuisines is among those more unfamiliar to me says even more about the book. As Deborah Madison says in her foreword, this book reminds us that food is not separate from people, history, geography, and culture - in short, life itself. What I also love about the book is that it makes no concessions, and the author does not simplify the writing at any point for popularity's sake.

There are no photographs in the book, but the writing is so evocative that it paints enough pictures with words. Sometimes, the descriptions are so beautiful that I want to rush to the kitchen to rustle up some luchis with alur dom and chholar dal. What I do instead is run through page after page of the book, traipsing through West Bengal and Bangladesh, taking my time, dipping into the book every now and then.

If someone is looking for a book of Bengali recipes, then this is probably not the book for them. However, if you are not deterred by recipes that are not divided into neat sections of 'ingredients' and 'methods', and that do not necessarily give you exact amounts of everything, if you are intrepid enough about looking for a few unknown words, if you are not a new cook and do not need every step explained to you, if you are familiar with Indian food, and would like to know more about the context of Bengali food, you will love this book, regardless of whether you have eaten Bengali food before or not. This is evidently a book based on extensive research and personal experience.

The book has a glossary, but I was left fumbling with some names that weren't given in English. Knowing Hindi and Marathi, I could guess some of them, and with friends who know Bengali, translation help for the rest will be at hand if I need it.

So far, I haven't tried out a lot of things from the book, but like I said, the joy of this book is in the vivid descriptions, not necessarily in trying out recipes from it. The Kancha Moong Dal that I tried was simply stellar, with an amazing flavor using only a few ingredients that came together just right, and convinced me that the other recipes in the book would also be up to par, not that I ever doubted that anyway.

There is also a recipe in the book for a Bangladeshi Lemon dal, and I loved the way it described how thin slices of lemon are used to flavor the dal, so I used the leftover Kancha moong dal and turned it into Lemon dal, which was a wonderful way to use some of the Meyer Lemons from the yard, and the presentation looked beautiful.

The following introduction to the Kancha Moong Dal in an extract, and the recipe that follows is paraphrased, and uses the same style of recipe writing as used in the book.
In summer, the common dals in our house are moong and kalai rather than lentils, yellow split peas or pigeon peas. And while in winter the moong dal may be roasted in a frying pan before cooking, in summer it is preferred kancha or unroasted, because it is easier to digest and does not heat the system.

Kancha Moong Dal

Take 1 cup of moong dal and rinse the dal under running water for 3-4 miutes. Then it describes how to cook the dal in boiling water, but I cooked the dal with 4 cups of water and a pinch of turmeric in a pressure cooker.

Finely chop or grate a small piece of ginger, enough to make 2 teaspoons.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil, add 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds, 2 dried red chilies, and when the mustard starts to pop, add the ginger, and 2 bay leaves. Stir for a minute, add a teaspoon of ghee, and pour the dal over it. Add a little sugar and salt to taste, and heat the dal through for a few minutes.

It then goes on to describe another type of phoron (tadka) that can be used instead of the above seasoning, and in a blink of an eye you have another recipe right there.

Lemon / Kancha Moong Dal

Lemon Dal

This is an extract from the book, keeping in mind the guidelines for fair use of copyrighted material, that illustrates how even a simple dal recipe sounds wonderful in the book.
Once, in Dhaka, a good friend of mine, Salma Sobhan, was talking to me about Muslim Bengali cooking. She explained that among its intricacies were a few simple dishes, like lemon dal, that amazed one with their taste. What was that, I asked, and she was taken aback at such ignorance.

For Lemon dal, it is the same kancha moong dal that is used. Once cooked with a little salt and water, it is sieved through a cheesecloth so that it comes out as a thick, creamy soup, without the fibres. Then a large porcelain or earthenware (never metal) serving bowl is taken and the bottom and sides lined with thin slices of lemon or lime. Bengalis prefer to use the fragrant kagaji or gondhi lemon, if they are available. Once the slices are in place, the sieved dal is put back on the stove, brought to a boil, and kept there for two or three minutes, then poured into the lemon-lined basin and kept covered for about five minutes to absorbe the taste and flavor of the lemon. This needs to be served with plain rice, preferably an atap (non-parboiled) rice like Basmati. The problem with this dal is that it can neither be reheated, nor kept overnight, for it tends to turn bitter.
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