Monday, October 10, 2011

Kosambri and Masoor Dal Tacos

This is a simple weekday dinner with very little prep time and some largely unattended cooking time. The lentils and the kosambri were served with brown rice for dinner. Left overs were packed separately  to be eaten with hard shell tacos and they made an excellent school lunch.
I spent some time every weekend communing with my pressure cooker. I usually cook enough lentils and beans to last me through the week.
The french lentils were cooked and ready and this dinner almost made itself.

Serves 4 to 6
inspired by this ppk recipe

For the lentils
2 cups French lentils (or whole masoor dal) cooked.
1 yellow onion diced
1 serrano pepper chopped fine
1 fresh Anaheim pepper chopped fine
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
salt to taste

Directions for cooking lentils
Cook lentils in a large stock pot using 3 to 3.5 cups of water per cup of lentils. Cook the lentils on a medium flame. It should take you about 25 to 30 minutes.
If there is too much water left in the pan after cooking the lentils, drain the lentils. Reserve the water and use it to flavor soup or stew.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the mustard seeds and cover the pan with a lid. Once the seeds have crackled nicley, add the peppers and the onion. Saute until the onion browns nicely. Add the cooked lentils and salt to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes for the flavors to meld. The lentils should not be too soupy or too dry.

For the kosambri
Kosambri is an indian salad typically made with a single vegetable (cucumber, carrots or cabbage), soaked moong dal , seasoned generouly with lime and salt and tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies.

6 large carrots grated ( I use the food processor)
Juice from 2 limes
salt to taste
1/4 c cilantro ( leaves and stems chopped finely)
2 serrano peppers or 4 thai chillie peppers chopped really fine
4 -5 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp asafoetida
3 tsps oil.

In a large bowl  mix the carrots, salt, cilantro and half of the lime juice. Taste and adjust as necessary. The mixture should be fairly tart. ( don't worry the tempering will balance it out).
Heat the oil in a small sauce pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard and the asafoetida. Wait till the seeds crackle and splutter. Add the curry leaves. Pour this hot oil over the carrots. Mix it in and taste. Add more salt or lime juice if necessary.

For the tacos:
Fill the hard shell tacos with the lentils and top with the kosambri.

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