Masoor Malka Dal and Fried Basa

👨‍🍳 Cooking in the Time of COVID 👨‍🍳

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Another one of those improvised, sort-of-ethnic (in this case Indian), rainy day, I-don’t-feel-like-writing-so-I’ll-spend-the-day-cooking time sinks.

Sometimes folks inquire about what goes into these concoctions; I seldom measure anything except when I’m developing a recipe or baking but I did try to write down all the ingredients this time for anyone who might be curious.

Oversimplified and if memory serves, here’s how the masoor dal (red lentils) started out: I sautéed puréed onion, ginger, green chili and garlic in coconut oil and set that aside.

The next step involved toasting mustard seed, cumin seed, ground cumin, coriander, ground dried chilies, cinnamon, cardamom, garam masala, amchur (ground dried green mango) and turmeric. I tempered them in ghee – that’s a tadka – and when my kitchen smelled like an Indian restaurant, I combined it with the aromatics, cooked it a bit, added the dal, and stirred in chicken broth and tomato paste. They simmered together until the dal was tender; at that point I introduced a little yogurt to the mixture and it was ready.

Or something like that.

The fish component consisted of floured (that had been kicked up with some of those spices) pieces of basa, pan fried, and placed over a bed of the dal. Homemade parathas on the side.

Spotlight on the aforementioned parathas.

Of course, the problem with a day that I spend cooking because I don’t feel like writing is that I ultimately have to write about the day that I spent cooking.

Hoist by my own petard. 😑

Stay safe, be well, and eat whatever it takes. ❤️