Monday, February 20, 2012

It's all Maya

More than a decade ago we lived in Singapore and our wonderful neighbor, Mrs Khera had a very talented Nepalese cook – Maya. She let me in on a few cooking tricks to some wonderful Nepalese dishes, the most important being the Momo. Maya also introduced me to vegetarian Nepalese cuisine which is unusually very simple and subtle in flavor. The dishes are prepared using common flavoring ingredients and spices - like garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fresh red chilies, onions, cilantro and scallions.

I often make a nepali Kali maa ki dal / urad dal that Maya taught me which is always a hit and a recipe that is most often requested from dinner guests, as this dal does not use cream but still has a creamy texture and tons of flavor. For people who do not care for kali maa ki dal, this is a good variation.

Kali ma ki dal Nepali style

¼ cup split urad dal with skin
¼ cup skinless urad dal
½ cup channa dal, mix and wash all dals and pre-soak for ½ an hour
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 + 2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ghee
½ tsp jeera/cumin
4-6 fresh curry leaves (optional)
8-10 cloves garlic – approx ¼ cup, grated
1 large very ripe tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, grated
¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 -2 fresh red chillies split down the center, salt to taste


Pressure cook the dals along with a tbsp oil and turmeric for 20 minutes or on a medium flame in a heavy bottom pan until the dals are well cooked – whisk dals with an egg beater when still hot and keep aside (very important step).
One can also cook the dals in a crock pot for 2-4 hours until the dals disintegrate (well cooked) and has an almost gelatinous texture.

Heat remaining oil and ghee in a pan, add the cumin and allow it to sputter. Throw in the grated garlic and curry leaves and cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes. Cook on low flame until pulpy. Add the cooked and whisked dal, salt and some water. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, add the ginger, red chillies and coriander leaves.

Serve hot with whole grain bread, nan/chapati or steamed basmati rice.

This recipe has been submitted for the event, Flavors of: Nepal created by Nayna of Simply food and hosted by Nupur of UK Rasoi.

1 comment:

Reva said...

Dal looks lovely ... We usually don't see dishes from this cuisine..:))
Thanks for sharing dear..

Check the CWF-Sesame seed roundup..:))

Thanks for sending the recipe and glad to follow you..