Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Give me some sunshine...

Sunday turned into Monday turned into Tuesday…weekend morphing into busy weekdays, yet the one thing constant in these 3 days is the drizzling rain, the grey skies, the empty landscape…and the absolute stillness around. At times, the silence it is comforting and relaxing yet sometimes I long for sunshine…the warmth that heralds the advent of summer…(make the taxpayer in me happy California…give me some sunshine).

To ward off the chill, I long for my mother’s hot comforting Dal (Dal is a hearty lentil stew prepared in India, the source of protein for non-meat eaters). Not being one with immense patience, I don the avatar of a domestic diva and pick up my pressure cooker to create some kitchen magic. I have in my refrigerator a tender opo squash (Lauki) and so begins my journey to recreating one of my favorite comfort meals (oriya ishtyle)

You Need:
  • 1 cup Moong Dal ( I usually dry roast the moong dal before using in this recipe)
  • 1 Small/Medium Opo Squash (chopped into small pieces)
  • ½ Onion, 1 Tomato, 3 Pods of Garlic (finely minced), thinly chopped Ginger (As per your taste)
  • ½ Spoon Olive Oil (if you are feeling particularly decadent use Ghee)
  • Jeera for tempering, Turmeric Powder, Salt to Taste and Fresh Lemon Juice (for that zing!)
  • Cilantro for Garnish
To Make:
Add the olive oil to the pressure cooker. Once the oil is shimmering add the jeera (cumin seeds ) and fry till it is fragrant. Add the turmeric powder. Add the chopped Onion, Ginger and Garlic. When they start browning add in the tomatoes, cook for about 2-3 minutes till it mixes with the Masala and then add the Opo Squash, Moong Dal, Salt to taste and 3 cups of water. Put the pressure on and let it go for 3-4 whistles. When you open the pressure cooker, check to make sure there is enough salt. Add in the fresh lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Enjoy with a hot bowl of brown rice (my sunshine in a bowl)

I have substituted most oils and ghee with Olive Oil in my cooking for the past 3 years. One of the main reasons for this switch is health and to maintain a steady cholesterol level. I won’t say Olive Oil and Indian Cooking go hand in hand…but I will say this much, over time they have learnt to become good friends. I don’t stick to one brand of Olive Oil and have in the past 2 months used an EVOO brand of Olive Oil called Corto mainly to support the local California Growers.
This goes out to Creative Concoctions #4 – Cooking with Olive Oil .

It's soon time for bed and playing in the background is the song from 3 idiots ( I love this movie because it was the first movie that made my family laugh and smile after some tough times...)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tripathy and thank you very much for your participation in Creative Concoctions: Cooking with olive oil. I always wondered about the consumption of ghee and its effects to health and now you have answered my question. If, on the other side, you want to see the wonderful effects of olive oil, tastewise and healthwise, you should definitely increase the quantity in your cooking. Good luck with the event.