Pilgrim 790 xxx
photo by george billard

1.11.10 Such a Dal

You may have seen Mark Bittman's piece about eating legumes in the Times last week. He provided some excellent and simple recipes, like spiced red lentil dal, and mung bean dal with apples and coconut. He talked about the typical Indian way of finishing these dishes by stirring in an extra flavor booster—cream, butter, fried onions or nuts. (Apparently this is called a "tarka.") It reminded me of a dish I was obsessed with during our visit to India, a thick and spicy stew of black lentils enriched with cream. I first had it in Jaipur, that magical city of bazaars and bangles and precious stones and yellow marigolds. We were staying at the Oberoi Rajvilas, one of the world's most outstanding hotels. Peacocks roamed the grounds outside our luxurious "tent," and one night we collapsed into our enormous, pillowy bed to watch "Ghandi" and eat room service. What arrived was this incredible daal makhani, fragrant with ginger and chile, rich with ghee.
Tagged — Rajasthan