Cookbook Companion to Made in India

Quick One Pot Dal with black beluga lentils (serves 2-3, recipe halved from original), adapted from Dal Makhani (p. 167)

I’m sure the recipe is amazing as written in the book, but it was hard for me to find urad dal, the kind of lentils called for, and the process is different if you use different lentils.  This is how I made mine, and it made for a wonderful meal.

1 cup black beluga lentils (about 7 oz), rinsed.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, finely sliced

1 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped

5 cloves garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons tomato paste 

1.5 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal, if using Mortons halve the amount) 

1/2 teaspoon chili powder 

1 3/4 c whole milk

1 3/4 c water 

1 tablespoon butter to finish 

Mise en place (prep)

Peel and chop garlic and ginger finely.  Set to one side of cutting board, and finely slice onions.  Put tomato paste, salt and chili powder in a small bowl.  Rinse lentils using a fine mesh sieve.  Measure out water and milk.  Get out butter.  Have everything set out, ready for cooking.  Get out your saucepan, 4 quarts is a good size.  

Directions

Butter in saucepan on medium heat.  When melted, add onions.  Cook gently for 10-15 minutes, turning heat to medium low if the onions are cooking too fast, then add garlic and ginger.  Cook a few minutes more, careful not to burn, then add the tomato paste, salt and chili powder, and stir together.  Add rinsed lentils and water and milk, bring to boil, then turn heat down to a simmer.  Stir every now and again, adding equal parts milk and water if sauce starts to run low.  It’s done when the lentils are creamy soft and the sauce is dark and rich, about 45 minutes.  Add finishing butter and serve with naan and/or rice.  

Mango, lime and passion-fruit jello (using powdered gelatin, adapted from p. 234 of Made in India) 

Ingredients 

2 packets of powdered gelatin 

2 cups mango juice 

Juice of 1 lime 

1/4 cup sugar 

3 passion fruits, seeds and flesh scooped out 

Directions

Bring mango juice to a boil on low heat in a small saucepan, stirring and letting simmer for 1 minute.  Take off heat, cool to room temperature, put 1/2 cup in small bowl in fridge to cool completely.  Once completely cool, stir gelatin in the half cup of mango juice and let sit 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, add all of the other ingredients to the saucepan with the remaining mango juice. Warm to a gentle simmer over medium heat, take off the heat, and stir in the gelatin/mango mix until completely dissolved.  Strain in to a measuring cup for easy pouring, then pour equal amounts in to 4 small molds.  For molds, you can use anything that can hold 1/2 cup liquid—could be cups or small bowls.  Set in fridge at least 3 hours.  Dip in warm water for 10 seconds to unmold, loosening the edges with wet fingertips if necessary before inverting.  Ms. Sodha recommends serving with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream (p. 240).  

For the samosas, Ms. Sodha recommends making a cone shape in your hand with the filo dough strip, then filling it and folding it to create the triangle shape. This didn’t work for me at all. What did work was leaving the strip of dough on the table, putting a small amount of filling at the bottom of the strip, and then folding it up. Here’s a demonstration:

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