Saturday, January 08, 2011

Toor Dal, Puri, Grilled Okra

Dinner 1/09

Toor Dal


Grilled Okra

Recently, our oft-used 7qt. Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker began making strange sounds. We found out the bottom had started to ever-so-slightly warp around the edges of the core and was causing an audible (and disconcerting) popping sound. The prospect of being with out a pressure cooker was inconceivable (say that in Wallace Shawn's voice from "Princess Bride", it's funnier).

Liz jumped on the phone to the usual suspects, but no one had one locally. Undaunted, she kept working the phones, until she found one in Pennsylvania which arrived two days later. The crisis was averted, and everyone can now stand down from DEFCON 2.

To celebrate our new arrival, we made our favorite Indian soup using toor dal (a.k.a. yellow pigeon peas) in the pressure cooker. A combination of spices -- cumin seeds, coriander, smoked paprika and turmeric in this case (the amounts/spices depends on your preferences and what's available in your spice cabinet) -- are fried in a little oil until fragrant and then mixed into the pressure cooked dal along with salt. The dal was topped with fried onion seeds and fresh curry leaves.

The okra was marinated in a mixture of 1 tbs. olive oil, 1 tsp. tamari, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. coriander and fresh cracked pepper to taste, and then grilled -- turning often, about 10 minutes total.

The puri was served along with the dal. A simple dough of 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of water and 1 tsp. of salt is kneaded in to a ball and allowed to rest for at least 1/2 hour to let the flour fully hydrate. The dough is rolled out thinly and cut with a round cookie cutter about 2 1/2" in diameter. The rounds are then deep-fried in peanut or canola oil at 375° F until they puff up into little pillows. ;)

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