“Its one of those days!”, I announced to Hubbs this morning.
He looked up from his laptop, and concentrated on me for about 2 minutes as his mind went over the different interpretations of that sentence.
Then he noticed the apron.
“Noo!”, he almost choked.
“Yes!’, I happily confirmed, “I am cooking today!”
I have these bursts of activity when I end up cooking about 6 really good ( as in time-consuming and much appreciated recipes) dishes in one day. My long-suffering husband demands I cook only 2 per day and then maybe prolong the process for 3 days at a stretch. I can understand his pain but it unfortunately does not seem to work that way for me. Fortunately, it happens often enough for our little household to function smoothly.
So, this morning I decided to make a nice South Indian dish with a North Indian accompaniment. A little like my marriage. As it happens this one South Indian dish is my favorite and the North Indian one appeals to the Hubby’s palate.
RECIPE 1 – Methi Kadvuu / Fenugreek Pasta
For the Pasta –
- Wheat Flour/ Atta – 2 cups
- Turmeric ( Optional) – 1/2 teaspoonful
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 teaspoonful
- Vegetable oil
For the final Prep –
- Methi/ fenugreek leaves – about 3 cups ( Washed at least thrice, according to Mum’s strictures)
- Red Onion – 1 ( large)
- Mustard seeds – 1 /2 teaspoonful
- Vegetable oil for cooking
Knead the Wheat flour, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder with water into a soft dough.
Separate the dough into small rolls.
Fold the dough with oil between the folds according to the steps shown above into a triangle.
Now roll out the triangle as thin as possible and then fold as loosely as possible into rolls.
Place in a greased tin and steam in a pressure cooker by removing its whistle or in a steamer for 6-8 minutes. Time the cooking after the steam starts to escape. Do not overcook as it will lead to the rolls becoming too hard.
Let the rolls cool and then chop into small pieces. Keep aside.
In a heavy – bottomed wok take about 2 teaspoonful of oil and let it heat.
Add some mustard seeds into the hot oil and when they begin to sputter, add the chopped onion. Cook it the onion is translucent and a fine aroma is wafting off the wok.
Add the steamed and chopped dough rolls to the wok and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the fenugreek leaves in batches so that they don’t clump together. Put a lid on top and allow the steam to cook the fenugreek leaves. Just look at that lovely color.
Add just a very small pinch of salt or even do without.
The Methi Kadvuu is ready. I like it as a 5 o’clock snack. You can serve it cold as a salad by simply adding a few groundnuts and sprouts.
But, my Hubbs likes it with Arhar ( toor) Dal Tadka / Yellow Lentil Soup. So that is next. It takes all of 5 minutes to make and is the easiest thing in the book.
RECIPE 2 – Arhar Dal Tadka / Yellow Lentil Soup
- Arhar/ Toor Dal – 1 cup
- Water for cooking – 3 cups ( Always 1:3 ratio for lentils)
- Red chilli – 1
- Garlic cloves- 6
- Cumin- 1 teaspoonful
- Ghee – 1 teaspoonful
Arhar Dal not to be confused with Channa Dal. Both have extremely distinct flavours.
Cook the dal with water (in a 1:3 ratio) pressure cooker for ten minutes till soft.
For the tadka, to a hot pan add a teaspoonful of ghee, add the red chilli and chopped garlic cloves and let them brown. Add the cumin seeds when the garlic is one shade lower than the one you desire.
Add the turmeric and immediately add the cooked dal/ lentil.
Add the salt at the end. Add a little water if it is too thick and simmer for a few minutes for the dal to assimilate the flavour so the garlic and the cumin.
And there we have the Arhar Dal tadka/ Yellow Lentil Soup.
Together, they make for a cosy and highly satisfying meal.