There’s a holiday in Germany when people eat goose, you know the bird we used to shoot at while playing Duck hunt? What is duck hunt you ask? Don’t you remember that awesome game on 8 bit Sega? What is 8 bit Sega you ask? When were you born I ask! And pity you.
Anyway, that is not a good day to be a goose, I bet you. So we were at a party and everybody was served goose except yours truly of course.
You are a vegetarian? So where do you get your protein from? Asked a British friend of mine.
Daal fry. Bitch.
Daal fry. The most underrated dish on the menu card, bought only in conjunction with Jeera rice. I am a daal fan. I think to really rate a restaurant you have to taste the daal fry there. It is so simple, it doesn’t have the taste or texture of Paneer or mushroom, which I think is vegetarians’ way of understanding why the world goes crazy after meat. Daal fry, and not daal Tadka (yes there is a difference) is what I am talking about here. Daal Tadka has too much oil in it and is sometimes used to hide shoddy workmanship in the kitchen.
I have been trying since ages to perfect the Daal fry. There are no authentic recipes online which give the same dhaba/restaurant taste. I, with the audacity of a researcher, kept trying to perfect the Daal fry and this time, I think I tasted the daal closest to dhaba/restaurant daal.
So for the benefit for all you readers, and humanity, I present to you the most authentic dhaba style daal fry
Take 3 parts of tur daal (arhad) & 1 part of masoor without the skin. The reason we use masoor is that is offers a good balance against the extra starchy tur daal. Soak in water for some time, then put it in a cooker. Note that I am a guy and this is an art, so we are not going to go by grammage and such. Use any amount.
Cut a tomato in fours and put in the cooker. Put in some turmeric powder. Cook for 3-4 whistles.
Open the lid. Use a whisker to whisk the daal into a smooth constant consistency soup.
Now starts the kickass part of the daal. The tempering.
Mince a handful of ginger and garlic.
Heat a pan. Put in a dollop of ghee in. Let it get hot. Unlike oil, ghee has a high oxidation point. So let it get really hot. Throw in some mustard seeds and cumin. Let it splutter.
Now this is IMPORTANT.
Put in ginger and cook it. Yes. Cook the bloody ginger. This is make or break.
Now put in some hing (Asofedita something). Smell the awesome smell. Now put in some curry leaves if you have been brought up south of the Tropic of Cancer. Let them splutter with a vengeance. Some green chillies to taste.
Now put in Garlic. This is practically the last step and the shortest one. Don’t burn the garlic. Once you smell garlic, you know its done.
Stand back and pour the daal from the cooker into the mix. Be careful. Let the mixture simmer for 5 mintues.
You are done. Get ready to enjoy the best daal fry you have ever had.
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