Yahoo brings Vikas@home: Sultani Dal

Chef Vikas Khanna brings simple and easy-to-make recipes that you can try out from the comfort of your home.

Ingredients:

1 cup split pigeon pea lentils, washed and soaked for 30 minutes

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

Salt to taste

½ cup yogurt

½ cup cream

½ cup whole milk

4 fresh betelnut leaves

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus a few drops for smoking coal

6 to 8 cloves

4 green cardamom pods

A pinch saffron

1 green chilli, finely chopped

5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

a few sprigs fresh mint

Miscellaneous

A few pieces of charcoal

Method:

• Transfer soaked pigeon peas (with soaking water) to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium flame. Add 1 cup water, chilli powder and salt and bring to a boil again. When mixture begins to boil, reduce the flame to low and cook the lentils till mushy, stirring occasionally and skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.

• Meanwhile, combine yogurt with cream and milk in a mixing bowl and whisk till smooth. Keep aside.

• When lentils are cooked, transfer to a strainer placed over a bowl and rub mixture through the sieve. Alternatively, transfer to a blender or processor and blend till smooth.

• Place the charcoal on a wire rack and place over a high flame till red hot.

• Transfer the strained (or blended) lentils to a clean saucepan and place betel leaves on the surface.

• Drizzle the hot coal with a few drops of oil and as it smokes, place the smoking coal on the betel leaves using tongs. Cover the saucepan tightly and keep aside for 8 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, gently remove charcoal and carefully lift the betel leaves and discard. Place pan over medium flame.

• Combine cloves with cardamom pods in a mortar pestle and crush coarsely. Add to the lentils.

• Add saffron with yogurt-cream-milk mixture and whisk well.

• Add green chilli and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.

• Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cumin and when garlic is fragrant, pour the mixture into the simmering lentils. Cover and remove from flame.

• Mix gently and serve hot garnished with mint sprigs.

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