I love the lure of winters. The need for warmth is the need for the hour at all times. The constant state of laziness and need for comfort that takes over our minds during these cold, dreary months somehow offers a lot of respite to my heart that is in a perpetual state of melancholy.
Somehow the mood becomes more pensive as the winter warmers come out, and one just wants to snuggle up inside a warm blanket lost in another world. I also heart the fact that the way we eat food and what we also eat changes during winters.
A hot of a cup of tea is never more exciting as it is during winters and a bowl of Soup is the perfect thing to take to bed. However for an Indian the temptation of warm Dal topped up generously with Ghee becomes the norm of the day. Ghee and Winters are a match made in heaven, and I add a generous helping of Ghee in everything I make because of all the healing properties it has which are especially beneficial during the cold months.
So when it got freezing in Perth today and I wanted to cook something comforting I decided to make this “Kale Dal” with a lot of Ghee. Diet conscious people can take some comfort in the fact that that I made my Dal healthy by adding Kale to it, and the dal I used was the very nutritious “Green Mung Beans”. So in case you have decided to give up on me ever becoming someone who eats only healthy food, let me reassure you that I know how to strike a balance.
This “Kale Dal” is comforting, soothing and also healthy for bitter cold evenings when all you care about is warmth from everything you touch and eat. Please do not try and make this Dal without Ghee as it will not taste that great without the lift that Ghee gives it.
Recipe (Cooking time 45 minutes, serves 4 – 6)
1 ½ Coffee Cup Green Mung Dal (I used the broken Dal, not the full beans)
1 bunch of Kale
2 Tomatoes finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 dry red Chillies
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp Amchur powder/Chat masala or you can drizzle some Lemon Juice on top of the dal before serving
Ghee as per your taste
Wash the Dal under cold running water. Add it in a pressure cooker or a bowl, add Salt, Turmeric powder and 3 cups water. Cook the Dal till it is done. I pressure cooked it for 5 whistles.
Heat water in a large pan, chop the Kale and boil it in the hot water gently for around 7 – 10 minutes. The stalks of the Kale can be bitter. Hence, I blanched it for longer. Drain all the water away and let the Kale cool down till the Dal is done.
Heat oil in a pan, add the Cumin Seeds, Garlic and dry red chillies. Now insert the tomatoes and cook till mushy
Add the cooked Dal and mix well. You may need to add a cup of water depending on the kind of consistency you want. Add the Kale and bring the Dal to a boil. Cook on a gentle flame for 5 – 10 minutes before turning off the heat.
Add the Amchur powder or chat masala and mix well.
I love to top up the Dal with a tsp of Ghee before I serve it with Roti or Rice. It tastes truly divine.