Friday, September 02, 2011

Food Blogging Friday - Naan & Dal Nirvana!!

Finally! I made this recipe for the first time last fall right about the time I was starting to feel the effects of the first trimester with Noah. I definitely couldn't food blog so I'm thrilled to be able to finally share these recipes with you!

Indian Food is a recent discovery in our household (well, several years ago). We have tried several different Indian Food recipes and these are definitely our favorites.

First of all, as a basis for most Indian Food you will need Basmati Rice. It has to soak a bit first but then only takes 25 minutes to fully prepare. Read the label for the best way to prepare this.

Then we have the crowning jewel of the Indian Food, in house household at least. Naan! Yum! We have often said that we just make the other stuff to put on the Naan. So true.

Here we go:

In a large bowl place once packet (2 1/4 tsp) of dry active yeast. Add 1 cup warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees) and stir. Let sit for 10 minutes or until frothy. Then stir in 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, one egg (beaten), and 2 teaspoons salt. Mix well.

Stir in approximately 4 1/2 cups of bread flour. Keep adding flour until a soft dough forms.

Let rise 1 hour until dough doubles in volume.

Meanwhile, chop 2 cloves of garlic (this, in my opinion, is the secret weapon of this bread).

When the dough is done rising, knead the chopped garlic right into the dough, evenly distributing the garlic.

Pinch off golf ball sized pieces of dough and roll until round. Place on a cookie sheet and let them rise 30 minutes or so.

Melt the butter, fire up your grill, and take the dough balls outside with a rolling pin, melted butter, and a brush for the butter.

Roll out dough until 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Brush one side with butter and throw that buttered side down onto the grill. Grill 2 or 3 minutes until lightly browned and brush other side with butter. Flip! Repeat.

Yum! You MUST eat one hot off the grill with a little extra butter thrown on. You'll thank me. Really!

Okay, now for the Dal Nirvana.

Take 1 cup dry lentils . . .

And add it to a sauce pan. Fill the sauce pan with water until the water covers the lentils by 2 inches.

Bring this to a boil and lower temperature to simmer 10 minutes until lentils begin to open. Drain lentils and return lentils to the pot. Stir lentils around and smash some with the back of a spoon to break them open.

Add six ounces tomato puree, 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger, 1 tablespoon of minced (or grated) garlic, scant teaspoon of cayenne pepper (you can adjust this to your heat level - a whole teaspoon is decently hot!), one cup water, 4 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Cook for 1 hour until Dal is thick (see below photo! yum!). Check often to make sure the water doesn't cook out.

Add 1/3 cup of heavy cream and cilantro to garnish.

Eat with Naan bread and Basmati Rice. The Dal is particularly delicious smeared all over the Naan bread.


Here is the brave crowd (last fall) that endured my first attempt at Indian Food.

Here are the full recipes:


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons salt

4 1/2 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)

1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

Indian Dal Nirvana

from Nirvana Restaurant, Beverly Hills

1 cup dry lentils

6 ounces canned tomato puree

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup water

4 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon salt, more to taste

freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

In a large sauce pan, add the lentils and fill with water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the lentils open and are tender. Drain the water from the lentils and return the lentils to the pot. Stir the lentils around in the pot mashing some of them against the pot to break open. Add the tomato puree, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, water, butter, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour until the dal is thick. Make sure to check the pot periodically to make sure the water does not cook out.

Stir in cream, garnish with minced cilantro.

No comments: