Slow cooked Lentils in Clay Pot – Healthy and Delicious

We are in the month of march, the days are longer, cold still a little unbearable but spring is just around the corner and that is reason enough to be happier. The blog is over an year old and to celebrate and commemorate that I have decided to bring some different cooking methods to the blog. The methods are not new, they are tried and tested traditional methods which need reintroduction into people’s fast paced, no time to cook from scratch lives.These are lifestyles totally crippled by absence of a microwave (almost a vital part of their busy lives).

The three methods are –  Fermentation, Sprouting and Slow cooking. All these are methods which take longer period of time but are so much tastier and healthier and so worth the extra time spent on them.

Today I am going to talk about slow cooking method which may seem self defeating in our pressed for time lives but the merit is in its taste. This kind of cooking method  and the taste and to some degree even nutritive value is even influenced by the kind of pots you cook in, it could be a slow cooker ceramic pot, heavy copper bottom pot, enamelled cast iron cookware or even a  glazed clay pot. Slow cooker method is off course regainining popularity and is lot less demanding than slow cooking on stove or in the oven.

My mother always praised and encouraged the slow cooking different methods. She often talked about ‘ Dumm’ cooking which literally meant slow cooking the food in steam created on very low heat for extended period of time. She insisted this brought out totally different flavours, texture and taste in the food.You either have to be passionate about cooking or start to love cooking after being exposed to the varied culinary nuances of slow cooking.

This recipe is a simple everyday staple Daal in a beautiful glazed clay pot that my inspiration my mother made.The clay pot is new but the recipe and the method are much loved. It is simple rustic fare with many nuances to be appreciated in its simplicity. Hope you will love it as much as we all do .

It would be great served as a dip. 

Ingredients

1 cup yellow or red lentils rinsed thorougly

1 green chilli slit lengthwise

1” piece of ginger grated

1 clove of garlic grated

1/4 tsp. red chilli powder

1/4 tsp. of turmeric

1/4 tsp. dry mango powder

2 tbsp. finelyb chopped cilantro

2 -3 tbsp. marinated finely chopped red onion

1 tsp. ghee or butter or extra virgin olive oil ( optional )

salt to taste

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Method

1. On the lowest possible heat slowly cook the lentils in 1 cook of water. Add turmeric, garlic, ginger, salt and green chilli.

2. As the lentils cook and soak up the water in 45 – 50 minutes, you will see each lentil expanding and becoming velvety.

3. You can slowly add another half cup of water slowly till the water is completely soaked up and the lentils are softened and blended. this may take another 45 minutes ( please judge the cooking time depending on the intensity of heat and the type of cookware used )

4. Now you should have creamy, smooth beautiful golden Daal.

5. Sprinkle the chiili powder and the mango powder and garnish with marinated onions and cilantro. You may add ghee now.

6. Serve in th same  beautiful pot that it was cooked in with Naan, chapati, over brown rice or even as a delicious dip with chips or crackers.

7. Enjoy !!! a simple, rustic, delicious daal.

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