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Author Notes: One of the most useful techniques to keep in mind while making any North Indian dish involving dried legumes is that the same combination of spices will taste different depending upon the choice of lentils or beans used. The variation in texture & mouth feel offered by mixing & matching these crucial protein sources goes a long way in sustaining a vegetarian way of life without any scope of impending boredom.
The dish given below is a fusion crostata using Green lentils as the filling. The same proportions apply identically if the green lentils were substituted with Black eyed peas. —Panfusine
Green lentil (Masoor) Dal (or Black eyed peas dal (Lobia))
- 1 cup Green lentils (with skin)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2-3 Cardamom pods (whole
- 1 pod garlic
- 2 inch piece ginger
- 1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2-3 dried Red chillies
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- In a pressure cooker combine green lentils (or black eyed peas) and onion, turmeric and cardamom pods with 2 cups water & cook till soft. Set aside. If using the conventional technique, boil with adequate water till the lentils can be squished easily between fingers.
- Blend the ginger, garlic, red chillies, coriander, cumin and garam masala into a paste.
- In a skillet heat the oil/ghee and add the paste & cook till the raw smell disappears and the oil begins to ooze out from the sauteed paste.
- Add the crushed tomatoes & salt and cook for ~ 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked lentils (or black eyed peas), lower heat & simmer for ~ 10-15 minutes till the flavors are well combined.
- 1 packet store bought pizza dough
- very thin slices of Paneer cheese (use a peeler)
- melted butter as required
- 2 tablespoons nigella seeds
- Chopped cilantro for garnishing
- 2 tablespoons Chat masala ( available at Indian grocery stores)
- Roll pizza dough into a 6" circle.
- Line the centre (~ 4inch circle) with slices of paneer cheese and sprinkle with chat masala,
- Spoon a tablespoon of the green lentil dal filling over the paneer. You may add some extra slivers of Paneer over the dal if desired.
- Bring the edges of the dough towards the centre, pinching it together to form a tart.
- Brush with melted butter & sprinkle with nigella seeds
- Bake in a 350 F oven for ~ 15 minutes till the edges & base are golden brown.
- Cut into wedges & serve with a Tall Glass of Lassi... (or Lager!)
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