I (Ken,Terrie’s husband) have been asking a lot of questions of Aruna about ingredients and methods of cooking. I thought it would be good to pass this wisdom along. Feel free to ask your own questions at the bottom of this page so we can learn together from our gracious and willing teacher. I’m sure this page will continue to grow.
used in Broccoli Dal
Can we grow it here?
This is a tropical and sub tropical crop, grown mainly in south Asia, eastern Africa and central America. The different stages of growing this crop require different temperatures as per this website -> http://www.agrifarming.in/toor-dal-farming/.
This lentil is high in protein and used almost on a daily basis to primarily make a curry called Bele Saaru – http://www.savi-ruchi.com/2014/01/bele-saaru-toor-dal-rasam-pigeon-peas.html that is eaten with rice for lunch. It could be called a staple diet in Karnataka/ south India.
Dosa Rice (Ponni rice)
Does this rice have a particular flavor/texture? Can we use substitutes?
This rice is excellent for making Idli or Dosa since it makes them soft and fluffy.
Some information about Ponni rice -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponni_rice.
Yes, other varieties of rice like sonamasuri, par boiled rice and basmati can be used.
Chana dal (Bengal Gram Dal)
If I buy this ingredient, is it used quite a bit?
Yes, it is used frequently in tempering, gives a crunch and nutty flavor to the dish. This dal is used to make a variety of dishes by itself.
Green Moong Dal
There are a wide variety of dishes prepared with Green Moong bean. Sprouted green moong bean made into a raw salad is an excellent dish, on my recent visit to India I found that many movie theaters sell this salad as a healthy snack.?
‘Dumm’ means cooking with trapped steam on a low flame. Dumm avoids the need of excess water and helps the spices fully penetrate into meat, rice or vegetables.
Temper or Tadka
The technique in which whole or ground spices are briefly roasted in oil or ghee (clarified butter) in order to release their essential oils, making their flavor more aromatic.
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