Roti, Aloo-Shimla Sabzi, Masoor Dal

Roti, Aloo-Shimla Sabzi, Masoor Dal

The Kali Masoor Dal-Shimla Mirch combo, savoured with roti and rice, is very popular in Uttar Pradesh during the winter months. This dal is considered warm and heavy and thus good for the winter. The Shimla-Mirch-Aloo sabzi is also a favourite for the cold season as October to February is Shimla Mirch seasons and besides becoming more affordable it also gains in flavour during this season. The combination, folklore suggests, came into being during the days of the Nawabs when a Brahmin family used the Shimla Mirch to give the staple of potato sabzi a new flavour. The result was so good that even the nawab adopted it as a side dish in the royal main course. In poorer homes back then, a kali masoor dal and rice was preferred for sunny lunches.

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Kaali Masoor Dal
  • Duration:30 minutes (plus soaking time)
  • Serves:4 to 6 people

Authenticity Slice

Uttar Pradesh

To get the best colour and flavour of the dal, you could give the kali masoor dal a vinegar rinse after thoroughly washing it with water. This will help enhance its colour. For the dal to cook well, it is best to soak it in water for at least an hour before pressure-cooking it.

Ingredients

  • Kaali masoor dal, washed and soaked for an hour (1 cup)
  • Tomato, finely chopped (2, medium)
  • Ginger (adrak), finely chopped (1 inch)
  • Green chillies (hari mirch), finely chopped (2)
  • MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (½ tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Asafoetida (hing) (a pinch)
  • Coriander leaves (hara dhania), finely chopped (for garnish)
  • Desi Ghee (2 tsp, for tempering)
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) (½ tsp)

Method

  • Thoroughly wash and then soak the dal in a vessel for an hour.
  • In a pressure cooker, add in the dal, the MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder, salt and water (should be an inch-and-a-half above the level of the dal). Pressure-cook the mix, timing it to 3 whistles, and then take it off the flame.
  • In a kadhai, heat the ghee and put in the jeera. As it begins to crackle, add in the hing and the tomatoes along with ¼-tsp of salt. Keep frying on a medium flame till the tomatoes become mushy. 
  • Next, add in the ginger and the chillies and stir-fry for another minute. 
  • Pour the cooked dal into the kadhai and mix well. Turn off the flame and cover the kadhai with a lid to let the flavours seep in well.
  • After about a minute or two, pour in a tsp of ghee and garnish with the chopped hara dhania.
  • Serve piping hot with rotis or rice.
 

Aloo & Shimla Mirch Sabzi
  • Duration:20 minutes
  • Serves:4 to 6 people

Authenticity Slice

Uttar Pradesh

As Shimla mirch softens very quickly on being heated, it is best to stir-fry the potatoes first and add the Shimla mirch only when the potatoes are half-done. Also, once the Shimla mirch has been added to the potatoes, it is best to cook this mix on a high flame. This prevents the dish from getting mushy.

Ingredients

  • Potato (aloo), washed, peeled and cubed (3, big)
  • Green bell pepper (Shimla mirch), washed, de-seeded and cubed (4 to 5)
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) (¼ tsp)
  • Whole red chillies (khadi lal mirch), broken (1)
  • Tomato, finely chopped (1, medium )
  • Ginger (adrak), finely chopped (1 inch)
  • Garlic (lahsun), finely chopped (3)
  • Onion, finely chopped (1, medium)
  • MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (½ tsp)
  • MTR Lal Mirch Chilli powder (¼ tsp)
  • MTR Dhaniya Coriander powder (1 tsp)
  • Dry mango powder (amchur) (¼ tsp)
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) (½ tsp)
  • Asafoetida (hing) (a pinch)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Yellow mustard oil (2 tbsp)

Method

  • In a kadhai, heat the mustard oil and bring it to smoke point. Lower the flame once the fumes begin to rise.
  • After about half a minute, toss in the methi dana and allow it to turn maroon in colour.
  • Add the jeera, hing and broken lal mirch and stir-fry for half-a-minute.
  • Next, add in the onions, ginger and garlic and keep stir-frying till the onions turn brown.
  • Add in the MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder and the potatoes. Stir-fry for a minute, or till the potatoes are well-coated with the other ingredients. 
  • Next, add the salt, mix and cover with a lid. Let this mix cook on a low flame for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Take off the lid and check if the potatoes have softened.
  • Add in the Shimla mirch at this stage and mix well.
  • Turn the flame up to a medium/high and stir-fry for a minute so that the moisture in the Shimla mirch reduces. 
  • Turn the flame down to medium/low and cover with a lid.
  • After about 2 minutes, take off the lid and stir again. Then, add in the MTR Dhaniya Coriander powder, the MTR Lal Mirch Chilli powder and amchur and mix well.
  • Turn off the flame and transfer the sabzi to a serving bowl.
  • Serve hot with rotis.
 

Atta Roti (Wheat Flour Roti)
  • Duration:25 minutes
  • Serves:5 to 6 people

Authenticity Slice

Uttar Pradesh

Preparing the dough for rotis is an art form. If the dough is properly kneaded, the rotis come out soft, fluffy and tasty. So it is advisable to be patient, and to knead the dough with the back of your fist for at least 5 good minutes. Also, it is a good idea to allow the dough to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling out the rotis.

Ingredients

  • Wheat flour (atta) (2 cups)
  • Water (as required )

Method

  • Using a sieve, sift the atta into a paraat (flat, round plate with high edges). With a little water (use lukewarm water if it is winter), knead the atta into a smooth chappati dough. Once the dough has come together and become smooth, keep pressing down with the back of your palm for at least 5 more minutes so that it becomes more pliant.
  • Cover and let the dough stand for 10 minutes.
  • Make lemon-sized balls of the atta and roll them out one by one into flat rotis of about 5-inch diameter. Use some dry atta to dust the rotis in case the dough sticks to the rolling pin.
  • Heat a tava and gently place a roti on it.
  • Keep the flame on a medium. After about half a minute, flip the roti on the tawa with the help of a chimta (clasp).
  • After about half-a-minute, some pink patches will start appearing on the other side of the roti and it will start puffing up. At this point, remove the tawa and hold the roti directly over the flame with the help of a clasp. As it puffs up further, turn the roti on the other side and then quickly take it off the flame.
  • Serve hot with sabzi and dal.

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