Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 184

Masoor Dal: As my readers probably know, I'm always on the lookout for new methods of finding new foods for the blog. It's easy to end up in a lot of the same markets continuously, but even the old standbys can offer surprises. A few days ago, the GF recommended I take look at the hot bar/salad bar in Your Dekalb Farmers Market. I've been there countless times and noticed that section, but I've never even walked through it. I assumed that it contained standard hot/cold buffet items, but she told me that she'd noticed a few oddities there that I may not have tried. That made sense, since YDFM caters to a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities. Since I was completely out of food today, I figured it wouldn't hurt to check it out.

Once I got there, I walked into the hot bar area and started browsing. The GF was right - they definitely had some stuff I'd never tried. There were some of the usual southern buffet items (mac and cheese, fried chicken, collard greens, etc.), but I also noticed some standouts that were new to me. One of these was "masoor dal." They actually had it spelled "masur dahi" on the info card, but I discovered the correct spelling when I got home. From a glance, it looked to be an Indian dish, and it looked like a soupier, more orange-looking version of the curried lentils I tried a couple months ago. I really had no idea what this was, so I put some in my to-go container.
Once I got home, I decided to try this dish as a little snack. I didn't get much of it, but definitely enough to form an opinion. My first bite reminded me a lot of curried lentils, but much more spicy and curry-flavored. The soupy texture would probably be good mopped up with some flatbread, but since dinner wasn't far away, I didn't go that route. I also noticed some chunks of cooked carrot, which added some flavor and texture to the whole mix. Like most Indian food I've tried, I really liked it. Which reminds me, I really need to eat in an actual Indian restaurant soon. I've been putting it off for too long.

What is masoor dal made from, you ask? I was wondering the same thing. According to Wikipedia, ""Dal" actually refers to dried lentils, peas or beans which have been stripped of their outer hulls, then split. It also refers to the thick stew made from these." Masoor refers to the red lentil, and this particular dish is made from combining those in a pressure cooker with several other ingredients and spices, including onion, tomato, turmeric, curry leaves, cumin and ghee (clarified butter).

More to come from my YDFM hot bar visit soon...

No comments:

Post a Comment