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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

January 21, 2008: Cauliflower dal with panch phoran


SBS has kicked off another run of weekly Bollywood films, giving us all the reason we need to indulge in weekly Indian dinners. The 9:30 start and typical length of Bollywood offerings meant that we decided to tape the movie on Sunday night and watch it on Monday evening. This week's musical marathon was Parineeta, a faintly ridiculous (yet seriously-toned) romance, which lacked the humourous sparring that is the key to our Bollywood enjoyment. Still, it gave us an excuse to sample this dal, which lives up to to Susan's raving.

Dal is tricky - it's almost always adequate: something liquidy and a bit spicy, perfect for soaking up rice or dipping bread into, but there are a lot of dal reicpes which really don't offer much more. This one does: the cauliflower adds texture to the mushy lentils, and the panch phoran (which we were introduced to by Dominique at Mondo Organics, but have strangely not blogged about) gave it a bit of a zest. This recipe is a great reminder to us to pull our packet of panch phoran out of the freezer occasionally. And although the cauliflower florets were tender stand-outs on the first day, on the second they collapsed into the dal for a super-thick and comforting meal. The spicy flavours developed further and it was fantastic with paratha. With five weeks of these Bollywood movies still to come, perhaps we'll be repeating this sooner rather than later.

9 comments:

  1. This sounds ridiculously comforting, especially served with parathas. I love the incorporation of cauliflower and hooray for a new round of Bollywood movies!

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  2. yum! where from did you get your panch phoran from?
    thankyou!!

    xo

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  3. Truffle, as a teenager I would probably not have believed how much I would grow to love a bowl of molten lentils but this has indeed become a comfort food. :-)

    Hey Buttons, we've had it for a while and I'm not absolutely certain, but I think we bought our panch phoran from the Indian grocery on Sydney Rd in Brunswick, near the intersection with Brunswick Rd. Alternatively you could mix up your own batch from the guide on the original post.

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  4. Bollywood movie accompanied by an Indian meal sounds a great way to round off a long weekend - looks delicious and makes me think I need to get more adventurous with indian and try the like of panch phoran

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  5. Johanna, this recipe would be a great place to start! The complex flavour really surprised me, and with some bread for dipping it's absolutely addictive. :-)

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  6. Thanks for bumping this back up! I have a giant cauliflower in my fridge that I can't decide what to do with. This sounds perfect - for half of it, at least!

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  7. You're welcome, Lexi! I've been enjoying the leftovers for lunch at work. :-)

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  8. I stumbled across this the other day and had to try it as I adore dal and am always trying out new recipes. The whole spices were a real treat in this recipe particularly the fennel and nigella seeds - YUM! Will definitely be making this again, Thanks!!!

    P.S Looking forward to cooking up another batch of your renowned vegan sausage rolls for Grand Final Day tomorrow too.

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  9. Hi Mel! Great to know you're getting some mileage out of these recipes. :-) This dal has been a regular dinner for us this winter.

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