This is long overdue, I know and my apologies for taking my time about posting these recipes for your pressure cooker. These recipes are for Indian made cookers. If yours is electric or the type where the pressure weight wobbles instead of lifting to let off steam, please make the appropriate adjustments as I have no idea how electric pressure cookers work. In India, every household will have at least three pressure cookers on hand in various sizes. We even have pressure pans that double as fry pans and they all come in stainless steel and Teflon coated non-stick styles. Meat cooks in minutes and you can steam veggies (without the weight) – pretty much make an entire meal (veggies, meat, rice and lentils) using just one cooker. It’s that versatile.
Today, we’ll begin with lentils, which are a staple protein source in India where meat is expensive and also not part of the diet of most of the population who are largely vegetarian and picky about even using roots like garlic and onions. Curried lentils are great with rice, roti (Indian style bread), naan or even toasted pita bread. Use this recipe to create variations. The possibilities are numerous so don’t limit yourself; you can seldom goof up.
CURRIED LENTILS WITH HEALTHY GREENS
You will need:
1 cup dry Toor Dhal ( Check your local Indian store)
1tsp Urad dhal and black mustard seed ( Indian store)
1 dried red chili
1 small onion sliced thin
1 small tomato chopped
1 small clove garlic1tbsp canola oil
salt to taste
4 curry leaves
chopped cilantro for garnish
1/2 cup fresh or frozen spinach ( other options – fenugreek greens, kale, beet greens)
Soak the dhal (lentil) for a half hour. Cook the lentil with the garlic, salt, tumeric and a dash of oil. Cool and set aside. When completely cooled, puree the dhal.
In a deep fry pan, heat oil and fry onions until soft. Add urad, curry leaves, red chilli (crushed) and mustard seed and cover pan. The mustard seed will pop and scatter if left uncovered. Be careful not to let it burn. When you hear the mustard sputter, remove from the stove and add the chopped greens, and salt to taste. Return to stove and cook until the green are soft. Add chopped tomato and continue to cook covered. When the tomato turns to mush and all the ingredients in the pan have combined, add this to the cooked, pureed lentils. Stir. Check for salt. Cook for a few minutes until the flavors combine. Garnish with cilantro. You can add a small dab of ghee to the lentils. Ghee is a great flavor enhancer.
NOTE#1: If you are using Fenugreek greens, you will want to cook this with an equal amount of fresh cilantro. Fenugreek greens are a bit bitter and the cilantro will compliment this flavor.
NOTE #2: If you are feeling brave, you can also add a dash of chili powder to the cooking greens after you add the tomatoes.