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Dal Kofta Curry

1 cup Toor dal (toor dal is also known as toovar dal)
1/2" piece ginger
4 green chilies
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 handful cillantro leaves (optional)

4 cup buttermilk or yoghurt
4 green chilies, finely chopped
1" piece ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander (roasted if desired)
1 teaspoon cumin (roasted if desired)
1 teaspoon channa dal (roasted if desired)
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup, approx. desiccated unsweetened coconut, ground if desired

2 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
a few curry leaves

Wash and soak toor dal for a few hours. Drain and grind to a course
paste along with onion, ginger, garlic, and chilies. (I do this by
chopping the large ingredients and blending with the dal in batches.
Add enough water so the blender pastes, but not so much that it
turns to watery mush.) Mix in salt and (optionally) cillantro
leaves. Form into balls and steam 20 minutes. Remove from heat
and cool balls. They will obtain a somewhat rubbery texture as
they cool.

Gently heat buttermilk/yogurt in a pan. Add spices (ground coriander,
cumin, channa dal, fenugreek, turmeric) and enough dried coconut
to give a nice flavor and slightly thicken the sauce. (I add all
these ingredients to a coffee grinder and grind to a powder.) Add
ginger and chilies. Add salt to taste. Adjust spices. It will
taste like it's missing something until you add the flavored oil.

Carefully place kofta balls into sauce.

Heat a little oil in a separate frying pan over medium heat, add
mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard seeds stop bursting,
add oil into the curry. You may want to partially cover pan to
prevent seeds from popping grease all over your kitchen.

If you use non-fat yogurt, there is only 2 T oil in the whole dish!


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