Madhwa Brahmin Cuisine comes with its own amazing variety of delicious food. I grew up in a family where traditional Brahmin food was the staple everyday, with the odd deviations now and then. My mom is an amazing cook and so was my grandmother. Even today, when I go over to my parents place, I unashamedly admit, I hog rice at least 2 times a day with her tongue-tickling chutneys, pickles, rasams, gojjus, huli, tovve etc. Yumm... Somehow, we never seem to get that taste into food like our mothers effortlessly do. Hope my daughter says this about me when she grows up too:-))
Coming to Muddipalya, it is a very common everyday dish in the Brahmin community. The basic ingredients here are Toor Dal and greens. You could dish up lots of varieties with the same basic ingredients. Let me save these for my later posts:-)). In this case, green chillies, crushed pepper, jeera, hing, tomato and lemon go with the lentils and greens, and there you are. Goes very well with hot rice and the quintessential spoon of ghee.
1 cup Toor Dal
3 cups washed and finely chopped fresh Fenugreek(Methi) Leaves
2 tomatoes (the sour variety works best)
4 green chillies, ground to a fine paste
1/2 teaspoon jeera
3/4 teaspoon Jeera Powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper(more for an intense peppery taste)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
A generous pinch of asafoetida(hing)
2 teaspoons oil
Juice of 2 lemons
Salt to taste
Method. Pressure cook the dal with a pinch of turmeric till soft. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan or kadhai. Add the mustard seeds, allow to splutter. Add the jeera saute for a few seconds till light brown. Add in the hing, turmeric powder and then the methi leaves. Saute for 2-3 minutes and add the chopped tomato. Cook till methi and tomato are soft.
Now add the cooked dal and let it come to a boil. Add the chilli paste, jeera powder, pepper powder and salt to taste. The dal must be quite thick. If it is very thick add about half a cup of water and adjust the consistency. In case it is thin, mix in a teaspoon of wheat flour in 2-3 teaspoons of water and add this paste to the dal when it is boiling.
Boil the dal for about 5 to 10 minutes on a low flame. Take off the fire. Add the lemon juice just before serving.
Please Note: You could skip the green chillies altogether and step up on the pepper powder. In case you wish to reduce the quantity of pepper, add more chillies.
You could also use spinach instead of methi, in which case, you would need at least 4 cups of chopped spinach.