Ek Handi Daal Bhaat

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Ek Haandi Daal Bhaat is a Gujarati recipe that I grew up eating. My mom made a couple of different variations of this, but this is the one I enjoyed the most.

Ek Handi Daal Bhaat

Ek Handi Daal Bhaat

It’s almost like a daal biryani of sorts. It’s served with a khatti daal (tangy lentil gravy) and some Kachumbar (pickled onions, tomatoes, cilantro and green chilies) and of course some pappar (papadums)
This dish is indeed a labor of love as it has a few moving parts but the end result is just so worth it. Do let me know your thoughts if you try it. I would love to hear from you. 

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for the khatti daal:

  • 2 cups of toor daal
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry roasted and crushed coriander
  • 1 tsp dry roasted and crushed cumin seed
  • 1/4 tsp amchur (dried mango powder)
  • 1 small handful of chopped cilantro
  • The juice of 1/2 a small lemon
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 6-7 cups of water

Ingredients for the tarka:

  • 1/3 cup neutral oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 3-4 dried red chilies
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of fried onions

Instructions
 

  • Wash the toor daal thoroughly andboil it in 6-7 cups of water. Add salt to taste, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp redchili powder, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and salt to taste.
    Let it boil till the lentils are soft but not mushy. They should stillbe able to hold their shape. 
    Drain the lentils and reserve the water. Set the lentils aside.
    Add about 1/4 cup of lentils to the water and blend it using animmersion blender. 
    Bring it back to the stove and add a little water if it’s too thick.You need a runny consistency. It should be like a thin daal.
    Add 1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
    1 tsp dry roasted and crushed coriander 
    1 tsp dry roasted and crushed cumin seed
    1/4 tsp amchur (dried mango powder)
    1 small handful of chopped cilantro 
    The juice of 1/2 a small lemon
    2 tbsp tamarind pulp
    Let that come to a boil.
     
    In a frying pan heat the oil and when hot add 1 tsp mustard seeds
    1 tsp cumin seed
    3-4 dried red chilies
    5-6 curry leaves
    When the mustard seeds start sputtering then add the fried onions andgive it a quick stir and pour it over the daal.
    Set aside
     
    For the rice:
    3 cups of cooked rice
    1/3 cup oil
    4 potatoes peeled and cut it fours
    2 large red onions
    3-4 bay leaves
    5 greed cardamoms
    2 black cardamoms
    2 cinnamon sticks
    2 tsp cumin seed
    5 cloves
    8-10 peppercorns
    2 star anise
    2 tsp ginger paste
    3 tsp garlic paste
    2 tsp green chili paste
    Salt to taste
    4 tomatoes chopped
    1 tsp cumin powder
    2 tsp coriander powder
    1 tsp turmeric powder
    1 tsp garam masala (if not using homemade then add less)
    1 cup water 
    1 bunch of chopped cilantro 
    1 healthy pinch saffron
    1/4 cup milk
    2 tsp ghee
    1/2 lemon thinly sliced
    4-5 boiled eggs
    2 tsp fried onions
     
    Method:
     Cook the rice till it’s almost done. Set aside
    In a pan add your oil and fry the potatoes till they are almost cookedand set aside. 
    In the same pan with the remaining oil, fry 2 thinly slicedonions. 
    Fry these till they are golden brown. 
    Now add 3-4 bay leaves
    5 green cardamoms
    2 black cardamoms
    2 cinnamon sticks
    2 tsp cumin seed
    5 cloves
    8-10 peppercorns
    2 star anise
    Cook this till fragrant. 
    At this point you will need to add
    2 tsp ginger paste
    3 tsp garlic paste
    2 tsp green chili paste
    Salt to taste
    Cook this for a few minutes stirring well. 
    Now you will need to add 
    4 tomatoes chopped
    1 tsp cumin powder
    2 tsp coriander powder
    1 tsp turmeric powder
    1 tsp garam masala (if not using homemade then add less)
    Stir well and add the water and cover. Cook this till the oil comes tothe top. 
    Stir again and gently fold in the daal that you had previously setaside. 
    Now add your potatoes and gently fold it in. 
    Cook this for a few more minutes till the flavors are incorporated.
    Gently add the rice to the top. Be careful not to break therice. 
    In a small cup heat the milk, 2 tsp of ghee and saffron in themicrowave in 20 second increments. Let that steep for a few minutes. Now pokeholes in the rice all the way to the bottom. Pour this on top of therice. 
    Cut the boiled eggs in half and bury them in the rice. Top withchopped cilantro and thinly sliced lemons and fried onions.
    Cover your lid with a dish cloth and cover your pan. This should helpyou create the stream you need for the next step.
    Now place your pan that’s covered with the lid that’s tightly wrappedin the dish cloth on the stove on really low heat for about 40 minutes or tillthe top of the lid if got to the touch. 
    Serve with khatti daal, kachumber and paapar and enjoy

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