Moog Dal (Four Lentil Soup)

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Moog dal is a traditional Indian lentil soup. Moog dal is the main ingredient in the soup, hence the name. However, you can add other types of lentils such as, masoor dal, val dal and chora dal, as we do below. In different parts of India, this dal is made differently. In the north, it is made to have a much thicker texture. Today we will be making it Gujarati style, which means it is more like a soup.

  • 1/2 cup Moog dal (Spilt Green Gram)
  • 1/2 cup Masoor dal (Red Lentil)
  • 1 tbsp Val dal (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Chora dal (optional)
  • 7-8 cups warm water
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ginger finely chopped – paste would be better
  • 1-2 cloves shredded garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (or cumin seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • pinch of asafoedita powder
  • 1/8 cup of jaggery (or 1 tbsp sugar)
  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp salt added to the lentil mixture

Cooking the lentils:

  1. Sift through all the lentils and remove any stones.
  2. Combine all the lentils in a bowl and wash with warm water.
  3. Transfer the lentils into a pot, and add about 7-8 cups of water, and the salt.
  4. Boil on medium heat for about 45min to 1 hour. All the lentils should break apart. If it still seems like some of the lentils are whole, just run a hand blender through the mixture. You do not want to make it over smooth though; you want the mixture to maintain some texture.
  5. The consistency of the lentil mixture should be soup-like. If you find it is too thick, just add some hot water until it reaches the right consistency.

Making the tomato gravy:

  1. In a small pot heat 1-2 tsp of oil.
  2. Once the oil has heated, add the mustard seeds.
  3. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, add the turmeric and the asafoedita powder.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, jaggery, ginger, chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Mix all the ingredients together and allow the gravy to simmer until the tomatoes melt and the consistency is somewhat paste-like.

Finishing off:

  1. Add the tomato gravy into the lentil mixture.
  2. Add lemon juice and optionally add some shredded garlic.
  3. Stir the mixture and allow it to simmer on low heat for another 10-15 minutes.

Garnish with some cilantro.

Eva’s Delicious Dolmathes (Stuffed Grapevine Leaves)

This video along with the last two, were created without the use of a tripod (all 3 were recorded on the same day). We learned our lesson and got a tripod. Sorry for any shaky hands :)

Dolmathes, also known as stuffed grapevine leaves, are a Greek specialty. There are many different variations of this dish, depending on the region of Greece. Some prepare it with an avgolemono (egg and lemon) sauce, others prefer a tomato sauce. Some Greeks cook the dolmathes in a pan in the oven, while others prefer to cook the dolmathes on the stovetop. In this recipe Eva shows us her unique way of preparing this classic Greek dish.

For the Dolmathes:

  • ½ pound of ground beef
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • ¼ cup of chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup of chopped mint
  • 1/3 cup of chopped dill or anise
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ cup of washed and strained uncooked rice
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 20-30 grapevine leaves

For the lemon sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • Juice of half a lemon

To begin you need to blanch your grapevine leaves. Some grocery stores sell jars of preserved grapevine leaves, but if you are using fresh leaves you need to blanch them by placing them in a pot of boiling water for about 2-3 minutes then rise with cold water and pat dry.

In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, onion, parsley, mint, anise, egg, olive oil, lemon juice, rice, and salt and pepper.

Once you have mixed these ingredients well you may begin rolling your dolmathes. Place your grapevine leaves face down (smooth side down) on your countertop. Place a ½ teaspoon of mixture at the top of the leaf and roll the leaf by folding in the sides and rolling downwards. Roll the leaves tightly. Repeat until all the mixture has been used up. After you have finished rolling all of the dolmathes, pour about 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a medium size pot and place your dolmathes (with the seam side down) in the pot. Put the pot on medium heat and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

In another small pot, bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil. After the water has come to a boil pour it over your dolmathes. Place a small heat-proof plate over your dolmathes and close the lid. Turn the heat down to a light-to-medium heat and let it cook for about 45 minutes. Once it has cooked, remove the dolmathes from the pot and place on a serving plate. Be sure to keep any remaining juice to make the sauce.

To prepare the lemon sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of flour with half a cup of water. Add the juice of half a lemon to the leftover dolmathes juice. Add the flour mixture to this and whisk the mixture well. Let it come to a boil for 1-2 minutes until it thickens. Strain the mixture as you pour it over the dolmathes. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve!