This weekend I visited some friends of mine who just had a little baby boy. Of course I couldn’t go empty handed, and as the baby has been getting all of the attention recently, I decided to make some food for Mommy and Daddy. I made some simple Indian ‘comfort’ food. I made three dishes: Spinach Dhal, Channa, and Peas Pilaf. Hope these dishes will give the new parents at least one satisfying meal!
I don’t have specific recipes for these dishes, but I do have a few rules I follow. For the dhal, I use Moong dhal (pesara pappu, in Telugu). Since I don’t use a pressure cooker, I find these cook faster when boiling. More importantly, I like the slight sweetness of this dhal and find it is particularly well suited for spinach. For the rice, I like to sauté the raw rice grains in a little bit of vegetable oil before boiling. This ensures that the grains stay separate and fluffy when they are boiled rather than clumping together. It also gives a little nutty flavor and aroma. In my mind this is a defining feature of a pilaf. Given my lack of recipe, these dishes turn out a little differently each time but never completely inedible!