Lettuce and dal??…While it may sound odd, it is a perfect way to finish up your left over lettuce. Reasons that my refrigerator may have excess lettuce are:
My constant love/hate relation with salad
When I go shopping, If I see lettuce in the store, I have to buy it. But, oh dear!!…it only gets worse….I admit that I sometimes buy it in, ahem…, bulk!!
You see, making salads does not come automatically to me. I have to feel like eating it, I have to have the perfect ingredients for the perfect dressing, the avocado has to be just ripe, the moon has to be shining brightly, the stars have to be aligned ….etc etc :). In short, I am a typical desi who groans at the prospect of eating a salad!!
The E-coli suspicion
The other problem that happened recently, is that e-coli and lettuce have been in the news lately. Now, I am even more reluctant to use the lettuce that I purchased. What states were affected? What bar codes are we talking about? Did my local Costco issue a recall? Even, after all that analysis and finding out the lettuce is ok, I still view the lettuce bag with great suspicion.
But, here’s the good news. The USDA states that the bacteria is killed by cooking, if the internal temperature reaches 160F (71C). With pressure cooking, the internal temperature of the food reaches 240F easily. Now, I can eat the lettuce with a peace of mind and the way I like it …cooked and all mushy, just like a true desi!!
This recipe adds lettuce to the dal recipe inspired by Nita Mehta’s Dal and Roti. I love the simplicity of the recipe and its wholesome taste. A must-try for busy cooks.
Lentils cooked with lettuce makes a perfect accompaniment to chapathis, rotis or pitas.
- 1/2 cup masoor dal
- 1/2 cup moong dal
- 1 head lettuce roughly chopped
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp Jeera
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 tsp Dania (coriander) powder
- 1/8 tsp Amchoor (dried mango) powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
In a pressure cooker, mix the 2 dals, washed and chopped lettuce and water.
Pressure cook dals for 2-3 whistles.
Heat butter in a pan. Add jeera and fry till they turn golden. Do not burn them.
Add all the masala powders and cook for 1/2 minute. Pour over hot cooked dal. Mix gently and serve.
Do not add extra water, since the lettuce will also release some water.
Cook lettuce along with dal in pressure cooker.
Add the spices to the baghar
Add the baghar to the cooked dal
When you see lettuce, you think salads. Hope this post gives you pause and allows you to creatively explore lettuce on more Indian-style dishes. After all, breaking the rules, especially in the kitchen, can lead to new delights.
I hope you give this recipe a try. What rules have you broken in the kitchen? Share your thoughts and comments down below. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
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IIliked it . The recipe has no salt, no haldi, no Hing? Butter is not vegan so I used a little oil not 2 tbsp which is too much.
Hi VJ, I am glad you liked it. The Jeera-Dhania baghar recipe that I followed from Nita Mehta’s recipe book does not use hing and turmeric. I guess it is 1 style to try. I suppose you could also add those missing ingredients and get an awesome dal as well.
Thank you for trying and posting your feedback on the recipe.
This recipe was quite yummy, but my lettuce got a bit burnt because somehow the dals soaked up the 2 cups of water, so it became gooey. I would allow to add just 2-3 tablespoons more water.
Sorry to hear that.
Thank you for your feedback, it will be helpful for folks trying this in the future.