H's birthday was coming up sometime back and I was looking to do something that can deliver the most happiness quotient with the least effort. Who but HMom to the rescue! While chatting on the phone one day she mentioned how H had always loved muringa ila and was happy to recite her recipe to me. I typed it down on my iPhone notepad - quite handy eh? no need for papers or pencils anymore... - and saved it for d-day. The leaves were available at the not so local Kerala grocery store and I hid'em all the way on the bottom shelf of the fridge. All for naught! Guess who had to pull out everything on that shelf the day before his birthday and spoil the surprise? Yup, H did it. But it was still sort of a surprise when I made the actual thoran 'cos it came out almost as good as he remembers it and we had never made it here before. So it fulfilled my requirements for a sweet and simple thing to do. I also consulted Mrs. KMM's book to fill in some gaps in my notes.
In The Mix
toor dal - 1/4 cup
muringa leaves - from two bunches (cleaned and separated)
for curry mix
jeerakam/cumin seeds crushed - 1/2 tsp
garlic - 1 pod
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
chili powder - 1/4 tsp (this is for color)
olive oil - 2 tsp
mustard - 1 tsp or less
shallots - 1 or 2 sliced and diced big
curry leaves - a sprig or two
dry red chilies - 2 or 3 torn in halves
Salt to taste - My discovery is that, veggie taste is enhanced if we don't add any salt at all. For non-veg controlled amounts of salt may be good than no salt at all.
How To Do
Boil just enough water in a large pan and cook the toor dal. Once cooked through, add muringa leaves, cover and cook for 5 minutes. The result should not be watery. Combine all the items in the curry mix together. Add this to the pan and stir well together. Add enough salt to taste. Now close and steam for 3-4 minutes on high.
Heat oil in a small pan, break mustard, saute the shallots, curry leaves and dry red chilies for the seasoning.
Add to the cooked mix and combine. Serve over hot rice with buttermilk curry or yogurt. Drool!
BTW, see below for a corn/tomato picture Our veggie garden is slowly winding down to rest in winter. I am trying to setup some herbs in the kitchen. Just moved to a new company so life's a little hectic and I hope to make it to India this year somehow to see my Mom and everyone else.