Written Thurs 5 Sept lunchtime
I have just had some lovely dhal out of the freezer...it was
a bit bland and I remembered reading in Indian cookery books
about a technique called "bargar", ie, frying whole spices in
lots of oil or ghee before pouring the whole lot over a dhal
or other dish. So I decided to try and think up a corresponding
Get some whole spices, eg cumin. Dry-fry in a preheated quite
hot pan for about 30 seconds until darkened and smelling nice.
Pour in a dollop of water. It will hiss and spit...and the oils
will come out of the spices, turning the water yellowish. Now
boil briskly for about 30 seconds to 1 minute more to
thoroughly cook the spices. Make sure there is enough water in
the pan so you can "collect up" all the spices in it. Then
pour the contents of the pan over a dhal.
When you do this with oil you can leave it at that...but with
water it looks more appetising stirred in. So don't make your
dhal too wet in the first place.
This is very different to just cooking your whole spices in
with the dhal...the spices retain a bit of "bite" and have
a wholly different flavour. It certainly made my dhal today
the nicest I have *ever* tasted.