Sunday, February 16, 2020

A Simple Indian Cooking Class with Chef Raj

On Saturday 2/15 we had our usual #WPFB Cooking lesson, which was basically a cooking demonstration by Chef Raj, to show how easy it can be to make a simple dal, while others prepared the salad and we had farmed out making the rice to Neerob restaurant. Khokon's wife Muni was in the class, but Khokon came over at 3:30 to bring the rice.

Chef Raj of PlantPoweredChefs

Simple Dal


  • Yellow pigeon peas aka toor dal (3-4 cups)
  • Ginger (5-10 grams~ thumbsized piece)
  • Mustard seeds(1tsp)
  • Asafoetida (1 tsp)
  • Garam masala (1/2tsp)
  • Turmeric powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Whole cumin seeds (1 tsp)
  • Black pepper powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Tomato (2 units large or 3 units medium)
  • Jalapeno chili, serrano, thai chili (1 unit //optional)
  • Fresh coriander (1 bunch ~8 oz)
  • Salt + to taste (1tsp)
The preparation is utterly simple.
You wash and soak the amount of Dal you are going to use. In this case we used Toor Dal, which is split pigeon peas.

You cut up the tomatoes and the peppers, and ginger

You heat up the pan with the spices (all except the garam masala which is roasted already). The dry roasting of the spices will release the fragrance. Make sure you stop before you burn them. 
Next you add the tomatoes and peppers and let that cook for a while, stirring regularly. When the tomatoes are soft, add the dal and enough water to cover. Let it cook till the dal is soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 mins.

Brown basmati rice (4-5 cups)


Cucumber (2 units) 
Lettuce, Cabbage or dark leafy greens mix (2 lb ~32 oz)
1/2/3 dressing
1 part Maple syrup, 2 parts Dijon Mustard, and 3 parts balsamic vinegar, with the juice of 1-2 lemons or a lemon and a lime.

In short, we had an easy dinner, and even with replenishing some supplies, we spent just $8 a head, so that St. Helena's got a nice donation from this group.

Happy Diners
With a rush visit from Fr. David   

Notes: The Asafoetida is a primarily Indian spice, and it really adds a flavor as if you had used onions and garlic. Very interesting.