Saturday, 17 February 2018

Slow Cook Tarka Dahl

The ease of the slow cooker

Well i must say that this one surprised me....Last week i bought my Slow Cooker as you can read here >>> Slow Cooker, what’s all about?

I never make Dahl (Dal) and thought by having my slow cooker now, that i would give it another try. Cause i don’t like to wait and stir while cooking, it tires me so much to wait. So my second recipe i mad with this cooker was this Dal with red Lentils.

I found a recipe in a book and adjusted it to my taste. I also read a lot about slow cooking and know that you better bake your onions and spices like in the indian kitchen, cause that gives the ultimate indian flavour in these dishes.
It’s not really an extra effort, you can make this all in 1 separate pan and then transfer it all to your slow cooker. While cooking, you can do many other things or just reading an exciting book :)

This Dal serves 4


3 tbsp sunflower oil
250 gr Red Lentils
1 Onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (curcuma)
1 tsp Black Cumin 
2 cm Fresh root ginger peeled and finely shopped
200 gr canned chopped tomatoes
600 ml vegetable stock (boiled)
Salt and Pepper
2 hands full of fresh Spinach

INGREDIENTS (Part 2, for the Tarka) : 

1 Tbsp of Sunflower oil
2 tsp of black cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric (curcuma)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped


Rinse the Lentils with cold water till the water is clean and let drain well.

Add 2 tbsp of sunflower oil in a little pan with the chopped onion, cook till it turns golden, then add the spices >> 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp black cumin seeds and fresh ginger. Let turn golden to light brown. Add 1 more tbsp of sunflower oil to make it more glazy.

Now transfer the lentils to the slow cooker and add the spiced onion mixture from the pan, stir to combine well. Add a little salt and pepper, 200 gr of chopped tomatoes can and the 600 ml vegetable stock. Stir to combine. Turn on the slow cooker with lid on and let cook on HIGH heat for approximately 2 1/2 hours.

While it’s cooking, now make the Tarka spices >>

In the same pan you used before add the sunflower oil and 2 tsp of Black cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric and the 2 fine chopped garlic cloves. After some minutes on medium heat, you will smell the spices and how good that smmmmmmells.....mmmmm.
Turn off the heat when ready and transfer to a little bowl, to add later.
You can clean your pan and your kitchen in the meanwhile....that’s fun isn’t it?

Do not lift the lid or you will lose the damp that you need to cook the lentils. Slow cooking is all about adding it to the pot and don’t look at it for some hours :)

10 minutes before the end of cooking time, add the Tarka spices that you set aside earlier and stir to combine, let cook for the remaining 10 minutes. After 2 1/2 hours the lentils are already soft and tender, so no need to worry about lifting up the lid. then add the 2 hands full of fresh spinach and let cook a bit on LOW heat for about 5 minutes. Stir to combine 2 times or so. 

Spoon into bowls and serve this dish with Basmati rice and Naan or Chapati.

In Pictures 

Tarka spices

Tarka spices

Monday, 12 February 2018

Slow Cooker, what’s all about?

The Hype

These days it’s all about Slow Cooking, but what does it really mean?
Slow cookers are cheap to buy, economical to use and they're great for making the most of budget ingredients. They offer a healthier, low-fat method of cooking and require the minimum amount of effort. You can buy one as from 20 euro. Depending on brand and functions you want. Slow cookers with timers are more expensive.

Cooking with a slow cooker is most similar to cooking with a Dutch oven on a stovetop. On a stovetop, a pot is heated from the bottom and the heat rises up the sides of the pot to heat the food within. Similarly, a slow cooker creates heat toward the base, which transfers up the sides of the vessel to heat the food within. In addition, setting the temperature for both cooking methods is very similar. Instead of cooking something at a specific temperature on the stovetop, you set the temperature to low or high. Your slow cooker works in the same manner.

When you set the temperature to low on your slow cooker, your heating element will put out less heat. When you set the temperature to high, the heating element will put out more heat. Cooking something on low takes more time than cooking something on high. Because the temperature settings work most like stovetop cooking, it is hard to give an actual temperature for the various heat levels.

Slow cookers are designed to do their own thing. 
It all comes down to the design. Essentially, slow cookers are just electric pots with stoneware inserts. Unlike a conventional oven or stovetop burner, slow cookers can consistently cook food at low or high temperatures for as many as 12 hours. These nifty contraptions, designed to operate completely on their own, work by trapping heat and cooking food for a long period of time. For this reason, it's important to avoid removing the lid of your slow cooker. Every time it's removed, heat escapes, and that will only increase the overall cooking time needed.

One of the greatest attributes of the slow cooker is the incredible flavoring that it can produce. Simmering a mixture of ingredients in their own juices for several hours produces that rich, deep flavor that baking, grilling or frying simply aren't capable of. Cooking on a low, steady heat brings out the most savory of flavors and gives slow-cooked meals that extra zest. I have induction an i must admit that it gives not the best result when it comes to slow cooking. Cause of the pulses it gives every couple of seconds  i do not have a constant temperature which makes it not ideal for stews.

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