Today I am posting a recipe from Meghalaya. Every day this month I will post a recipe from a different state in India.
Meghalaya which means ('Megha' or cloud and 'alaya' or home) abode in the clouds, It is one of the states in Northeastern India. It is a border state bordering Myanmar.
As with most of the states in the region there was very little exposure in mainstream India until a decade ago. That is changing as different parts of the country organize food and cultural festivals focused on the Northeast. Migration from these states to other states for better jobs has also improved contact among people. Their web presence is growing slowly.
It was hard to find a recipe for Meghalaya not because there are none on the web but because most of them are not vegetarian. I found a description of some of the well known recipes from the Khasi tribe of Maghalaya here. While it is easy to cook rice from a description it can be challenging to cook other dishes. I found references to Daineiiong which is a dal based vegetarian version of a curry cooked in black sesame seed paste. When I found the recipe for the corresponding non-vegetarian dish here I knew I had my dal recipe. Daineiiong with Jastem is a really dal rice Khasi style.
You will need
1 cup tur dal
3 tbsp. black sesame seeds
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
Pressure cook the dal. Roast the black sesame seeds and grind to a paste with water. In a pan heat the oil and add the dal, ginger garlic paste and sesame seed paste. Simmer until all the ingredients are well combined. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
I had to tweak the dal a little. As a Maharashtrian my taste buds are used to a balance of flavors. I added a little sweet, a little heat and some lime juice to balance the taste of the ginger and garlic.
Boil a cup of rice (I used brown basmati) with 2 cups of water, a pinch of turmeric and a half teaspoon salt. Cook the rice until the water evaporates completely. Serve with Daineiiong.
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