They say that sometimes the simplest things are hard to come by. The North Eastern part of India, where the cuisine is simple and close to nature, gave me days and nights of tension as I was not able to find any recipes.
The area is predominantly non-vegetarian, so that makes it all the more difficult. I wouldn’t say these are authentic Meghalaya recipes, but these are the best I could find from the limited sources in the internet.
With people crossing borders for jobs and livelihood, now the cuisine is changing everywhere. The dal-chawal combination is quite common in all the NE states now.
To help me out, Mireille had sent across a recipe for Dal (called Daineiiong) from Meghalaya. I again had to simplify it since I didn’t have sesame seeds with me. Anyway, the plain dal prepared with mustard oil was quite nice and paired really well with the tomato chutney.
I have never roasted a tomato before! I couldn’t make out too much of a taste difference, but yet this very simple recipe tasted good and was great with the dal. The spinach is just boiled with salt, again – light on stomach and tasty.
- Simple Masoor Dal : Pressure cook 1 cup masoor dal (red lentils) until done. In a pan, heat 1 tsp mustard oil, add 1 teaspoon crushed ginger and garlic and saute. Add the cooked dal, salt and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes, mashing with a ladle. *You are supposed to roast and grind 1 tbsp sesame seeds and then grind them with water. This paste should be sauteed for a minute after ginger garlic paste is added. I was out of sesame seeds and couldn’t do this. Recipe source: Mireille
- Spinach: I adapted this recipe from one for fish. It involves boiling of the leaves with a bit of water, salt and green chillies. I have substituted potatoes for the fish. Wash the green and dice the potatoes. Put in a pan with a bit of salt and 2-3 green chillies. Cover and cook until the potatoes are done.
- Roasted Tomato chutney: Again adapted from a non-vegetarian recipe. Roast two tomatoes, remove the black skin and keep aside. Pulse (not puree like mine!) this along with 1-2 green chillies, 4-5 garlic cloves, 1 tsp coriander leaves and enough salt. Add 1/2 tsp mustard oil and serve.