Dry dal with Spring Onions (Ulliporka)
Amma used to cook this every so often. It is a dal in a way, but not a wet dal. Dry, with lots of green bits from the spring onions and the whole grains of the moong dal. Then she took to her bed and Ravi was cooking and in charge of the kitchen. And this hadn’t been made for some years it seems. One August when we were there I showed Ravi how to make it, just for a change from the usual this kaya and that kaya. And Daddy loved it. I was taken with his being taken by it. He asked about it at other times too. So this is for him. From Amma.
2 bunches of spring onions, the green parts chopped into half inch pieces, the white more finely.
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
A few karyapak leaves
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 cup of moong dal, washed, then soaked in water for a few hours. It swells up.
Add oil to dry pan, when hot put in the seeds, the karyapak the chillies and the garlic in the usual way. Then add the whites of the spring onions, let them soften for a few minutes, add the salt. Then put in the green parts of the spring onions, stir them around, then spread it out to make a bed. Then put in the soaked dal, in the bed in the centre of the pan, with no water. Cover this mound of dal with the greens from the sides, so the dal is protected on all sides and from burning at the bottom. Cover and cook on very low heat with the lid on for maybe ten or fifteen minutes. And that’s it. It is really a lovely light dish, and you can see the very yellow dal peeping through the dark green of the spring onions.