Thursday, 25 November 2010

Everything Stir-fry

So I was recently over at my friend Soumik's, happily chatting the night away and being predictably radical in thought and laid-back in action, when massive hunger pangs homed in. We had some leftover tarka daal (it's what Bengalis call kaali daal, though prepared slightly differently from up north), which is boiled grams/beans seasoned with spices. The tarka had congealed in the few hours between buying it from a local roti-daal place, and was quite inedible.

So this is what my friend Soumik did: (NOTE: minus the leftover lentils, this makes a GREAT hearty breakfast, especially on weekends, especially with hot buttered toast).

Leftover whole cooked beans (not mashed) or grams.
Sausages (we had small cocktail sausages), sliced.
Red onions, chopped.
Long green capsicum (long, thick-skinned Habanero look-alike), sliced.
Sharp cheddar.

Any number of sauces/seasonings you can think of. Soumik added:
Worcestor sauce.
Dark soya sauce.
Saunf/fennel seeds or mouri.
Large dark cardamoms, pod chopped, seeds cracked open with a pestle.
Pickled bamboo shoot from Sikkim.

How to:

Dead simple. As my dear friend T says, it's just heating oil and throwing shit together. That's precisely what Soumik did. First, he heated a lot of mustard oil (you can easily manage on less than half that). When the oil was hot, he tossed in the onion and capsicum/pepper and let them fry.

Then he microwaved the frozen sausages and sliced them up, sliced himself some thick pieces of the cheddar, and added both. This cheddar is mighty hard to soften. If you have more regular cheddar, save it for later. Just add the sausages and keep tossing the mixture over a high flame.

Add the sauces, the mouri (fennel) and the cardamom bits. Fold in well. If you can stand the heat, liberally sprinkle ground black pepper on this. Season with salt. Stir some more. As an afterthought, Soumik added a dollop of minced ginger (the yellow clump in pic below).

Now upend the leftover beans/lentils. Add water. Cover and simmer for about ten or fifteen minutes.

Life the cover. Move the contents about a bit, scrape up the pan droppings. Turn up the heat and break an egg a person on this. Scramble it.

Let the scrambled eggs cook over a low heat for about six minutes. When done, top with grated or diced cheese, put the lid back on, turn off the heat, and let it melt a little in the heat of the frying pan. Serve with rootis (heated and patted with ghee, in this case) or white rice. Yum yum! Soumik is definitely my favourite short-order cook now.


Dea-chan said...

Looks pretty tasty! ... I think I had to make a stir fry in a dream... I was supposed to cook food faster than someone, so I pulled out the frying pan -- and woke up. :-P

Rimi said...

Haha! I remember the stir-fry you made in Zool, which was when you dished out that pearl of wisdom: cooking is just throwing shit together in a frying pan.

And I remember we sat on you-know-who's mess and ate it. And halfway through she discovered a plate of dried, stick-like lo mein/ramen under a few cushions on the sofa. Ick!

Rimi said...

Okay, there were only a few strands of noodles left, and the oil/gravy had dried. But still!

Abhishek Mukherjee said...

Reminds me of my earliest cooking days. This is predictably a lot tastier than its puritan sibling, Everything Stewed Together.

Rimi said...

Of course it is! Aeta onekta Tex-Mex chili ranna korar moto. Shobkichu tele bheje *bhalo* rokom lonka aar moshla diye, olpo jol diye dheke boshiye dao. It will cook while you run around doing Important Things.

Magically Bored said...

Oh, wow, that looks brilliant. Actually, it's wonderful that one can do so much with leftover daal. :)