Masaura and Potato Tarkari
(Potatoes and Lentil-Vegetable Balls Curried in Spices)

(Note: Masauras are dehydrated (usually sun-dried) balls of black lentil paste and minced vegetables. Allow ample time to make masauras before assembling the dish)

For Masauras (Sun-Dried Lentil-Vegetable Balls):

4 cups split black lentil, presoaked overnight
3 cups finely chopped onion, scallions, radish, cauliflower
1 teaspoon asafetida
1 teaspoon red hot chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
Salt and Pepper
1 cup water

In a blender, combine soaked lentil, water, salt and pepper to for smooth paste. Reserve the paste in a large bowl. To the lentil paste, add chopped vegetables and all other ingredients; mix thoroughly to incorporate all ingredients. Make 1-in. balls of the mixture and arrange them on a baking sheet. Allow sun-drying until the ball are completely dehydrated. Food dehydrator can be used instead. Store the dehydrated lentil balls in air-tight container.

For Tarkari:

3 cups masauras
1 cup potatoes, diced
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon chili paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 cup whole cream
1 cup broth or water
6 tablespoons oil
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (for garnish)

In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat three tablespoons of oil and fry masauras until golden brown. Reserve in a large plate. To the same sauté pan, add the remaining amount of oil. Fry cumin seeds until dark. Add chopped onions and turmeric and fry until lightly browned. Add potatoes, salt and pepper to the onion mixture and fry on low heat for ten minutes or so until potatoes are lightly browned cooked half way. Add garlic, ginger, chili and cumin powder and stir for a couple of minutes. Add browned masauras to the potato mixture followed by tomatoes, broth and cream. Cover and allow simmering for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked tender and a desired consistency of the stew has been achieved. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with steamed rice.

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