Showing posts with label Lentils - Daal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lentils - Daal. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mahalaya ...... Khichudi, Dalma and Kheeri

The air outside was crisp and the a cool breeze swayed the curtains. I heard the bells and the sound of conch from the near by temple. I looked outside through the narrow gap between the windows, it was still dark. The morning hustle bustle in our house had started much early.
Aai (my maternal grandmother) had switched on her old transistor on full volume. A familiar voice recited the chants of various hymns of 'Mahisasura Mardini'. I guessed it was 'Mahalaya' ! I have always associated Mahalaya with an early morning audio montage of recitation of stanzas from 'Mahisasura Mardini'.
I heard Padma fill the bucket with water and splash it. Her glass bangles moved in rhythm to make a nice jingle as she swept the courtyard. Gopal Bhai the 'Phul wala' was also early. He rang his bicycle bell twice before he left the small woven bamboo basket with flowers for the usual morning puja. But today there was a 'Laal Mandara Mala' (Red Hibiscus Garland) along with the marigolds. Aai had asked Gopal Bhai for the Laal Mandara ..... she wanted to beckon the goddess by offering her favorite flower. Padma finished sweeping the courtyard and grabbed the faded plastic bowl in which Aai kept the Muruja ( Muruja is fine rice powder/flour. It is used to prepare motifs/rangoli ). She moved her hands swiftly to make a big rangoli around the 'Tulsi'.
The early rays of the sun and the early morning breeze was intoxicating. This morning was quite special in it's own way.
Aai was ready for the morning puja . Her long wet grey hair swayed in the morning breeze as she lit the lamp near the 'Tulsi' and watered it. I stood behind her as she began the puja . My eyes were stuck on the special bhoga/ prasad. "Aai is it Mahalaya ? Does that mean it is Durga Puja ?" Aai smiled and nodded as she gently caressed my tangled hair. Aai completed her Puja and placed a laddu on my hand. I happily roamed around the house nibbling on the laddu.
I knew it was time for new dresses, sweets, buying balloons from every balloon wala that passed by our house, exchange of puja gifts among kith and kin. And most importantly it was time for family reunions and pandal hopping.
I spent the rest of the day following Aai wherever she went and listening to stories of 'Maa Durga' and the victory of good over evil.
I have got so engrossed and busy with life that I have almost forgotten the true meaning of celebrating Puja. I wish I could unwind time and wake up to run to the courtyard and hear stories from Aai while eating Khichudi, Dalma and some warm Kheeri.

Sending this to Pree's 'Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja'.

Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves -3
Basmati Rice - 1/2 cup
Mung Daal - 1/2 cup
Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
Chopped Methi Leaves - 1 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 2 inches
Cardamon - 4
Green Chili -3
Roasted Peanuts - 1/3 cup
Clarified Butter - 1 tbsp
Salt per taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Method of Preparation
1 Wash the rice and mung daal and keep aside.
2 In a pressure cooker add the clarified butter. When warm, add the cumin seeds, slit green chilies, Cardamon and Cinnamon.
3 Add the chopped onions and fry till brown. Now add the rice and the daal. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. Make sure you stir continuously else it will stick to the bottom of the cooker.
4 Next add the chopped methi leaves and peanuts. Fry for 2 minutes. Add salt per taste and sugar.
5 Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook till you get one whistle.
6 Remove from heat, open cooker and add some clarified butter on top of it.
Serving Tips
Serve warm with Dalma
You can use roasted mung daal instead of raw one.
You can use cashew nuts instead.
Other Names
Mung Daal Khichudi - Muga Dali Khechedi, Methi - Fenugreek.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Methi Daal ......

I am not feeling so great today. I am unable to deal with weather changes so well. With a runny nose, sore throat, body ache and continuous sneezing things don't look better for me. My taste buds are crying out for something nice. The store bought tomato soup is not going to help for sure ........ not for the poor taste buds atleast. J suggested ordering Pizza but that too was a 'NO' from my side. I wanted to have something hot and spicy ......... I pulled myself out and decided to make this hot and spicy daal. Yah it got some relief to my sore throat but the sneezing continues ....... Aaaaa .....Choooo
Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves - 4
Toor Daal -1/2 cup
Chana Daal - 1/2 cup
Chopped Methi Leaves - 2 cups
Grated Garlic - 1 tbsp
Grated Ginger - 1/2 tbsp
Chopped Onions - 1 tbsp
Chopped Green Chili - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 pinch
Sambar Masala - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp Salt per taste Oil for cooking
Method of Preparation
1 Mix and soak the daal for about 15 minutes before cooking.
2 Add salt per taste and turmeric powder to the daal and pressure cook it.
3 In a separate kadhai, pour a little oil. Add cumin seeds when the oil is warm.
4 Add chopped green chilies, grated ginger and garlic. Saute for 2 -3 minutes. Next add the chopped onion and fry till golden brown.
5 Add the methi leaves now. Saute for couple more minutes.
6 Add the cooked daal to it. Mix well. Add the sambar masala and let it simmer for couple of minutes.
7 Add a spoon of ghee and remove from heat.
Serving Tips
Serve hot with rice/ chappati or paratha
You may choose to increase or decrease the amount of green chilies per taste. This daal can be prepared just with chana daal or toor daal. Add a tomato while pressure cooking the daal.
Other Names
Methi Daal - Methi Stew, Methi - Fenugreek, Cumin - Jeera, Ghee - Clarified butter, Toor Daal - Pigeon Pea, Chana Daal - Split chick peas.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have noticed a drastic change in the way we celebrate festivals today compared to my years of growing up. Or is it that I am growing older by the day and am looking at things from a different perspective. Whatever the case, but festivals have become just another date in the calendar for me.
I no more wake up at dawn and go out with my group of friends and cousins to pluck flowers from the neighborhood and make garlands out of them. Neither am I excited about wearing anything new and going 'Pandal hopping'. Preparing and eating 'prasad' has become just another thing.The sweet shop at the street corner sells ready made prasad items. And meeting relatives on festivals is out of scope.
Instead I just go to the florist, spend some money and buy flowers. I shop impulsively almost on every weekend when I am at the mall. I no longer wait for festivals to buy clothes.I rather buy clothes for parties and outings and to be in fashion.
Everything has become so convenient and I am living a life of luxury ...... but it doesn't make me feel any better.I do have the answers when I sit and introspect. But am I ready to give up the comfort and do things like before ? That's the question which puzzles me. I am not sure of it ..... but I always miss the warm welcoming atmosphere in almost every festival.

I am posting another recipe from Sangeeta's kitchen. You might be amused reading the name of this dish ..... But just to let you know, this is a traditional dish from Odisha. It is prepared in every household during festive occasions.

I just hope that all of you celebrate these festivals with grandeur. Wish all of my readers and friends a very happy Vinayak Chaturthi.

Preparation Time - 60 minutes
Serves - 4
Moong Daal - 2 cups
Cardamom - 15
Sugar - 1 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1/3 cup
Method of Preparation
1 Soak Moong Daal for 3 hours. Grind finely.
2 Put a wide open pan on flame and add the finely ground moong daal to it.
3 Add sugar and salt and oil and stirr continuously till the moong daal become light yellow in color.
4 Ground the cardamom and add to the moong daal.
5 Remove to another dish and spread uniformly.
6 When cool, cut into desired shapes.
7 Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry till golden brown.
8 Remove to a paper towel.
Serving Tips
Serve at room temperature
Keep stirring the moong daal continuously else it may form lumps.
You may choose to add sugar per taste.
Other Names
Cardamom - Elaichi

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Dalma is synonymous with Odiya Cooking and a comfort food of Odiyas. This is a highly nutritious dish which combines lentils (daal) and vegetables. There are many versions of Dalma but this one is the most common one. This traditional dish is prepared in earthen vessels in many temples across Odisha and offered as a Prasad.
Preparation Time - 45 minutes
Serves - 4
Toor Daal - 1 Cup
Pumpkin - 1 Cup cut into large pieces
Raw Banana - 1 Cup cut into large pieces
Bringjal - 1 Cup cut into large pieces
Drum Sticks - few pieces
Ginger - 1 inch
Dry Red Chilli - 5
Cumin Seeds - 3 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 3 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Method of Preparation
1 Wash and cut all the vegetables into large pieces. Soak the Toor daal for 20 minutes.
2 Add a little salt and turmeric Powder to the daal and pressure cook so that the daal gets 3/4th cooked.
3 Once the daal is partially cooked, open the cooker and add coarsely grated ginger and all the vegetables.
4 Pressure cook again on medium heat (1 whistle) so that the daal gets completely cooked along with the vegetables.
5. In a separate pan heat the Ghee. Add 1tsp of Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds and 2 dry chillis to crackle. When the tempered Ghee is still hot add it to the cooked daal and vegetables. Add sugar now.
6. Simmer for a minute or two.
7 Dry Roast the remaining Cumin Seeds and Dry Red Chillis. Grind them to prepare a powder.
Season the Dalma with this powder. This brings out the real flavor of this dish.
Serving Tips
Serve hot with a extra ghee on top with Rice or Paratha
Make sure the daal is not watery and cooked to a thicker consistency.The vegetables should be cut in large cubes,else they may get mashed while cooking.
You can add your choice of vegetables. Freshly grated coconut gives this dish extra flavor. In case you don't like ghee,use refine oil instead. You may also avoid sugar in this dish.
Other Names
Toor Daal - Arhar Daal, Raw Banana - Green Plantain, Bringjal - Egg Plant, Ghee - Clarified Butter

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Palak Daal

'What is that green thing floating in the daal', this smart lil devil .... ahhem Angel, asked making a face. That is no thing .... it's dhaniya patta, mommy tried explaining with a little patience. But this smart ass refused to have the daal with any bit of that green in it .... so mommy had no option but to chuck out those 'green things'.
Next this little devil opens up the rolled chapati ....'What are these orange and green things in there ? Mommy can you remove these 'things'.
Mommy tried explaining that 'those things' are called vegetables ..... that they were rich in vitamins and minerals. It is necessary to eat them to reach the top shelf of the pantry where mommy stores goodies. Well not really !! All you need to do is pull a chair and climb on it. At that moment she just needed this devil to finish that vegetable stuffed chapati to make her life a little bit easy ...... that was all she was truly concerned about. Guess this smart one sensed it.
Then there were story telling about Popaye and his spinach. But all in vain.
After all those effort, mommy threw some mixed fruit jam into the chappati and rolled it back in disgust. The little devil happily roamed around the house for more than an hour nibbling on this jam filled chappati.

Well ..... that little devil was none other than me :-) How happy I was making mom's life so miserable every day.
The irony is .... today I grab every bit of green and add it in all kind of curries. Nutritious eating you see ....

Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves - 3
Split Bengal Gram - 1 cup
Chopped Spinach - 2 cups
Minced Garlic - 1 tbsp
Minced Ginger - 1/2 tbsp
Finely Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chopped Green chili - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Clarified Butter - 1 tsp
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking
Method of Preparation
1 Soak the split bengal gram for 15 minutes. Pressure cook and remove from heat before the first whistle. Keep aside.
2 In a pan drizzle a little bit of oil. When the oil is warm add the cumin seeds and chopped green chilies.
3 Next add the minced ginger and garlic. Fry for about 2 - 3 minutes, till you smell the aroma of garlic. Add the chopped onion and fry till golden brown. Add the turmeric powder and salt and fry for some more time.
4 Add the chopped spinach and fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
5 Add the cooked daal and give it a stir.
6 Finish off by adding garam masala. Simmer and remove from flame.
7 Top it off with a dollop of clarified butter.
Serving Tips
Serve warm with roti/ paratha
Do not over cook the daal.
You may mix and cook a variety of daal (split bengal gram + tuar daal).
Other Names
Palak Daal - Spinach Daal, Split Bengal Gram - Chana Daal, Cumin - Jeera, Clarified Butter - Ghee

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sprouts Chaat

It was no ordinary day. Why ? It was girls day out and our potluck ! Sorry but we absolutely refuse to call ourselves ladies. There was utter chaos .... everyone trying to talk and no one to listen. We all absolutely had to know the recipes just then .... as if that was the last time we would be seeing each other. We all are good cooks ..... that was the point we all wanted to make :-) I was amused watching all the 'girls' and listening to the discussions.

I was getting hungrier by every minute with the aroma of food every where.
I tip toed into the kitchen ..... and gobbled down whatever I could without getting caught. I know it's not good manners, but who cares of manners when it comes to great food.

Are you wondering what this has to do with the Sprouts Chaat ? Well Nothing !! I just remembered the incident .... lol

Before I forget, this Chaat is from Shruti's Kitchen.

Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves - 3
Whole green Moong Daal - 1 cup
Lemon Juice - 2 tsp
Chopped Onions - 1/2 cup
Chopped Tomatoes - 1/2 cup
Chopped grapes - 1/2 cup
Chopped Green Chilies - 1 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Black Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Method of Preparation
1 Soak the green moong overnight.
2 Drain water in morning and cover it with a wet cheese cloth. Keep till evening.
3 Heat 1tsp oil in pressure cooker add cumin seeds and turmeric then the green moong daal and salt.
4 Remove from heat before the first whistle.
5 Open cooker and let it cool.
6 Add all other ingredients with sprouts as mentioned ( Lemon juice + Chopped Onions + Chopped Tomatoes + Chopped grapes + Roasted cumin powder + Black pepper powder). Mix well
7 Garnish with chopped Cilantro.
Serving Tips
Serve at room temperature.
You may add boiled potatoes, pineapple chunks, cucumber and chat masala to this dish.
Add lemon juice per taste.
Other Names
Sprout Chaat - Daal Moth Chaat, Whole Green Moog Daal - Moth, Cumin - Jeera, Cilantro - Coriander

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Daal Masala Vada

The sky turned grey and I heard the pitter patter of the rain drops. As I looked through the window, I saw the lush green trees swinging to music of the rain.
I decided to make something before J was back in the eve and set the table for a cozy rainy eve.It was the perfect time for a hot cup of ginger tea and a spicy snack over some chit chat.
Preparation Time 30minutes
Serves - 4
Split Yellow Chana Daal - 1 cup
Onion - 1/2 Cup finely chopped
Green Chilis - 4
Curry Leaves - few
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4 cloves
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
Method of Preparation
1 Soak Chana Daal for 30 minutes
2 Coarsely grind the Chana Daal along with green chilis,curry leaves, ginger and garlic.Make sure you dry grind it.
3 Mix with finely chopped onions
4 Add Salt to the batter and mix well.
5 Heat oil in a Kadhai on medium- high heat.
6 Make small patties from the Daal Batter and deep fry till cooked.
Serving Tips
Serve Hot. Sprinkle some Chat Masala on the Vada. Serve with Tomato Ketchup and Chili Sauce.It is a great snack with hot tea/coffee.
Ensure that you do not make the batter watery, else it will not bind to form patties. In case the batter is little watery,add gram flour(besan) to correct the consistency.
Add Cumin and Corriander powder to the batter if you wish.
Other Names
Masala Vada - Daal Vada/ Piaji.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chana Garam

If you have travelled by train in India anytime, you are sure to bump into a hawker selling Chana Chat(popularly known as Chana Garam). As a student I used to travel sleeper class between Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar and there was a specific station where hawkers selling this chat would hop on the train. In a bat of an eyelid they would chop all the vegetables and mix it with the boiled Chana and hand it over to you in a paper cone. And not to forget they top it with a small piece of tender coconut. If the guy is little friendly he may give you an extra piece of the coconut too.
The Chana Dal sitting on my pantry self had been pleading me for a while to take it and make it a part of my menu and may be my blog if I get little generous. The Chana Dal brought back so many old memories that it became difficult for me ignore it any further.

Preparation Time - 20 minutes
Serves - 2
Chana Dal - 1 Cup
Onion - 1/2 Cup finely chopped
Boiled Potatoes - 1/2 cup cubed
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green Chillies - 2
Tomato Chopped - 1/2 cup
Chat Masala - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Curry Leaves - few
Salt per taste
Oil for cooking
Method of Preparation
1 Soak the dal for few hours. Add salt to the water and pressure cook it till soft.
2 In a frying pan add about 2 tsp of oil. When hot add mustard seeds to sputter. Add chopped green chillies and curry leaves. Add onion and saute for 2 - 3 minutes
3 To this seasoned oil, add the boiled dal and mix well.
4 Remove to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients ( boiled potatoes + tomato + Chat Masala + Lemon juice) and mix well.
Serving Tips
Serve hot.
You may also add chopped cucumber, carrots,cilantro and freshly cut tender coconut.
Other Names
Chana Garam - Chana Chat, Chatpata Chana

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jhatpat Ghughuni

I love everything about my home town Bhubaneswar ....... one of them being the street food. Last time when I was there I went to my favorite place 'Market Building', the oldest shopping arcade........I can spend the entire day there without getting tired. This time when I was there I realized that not much had changed about that place ......... only some of the old familiar faces had more wrinkles. I saw a swarm of people at the same old rickety corner of the arcade. I could see the same old board 'Ghuguni Bara',only the paint had faded and there was more rust on it.Every time I visited Market Building I had seen that spot crowded ..... it has been the favorite hangout for street food lovers. Though I was a bit concerned about the hygiene, I too plunged into the crowd. Strange but I relish the taste of street food more than any posh Bistro.

I named this recipe as Jhatpat Ghuguni because it can be prepared in no time ! Ghuguni is another comfort food of the Odiyas'. The main ingredient for this is dried yellow peas.
Preparation Time - 20 minutes
Serves - 2
Yellow Peas - 1 Cup
Mustard Oil - 1 tsp
Chopped Onions - 1/2 cup
Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp
Dry Red Chili - 2
Lemon Juice - 1tbsp
Coriander leaves - few strings
Chopped Tomato - 1/3 cup
Salt to taste
Method of Preparation
1 Soak the yellow peas in warm water for minimum 4 hours.
2 Pressure Cook the peas with salt added to it till cooked. Make sure the peas are soft.Remove and drain water.Smash the peas roughly using a spoon.
3 Dry roast the Cumin and Red Chili. Grind them together to make a powder.
4 Add mustard oil and lemon juice to the drained peas and mix well.
5 Add the cumin-red chili powder and mix well.
6 Add chopped onions and tomatoes. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.
Serving Tips
Serve hot as a snack.
When the cumin seeds and Red Chili is hot, grind to make a powder in the pestle. It can be easily powdered when hot.
Use Olive oil instead. If you like it more spicy add chopped green chilis.You may add boiled potatoes to this recipe.
Other Names
Dried Yellow Peas - Yellow Matar,Vatani White.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mix Daal Tadka

Daal is the Hindi terminology for lentils/legumes. This recipe has a combination of lentils which is seasoned with Spices ( Tadka means seasoning with spices ). Tadka is a common style of cooking in India which infuses the flavor of various spices into the food.
Cooking Time - 30 minutes
Serves - 4
Black Urad Daal - 1 Cup
Chick Peas - A handful
Kidney Beans - Less than a handful
Royal Bengal Gram - Less than a handful
Onion - One
Garlic - 1 tbsp
Ginger- 1 tbsp
Tomato - 1
Green Chilli - 2
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Butter - 1/4 stick
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste
Method of Preparation
1 Combine and soak all the lentils for 5-6 hours.
2 Pressure Cook the lentils so that they are throughly cooked.Add some salt while pressure cooking.
3 Finely chop Onion,Garlic,Ginger and Green Chillis.
4 In a wide mouthed Pan or Kadhai, pour 1.5 tbsp of oil. Saute the onions till they look translucent. Then add finely chopped garlic,ginger and chilli. Add salt to taste along with turmeric and red chilli powder. Saute till they are brown in color. Combine chopped tomatoes and cook to make a nice sauce.
5 Add the cooked lentils to this sauce/masala. Let it simmer on medium heat. Add butter and cook till the butter melts and gives a nice silky texture to the gravy.
6 Sprinkle Garam Masala (I use any store bought one) and cook for another 2 minutes.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves before serving.
Serving Tips
Serve hot with Rice or any Indian Flat Bread (Roti/Fulka/Naan etc).
Soak the lentils long enough so that they cook easily.
Add other lentils if you wish to. Use ghee instead of oil.
Other Names
Black Urad Daal - Black gram,Ghee - Clarified Butter, Kidney Beans - Rajma.