Archive for the ‘Lentils’ Category

Golas in Palak Gravy!

Monday, May 21st, 2012

I am sick of saying Spinach is good for health to my son. And also to the dad who gives a weird look when I make anything with spinach. Ofcourse one can make the tempting palak paneer, spinach dal, kootu, keerai sambar, keerai masiyal and even aloo palak and spinach cutlets, what else can I do with spinach? One fine day I made this recipe just to see how it tastes and what do you know, we have two dishes now, a gravy and a snack. Yipee!! This is what frustration can lead to, then it was one happy ending :)

Ingredients: Makes about 10 Golas.

For the dhal golas :

Chana (garbanzo beans) – 1 cup soaked for 6 hrs and cooked till just tender or canned beans
Rajma – 2 teaspoons – soaked for 6 hrs and cooked till just tender or canned beans
Ginger – 1/4″ piece
Garlic – 2 cloves
Green chillies – 1/2 to one chile depending on your spice preference
Onion – 1, chopped fine
Coriander leaves – 1 handful chopped fine
Salt to taste

For the gravy:

2 cup tightly packed spinach leaves
Tomatoes – 1 cup finely chopped
Onions- 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Garam Masala powder- 3/4 tsp
Salt to taste

For tempering:
Light olive oil- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp


If you are using canned beans, drain it thoroughly. If you are using soaked and cooked beans also drain off the water. Blend the beans with garlic & ginger,cilantro, green chillies salt, without adding water to a coarse paste. Make lemon sized balls and fry in a aapa karai till golden brown. Or make like patties and shallow fry in a tava/frying pan. If you add water while blending you will not be able to shape it. Drain the golas on a tissue.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they splutter add the onions and fry till translucent. Add salt. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are mashed and blends with onions like a gravy. Add the spinach and garam masala powder. Cover and let the spinach leaves cook through. Let it cool and blend onion-tomato-spinach mix to a puree. Return the puree to the pan, add the dhal golas and cook for 4-5 mins. Switch off. Serve hot with rotis, pooris or parathas. If you like you can even add cream to the gravy before serving!

The best part is that you can make the golas/tikkis and serve it as a snack too. If you like you can even add grated paneer/cheese to the golas.

Sending this Dal golas in palak gravy to MLLA-47 guest hosted by Priya, an event started by Susan.

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Gazebo Dal

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

As I sit and slurp my maggie noodles(comfort food for my sinus) and look around the house to see the chores I still have to do, there is one thing that has been well taken care of – sharing recipes. Thanks to my Sis, my inbox is full of recipes and pictures. Following with the hotel style vathakozhambu this is another one of her specials that I make when I run low on veggies/pantry ingredients.

Before I share the recipe, two things I forgot write about in the previous posts are:
Picture of the avakkai -mango channa pickle I made two weeks ago, recipe is here.

Activities I have been doing with the Lil one the past week- Visit to the zoo, a fun playscape, stomping grounds playplace, swimming, playgroup date and last but certainly not the least my lil boy and I had fun dancing together in a “Zumba” class :) Our dancing may not be the perfect zumba dance moves that you’d expect but all that matters is that we had a good time, right?

Recipe time then! This dal is very tasty and just melts in the mouth and a special recipe in the restaurant Gazebo(in Dubai). I learnt it from my sis and made it loads of times when I was expecting R as it was easy, almost a one pot dish and was loaded with protein. Mostly I drank it like a soup with some kind of bread to dunk into it.

Serves 3-4

Moong dhal – 3/4 cup
Toor dhal – 1/4 cup
Spinach – a small bunch – leaves only – sliced thin
Onions, finely chopped- 3 tbsp
Tomato -One small size,finely chopped
Garlic – 1 clove
Ghee/Butter – 3 tea spoons
cumin seeds – 1/4 tea spoon
red chillies – 3
Salt to taste
Turmeric power- 1/8 tsp


Wash and pressure cook the dhals with the garlic,onions,spinach and tomato adding a little extra water for a mushy consistency. You can even go for 3 whistles to achieve that consistency. Let it cool down, mash the contents well.

Heat the ghee/butter in a kadai. Temper with cumin and red chili. Lower the flame add the cooked dal and veggie mixture, adding turmeric powder and salt to taste. Lower the flame and let it cook for 10 minutes till the dal mixture looks thick. You can add lemon juice to taste if needed. Serve with rotis,pooris,jeera rice or naan.

You do not need any spices as the red chili itself is enough.

Another way to make this dal: Let the dals cook in the pressure cooker directly for 4-5 whistles, then do the tadka in a small tadka pan and pour it over the dal.

Sending this Gazebo dal to MLLA-47 guest hosted by Priya, an event started by Susan.

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Daal Panchmela

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

To be honest, N watches the show “Lock stock and two smoking tikkas” presented by Marut Sikka and I
just get the recipe which N wants me to make.This daal with five different grams looked tempting and since he bought me the book Indian flavors(hmmm) he wanted me to make it for phulkas one day. I have previously tried Mirchi Ka Salan, Aloo Kari Patta ,clear tomato soup, pea patties from this cookbook and they were fantastic. I loved the taste of different daals but N was not too fond of the different textures of different daals in the recipe(but that is the speciality of this recipe). But still I make it once in a while and just mash up his portion of the daal to a very smooth consistency. This is an excellent recipe to try in the slow cooker too and the slow cooked daals will just melt in the mouth with some flaky parathas. This was our lunch last weekend when we went for swimming with lil R, I just pressure cooked it, did tadka and we had it with frozen parathas.

Ingredients: (Serves-2)
Chana Dal- 1/4 cup
Toor dal- 1/4 cup
Moong dal- 1/4 cup
Masoor dal- 3 tbsp
Urad dal- 3 tbsp

Tomatoes(I used roma)- finely chopped- 1 cup
Finely chopped ginger- 1/2 tsp

Butter- 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Dhania powder- 1/2 tsp
Hing- 1 pinch
Salt to taste

For tempering:
Ghee- 1 tbsp
Oil- 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilies- 2


This is not exactly the method the chef has suggested but I find that cooking all the daals in pressure cooker is easy so I do it that way rather than boiling it in a pot.

Heat oil in a pan and toast all daals to a golden brown color. Let it cool down and wash all the daals (after toasting). Transfer the daal mixture to a pressure pan, add butter, red chili powder, turmeric powder,salt and ginger and add enough water to cook the daals. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles till daals are cooked enough and are tender.

For tempering, heat ghee in a pan add cumin seeds, when they spluttter add hing, dhania powder, dry red chilies and tomatoes. Stir fry well till tomatoes are cooked through and looks buttery. Add this to the cooked daals in the pressure cooker. Let it simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Switch off. Add lemon juice to taste and serve with any type of bread.

This Daal Panchmela goes to MLLA edition 46, hosted this month by the creator Susan.

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Crispy Parupusili and a tangy Morekozhambu- Classic Combo from Amma

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

There are things that sometimes you wish you can do better…Take cooking as an example, especially if you are making one of mom’s specialities. My mom was here last year to take care of lil R and me, and N just became a fan of amma’s cooking from her thick morekozhambus to authentic pulikaichai(tamarind rice mix) to picture perfect kai murukkus. So these days when I make the classic combination of parupusili and morekozhambu, he gives me a look which translates to “why does this taste so different”?

It is quite tough to get one full recipe out of amma, she has lots of tricks- say “It needs oil, It will take time to cook, You girls(me and my sis) cook better than how I used to cook etc etc.” I thought this was the case with just my mom but my cousin PR who was visiting us said the same about her mom and her specific recipes. She proudly told me that when she went home for vacations she just got hold of her mom and ordered her to instruct step by step while PR made it..Good point you see, now mom’s cant escape :) Since amma is in India now the only thing I could do was to literally beg her for her secret recipe over the phone.

Straight to the recipe then!

For the Parupusili: (Serves 3-4)
Chana dal- 3/4 cup
Toor dal 1/2 cup
Red chilies 2-3 (depending on how spicy you want it to be)
Grated coconut- 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder-1/8 tsp
Oil- a very generous 3-4 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- few
Asafoetida- 1 pinch
Vegetable of your choice: Beans or Cluster beans(guwar) or cabbage or plantain flower or spinach- I used cluster beans- about a cup.


Wash and soak both dals in water for atleast 30 minutes. Drain the water completely and then blend them to a coarse powdery paste(!!) in a blender along with red chilies, salt and coconut.

Chop the beans(fine chopping is not required).

In a greased idli plate, place the chopped beans and the ground dal paste. Just like idlis let it cook in steam for 10 minutes. Let it cool down.

Then, take the steamed dal paste from the steamer/cooker and just pulse it once or twice in the blender. This is so that the lumpy dal gets broken down into fine particles making the stir fry crispy.

Let the steamed beans be as it is.

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, when it splutters add curry leaves and asafoetida. Now add the powdered cooked dal and stir fry on a medium low flame for a good 7-10 minutes till it gets light golden brown in color.

Then add the steamed beans and stir fry it on a low flame for another 5-7 minutes adding salt(check and add salt if needed) and turmeric powder. Do not add water to cook the beans. To skip that step we already steamed it in the cooker!

Keep mixing the beans and the dal powder for another minute or two- now it looks like the typical parupusili right? 😉 Switch off. But do not cover the pan- if you have a netted lid use it or else the water from the lid will drip and make the parupusili soggy!

Just re-heat it on low flame again before serving to retain the crispness of the dal and vegetables.

The perfect combo for this is Morekozhambu. I made pumpkin morekozhambu to go with it, if you see the kerala type morekozhambus(or kootans as they call it), it just uses lots of coconut, chilies and jeera. The Tamilnadu style morekozhambu needs some dal to give it the thickness and the taste.

Pumpkin Morekozhambu:(Serves 3-4)


White Pumpkin(Winter Melon)- about 1/4 cup- cubed
Salt- to taste(about 3/4 tsp)
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Water- 1/2 cup
Well whisked yogurt- 1/2 cup
For tempering:
Oil- 1 tbsp
mustard seeds and Jeera(cumin seeds)- 1/4 tsp each
Curry leaves-few
Hing- A generous pinch

Soak and grind to a thick paste:
Chana dal- 1/4 cup
Toor dal- 1/4 cup
Jeera- 1 tbsp
Green chilies(or red)- 2-3
Ginger- 1″piece
Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
Coconut- 1/4 cup
Peppercorns- less than 1/4 tsp (Use only if you need more spice other than chilies).


Soak the ingredients given to grind for 15 mins (minimum) and grind all the ingredients given in list 3 to a thick and smooth paste.

Whisk the water, yogurt, salt, turmeric powder and the ground paste together(without lumps). Heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds, when it splutters add jeera, when it sizzles add curry leaves and Hing.

Add the cubed pumpkins and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the flame and carefully pour the yogurt mixture into the pan. Do not let it boil, but simmer on low flame till you can see bubbles. Switch off(the more it cooks, the yogurt mixture will curdle).

Serve morekozhambu with parupusili, hot steaming rice, ghee and some papad. Heaven on a plate :)

Other combinations that I learnt from amma is ennai katrikkai curry, that is another awesome combo for morekozhambu. You can also make plantain podimas, aloo curry with coconut, achari aloo or stuffed whole okra stir fry to go with morekozhambu.

Since both these dishes are made with lentils, I am sending them off to Susan’s MLLA, edition 45 is hosted this month by Girlichef.

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