Khadi Masoor Ki Dal

Khadi Masoor Ki Dal reminds me of those beautiful sunny and summery Indian breakfasts, that consisted of warm Parathas and Khadi Masoor ki Dal. My Aunt-Mami used to prepare the best Khadi Dal. I always used to request some of it whenever I would go to visit her.

Khadi Masoor Ki Dal, served along with Afghani Roti

Khadi Dal is one very easy side dish that goes well along with Mirchi Ka Salan or Mahekhalya or Andey Ka Khatta Salan, Baghare Baingan and Basmati Chawal for a meal, or just with Parathas for a breakfast or brunch. This recipe is so quick to prepare that it is one of the very first dishes one learns when he/she starts to experiment in kitchen discovering their culinary skills.

You can garnish it with finely chopped cilantro/dhaniya and mint/pudina, or with finely chopped fresh dill/Suvabhaji. It tastes best along with chopped dill, but if unavailable you can also go by the cilantro and mint.

Khadi Masoor Ki Dal – Red Lentils curry
Serves – 4-6

Ingredients:

Split Red Lentils/Masoor Dal – 1 cup
Canola Oil/Sunflower Oil – 2 tbsp
Yellow Onion – 1, small sized, finely sliced
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Tomatoes – 1, large, finely chopped
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
Warm Water – 1 cup, to cook
Warm Water – 2 cups, to soak

for garnish:
Finely chopped Cilantro and Mint – 1 tbsp (or) Finely chopped Dill/Suvabhaji – 1 tbsp

Khadi Masoor Ki Dal – Dry Red Lentils

Method:

  • Wash the lentils well in a strainer till water runs clean and soak them in a bowl of warm water-to soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a pan on medium high heat, pour in oil and as soon it warms up add the sliced onions and stir fry them till they are golden brown in color.
  • During this time, drain the soaking dal and throw away the water.
  • Lower the heat and add ginger garlic paste, fry for a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Mix well. Add the drained dal and mix it well with a spoon. Pour in the warm water to cook and give it a stir. Cover the lid of the pan and let it cook on medium heat till a nice steam has formed inside. Keep an eye on it as soon as the dal is done remove it from heat (You can add a few drops of water and stir to mix gently if needed if the dal is still undone)
  • Garnish it with fresh finely chopped dill(Suvabhaji) or fresh finely chopped cilantro and mint. Serve immediately.

Suggested Accompaniments: Mahekhalya or Andey Ka Khatta Salan or Baghare Baingan or Mirchi Ka Salan and Basmati Chawal, or Parathas..

This delicious dal is my entry to the event ‘Delicious Dals from India’ being hosted by Suma at her blog Veggie Platter.

Luv,
Mona

Adraki Murgh

Today is the first official day of Spring here and the forecast nowhere shows such signs. It will be remaining cloudy with a few showers of snow and the temperatures remaining in ‘minus’ for some more time. There are a few signs of sun only the next week, which again are not very consistent. I hope Spring arrives very soon. Winter has been too beautiful, loved it so much, but i admit it gave many problems to my dear hubby.. the shoveling, the problem with car and snow troubled him a lot. I am waiting for spring, then summer, mainly because i can take my grill out, and also plant a little vegetable garden inshallah. So looking forward to it..

Speaking about planting your backyard with plants and herbs, ginger is the simplest. Whenever i see some rhizomes with buds, i just plant them in a pot, keep it well watered, and in some time i see the pot full of ginger rhizome. It comes very useful to me, and it keeps fresh in the soil.

Adraki Murgh – Ginger Chicken

I prepared this dish with these fresh ginger rhizomes. And it is also one of the quick non-vegetarian dishes that i prepare quite often in my house. Today i share with you the procedure of how i prepare Ginger Chicken. I believe the flavor of chicken goes very well along with ginger. They are made for one another. The sharp pungent taste of ginger, the sweet flavor of onion, and chicken is this dish is perfectly delectable. Irf loves this dish.

Adraki Murgh – Ginger Chicken

Serves:6-8

Ingredients:

To Marinate-

  • Chicken Boneless Breast Meat/Murgh – 800 gms, washed, pat dried and cubed into bite size pieces
  • Ginger juliennes – 3 tbsp
  • Garam Masala – 2 tsp
  • Yogurt/Dahi – 3 tbsp
  • Red Chilli Powder/Lal Mirch Powder – 2 tsp
  • Salt/Namak – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric/Haldi – 1/3 tsp

Other Components-

  • Cloves/Laung – 3
  • Canola/Sunflower Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Curry leaves (fresh) – 6-8
  • Yellow Onion – 1, large, thinly sliced
  • Scallions/Hari Pyaz – chopped, for garnishing
  • Ginger juliennes – 1 tbsp

Method:

  • In a bowl or a resealable plastic bag, marinate the chicken with the ingredients under the heading ‘To Marinate’. Let the chicken marinate for about 2-4 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature atleast an hour befor you plan to cook it. (Remember this always)
  • Later, heat oil in a non-stick heavy bottomed pan at medium high heat and throw in the cloves and thinly sliced onions. Stir fry it till the onion is lightly browned. Add the curry leaves and saute it for just a minute more.
  • Add the marinated chicken and mix it well with the sauteed onion mixture. Close the lid for about 15 minutes. Later, open the lid and stir it gently, being careful not to break the tender chicken pieces.
  • Let it cook uncovered for a little more time, till it is quite dry. Garnish with the ginger juliennes and spring onions.

Suggested Accompaniments: Parathas or Naan or Pulao..

Luv,
Mona

Kalonji Wali Bhindi-Tamatar Subzi

Bhindi or Okra is one of my most favorite vegetables. I love it a lot, and i am glad my loved ones love it equally.

I usually keep prepararing three kinds of preparations with Bhindi/Okra whenever they are available fresh which are so adored by my family. I either fry them or make a Curry/Patla Salan or sometimes make a sautéed dish with tomato and onion which is what I’m writing about today. We have it along with Parathas for Brunch on the weekends or at Breakfasts.

Kalonji Wali Bhindi-Tamatar Subzi – Sautéed Okra with Tomatoes and Nigella seeds

Adding Nigella seeds/Kalonji to the dish here gives it its own unique peppery taste. The seeds are also known for their medicinal value. These little things are considered as a herbal medicine for many ailments and is beneficial for good health. Lots about this spice is also written in the Quran, The Prophet Mohammad (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) has said “Hold on to the use of Black Seed for it has a remedy for every illness except death”. Evidence of the therapeutic use of Nigella seed has been found in all over the world. So I tend to add it to almost all the dishes I can in small amounts.

Kalonji Wali Bhindi-Tamatar Subzi – Sauteed Okra with Tomatoes and Nigella seeds

Ingredients:

  • Canola/Sunflower Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Okra Pods/Bhindi – 550 gms, washed, dried with paper towels, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Tomato (fresh)/Tamatar – 1, ripe red, large, finely chopped
  • Yellow Onion/Pyaz – 1, large, finely sliced
  • Nigella Seeds/Kalonji – 1 tbsp
  • Red Chilli Powder/Lal mirch powder – 1 1/3 tsp
  • Salt/Namak – 1 1/3 tsp

Method:

  • In a sauce pan at medium high heat, pour in the oil, and as soon as it warms up, add the kalonji, and the sliced onions. Let them cook till they are all nicely lightly browned.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and let it cook till they are sofy and mushy. Also throw in the red chilli powder and salt and mix well.
  • Lower the heat and add the chopped Bhindi and fry it for 3 minutes. Pour in a cup of water and close the lid. Let it cook till the Bhindi is soft and done. Keep opening the lid, and checking it, if it’s getting stuck to the bottom. Also, you can add a little more water if needed. Serve hot.

Serve it hot along with warm Parathas for a Brunch or Breakfast. You will also enjoy this as a dry side-dish along with Basmati Chawal/Rice.

Luv,
Mona

Kothmir aur Pudina Ki Chutney

This is one of the most cherished recipes very close to my heart. I love this chutney immensely, and it goes very well along with almost all snacks like pakode, samosas, bhajiye, and tastes heavenly especially along with Khichdi. It has got all the goodness in it. I remember, my beloved Dadi (Grandmother) always used to ask a second helping of this chutney.. some times more than once! Memories are always associated with food.. many many memories with each and every dish on your table and I know everyone can agree with that.

I cherish this recipe because this is my humble mother’s recipe which was taught to her by her mother. My Nani (Grandmother) is a very nice soul, she is a great cook too. Now, but due to age, both my Nani and Dadi, my paternal and maternal grandmothers cannot cook much today, but I can always ask them for the treasured tips, and recipes which are priceless to me.

Hara Dhaniya aur Pudine Ki ChutenyCoriander and Mint Chutney

I have slightly modified the recipe here, and used thai red chillies too. They are optional. Use them if you like, you can substitute them by adding a few more green chillies depending how spicy you want this chutney to be. Also, you can add a few roasted groundnuts to the Chutney, makes it more flavorful, but here I haven’t.

Store this Chutney in an airtight small glass jar in the refrigerator for upto a week.

Hara Dhaniya aur Pudine Ki Chutney – Coriander and Mint Chutney

Ingredients:

Fresh Cilantro/Kothmir/Hara Dhaniya – 1 cup, packed tightly, washed and dried on paper towels, roughly chopped along with the tender stems
Fresh Mint Leaves/Pudina – 1 cup, packed tightly, washed and dried on paper towels, roughly chopped, only leaves
Garlic pods – 4, large, roughly chopped
Thai Red Chillies – 3, washed and chopped
Green Chillies – 4, washed and chopped
Curry leaves – 6-8, washed
Tamarind ball – without seeds, about the size of a golf ball (or) Tamarind Concentrate – 3 tbsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
Dry Desiccated Coconut – 1/2 cup
Salt – 1 1/3 tsp or according to taste
Canola/Sunflower Oil – 1/2 tsp

Method:

1. In a non stick pan at medium high heat, pour oil and as it warms up, add the shredded coconut and the sesame seeds, and roast them both together till light brown and aromatic. Let it cool. Keep aside.
2. Put the tamarind ball in a cup of warm water. Once the tamarind pulp is all soft, sieve the pulp and keep it aside.
3. In a blender container put the coriander leaves, mint leaves, garlic pods, red and green chillies, curry leaves, tamarind pulp, sesame seeds, shredded coconut and salt. Blend it till nice and smooth. You can add about half cup of water to aid in the blending if needed.

Serve chilled along with Khichdi, Idli, Dosa, Pakodas, Bhajiyas, Samosas, Croquettes, Kababs, Baghara Chawal, Aloo Paratha.. Or anything you like.

Updated on April 30 ’09: I am sending this Chutney over to Jhiva for Ingredients/JFI event, initiated by Indira originally. I am a great admirer of Indira’s efforts towards inspiring people about Indian Cuisine. Her blog with simple Indian vegetarian recipes is a sea of knowledge. Kudos to her work.
The theme for JFI is the most used asian herb ‘Cilantro’, known for its very aromatic and refreshing flavors, being hosted by Cilantro herself at her blog.

Whenever you are free, listen to this song ‘Luka Chuppi’ from the bollywood movie ‘Rang De Basanti’.

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Its a very beautiful, touching, soulful song hindi song, sung by the great Lata Mangeskar and A.R Rahman, never fails to bring tears in my eyes.

Luv,
Mona

Dahi Tamatar Murgh

It has been snowing; snowing very hard here since friday night. Today, I finally see sun in the sky and I immensely enjoyed the early morning sunlight streaking in through all the windows into my house. Beautiful and cheerful day it is alhamdulillah!

Dahi Tamatar Murgh – Baked Tomato-Yogurt Chicken

Food, especially in winter has to be comforting! The first thing Irf asks me after he returns home is, ‘Whats for dinner today?’ So, I try and prepare meals that are effortless to me and satisfying to my family too. These kind of quick curries, like the one I am writing about today, is my family’s favorite. This dish is easily done in less than 45 minutes. You just have to mix them all up, marinate for a little while, and let it slow cook by itself for the required time in the oven, and in the mean time you can prepare your other dishes for the day or complete the other chores. It doesn’t have the use of much oil, and you can even lessen the oil to one teaspoon if you wish! The yogurt and tomatoes give the chicken a delicious sweet-sour taste, and the garam masla makes it a little bit spicy. Its a very warming dish for these chilly winters.

Dahi Tamatar Murgh – Slow Cooked Tomato-Yoghurt Chicken

Ingredients:

Chicken Breast Pieces/Murgh – 800gms, cut into bite size pieces
Tomato Paste – 3 tbsp
Olive Oil – 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/3 tsp
Cilantro – 1/2 cup, finely chopped

Dahi Tamatar Murgh – Slow Cooked Tomato-Yogurt Chicken, in a baking dish

Method:

1. In an Oven proof flat baking dish, mix all the above ingredients, except the coriander leaves, and let it marinate for 30 minutes or 2-4 hours preferably at room temperature if you can preplan it.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F
3. Cover the dish tightly with an aluminium foil and put this dish in the middle rack of the oven.
4. Check once after 25 minutes, and mix it well. Cover it again with the aluminium foil and put it back at the same temp in the Oven to cook completely.
5. Remove the dish after 45 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Suggested Accompaniments: Basmati Chawal or Naan or Roti or Parathas or Pulao..

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Luv,
Mona