Mash ki Dal

Dry dal with phulka or paratha are my favorite breakfast options. This usual combination is what I have been having since my childhood for breakfasts~simple, healthy, quick to prepare and comforting.

Saadi Dhulli Mash ki dal ~ Gingery black gram dhal with caramelized onions

Split husked black gram, also called as Dhulli Mash ki dal or Mash ki Dal in Urdu, are a kind of creamy white pulses, a good source of iron, protein and fibre and low in fats.

The fried onions added to the warm dal as a garnish impart a delicious rich sweet taste to the salted soft gingery dal adding a depth of flavors. A perfect accompaniment with Roti for a light delicious meal.

Saadi Dhulli Mash ki dal ~ Gingery black gram dhal with caramelized onions

Ingredients:

Yellow Onion – 1, large, finely sliced
Canola oil – 3 tbsp
Split husked black gram/Maash ki dal/Urad dal – 250 gms
Ginger – 1/4 tsp, finely grated
Salt – to taste
Small green chillies – 3, finely sliced, for garnish
Cilantro and Mint leaves – 1 tsp each, finely chopped, for garnish

Dhuli Mash ki Dal ~ Split husked Black gram, in a tea-cup

Method:
1. Wash and soak the dal for about 20 minutes in surplus fresh cool water.
2. Drain the soaking dal and add it to a pressure cooker. Pour in about 1 1/2 cups of fresh water and add ginger and salt. Pressure cook dal until soft but not mushy, probably for around 3-5 minutes on high heat. (Make sure that the dal retains its shape and is not overdone and pastelike)
3. Meanwhile pour oil in a frying pan and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion and fry them stirring continously until nicely browned. Make sure you do not burn them. Remove the fried onion using a slotted spoon onto a platter, draining as much oil as possible from the fried onions. Reserve the remaining oil in the pan.
4. Once the dal is done, remove it to a serving bowl. Garnish with sliced green chillies, cilantro and mint and the fried onion. Pour about 1 tbsp of the oil in which the onions were fried onto the dal. Serve immediately with Phulka or Paratha.

Suggested Accompaniments: Enjoy this delicious dal along with Phulka or Paratha and Tala huwa Adrak Lahsun (recipe below) on the side. My late Grandfather used to enjoy the dal along with ‘Dhoop-Numbu‘.

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

Tala huwa Adrak Lahsun – Ginger-Garlic paste Masala

Ingredients:

Ginger paste – 2 tbsp
Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Canola oil – 1 tbsp

Tala huwa Adrak-Lahsun – Fried Ginger-Garlic paste Masala

Method:

In a small non-stick frying pan with a heavy bottom at medium heat, pour oil and as soon as it warms up add the ginger and garlic pastes. Cover the pan with a splatter screen and stir fry it, stirring continously and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon around for 8-10 minutes. Add salt and red chilli powder and mix well. Remove from heat and enjoy it along with dal and roti as a side-dish.

Suggested Accompaniments: Tala huwa Adrak-Lahsun tastes delicious along with Saadi Mash Ki Dal or Moong Ki Dal.

An Update: I am sending my Hara Dhaniya aur Pudine Ki Chutney – Coriander and Mint Chutney over to Jhiva for Ingredients/JFI event, initiated by Indira originally. This month the theme is the most used asian herb ‘Cilantro’, known for its very aromatic and refreshing flavors, being hosted by Cilantro herself at her blog.

Luv,
Mona

Kofte ka Qorma

This is one my family’s most loved dishes. Kofte ka Qorma is a tasteful dish in which the melt in mouth shallow-fried kofte/meatballs prepared from Shaami meat mixture are simmered in qorma, a spicy and fragrant yogurt masala gravy.

Kofte ka Qorma – Melt-in-mouth meatballs in a spicy fragrant sauce

There are usually two kinds of kofte/meatballs prepared. One type is that which is prepare from raw meat called as Kacche gosht ke kofte, in which raw meat marinated in spices and herbs are shaped into meatballs and later cooked to perfection in gravy; the other is the one which I am writing about today, when precooked delicate meatballs are simmered in gravy just before serving.

I prepare and store Shaami meat mixture in large amounts in zip lock sandwich bags and it lasts easily for around 3 months, but you store it for about an year frozen. I had earlier posted the method to prepare the shaami meat mixture here.

Round and small walnut size balls are prepared out of the cooked shaami meat mixture and shallow fried on all sides in a little oil. These are then left to simmer in the gravy. Be sure to add the meatballs just before you plan to serve them. If kept in the gravy to cook for a longer time before you serve, they may turn very soft and mushy as they already are delicate and velvety when shallow fried.

Kofte ka Qorma – Melt-in-mouth meatballs in a spicy fragrant sauce

For the Kofte:

Ingredients:

Makes 22 Kofte

Shaami meat mixture – 280 gms (the procedure to prepare Shaami meat mixture is given here)
Canola oil – to shallow fry

Right-Shallow fried Meat balls Left-Meatballs made from shaami meat
Behind – shaami meat in a zip lock sandwich bag

Method:
1. Take a small amount of the shaami meat and roll small walnut size balls out of it, gently between your palms. Continue until the entire mixture is finished. Arrange them all on a tray.
2. Shallow fry them in small batches in a small frying pan using a little amount of Canola oil until browned on all sides.

For Qorma (the masala gravy):

Ingredients:

Canola oil – 5 tbsp
Onions – 4, finely sliced
Yogurt – 400 ml, lightly whipped
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 1/2 tsp
Roasted Groundnut paste – 2 tbsp
Roasted Coconut paste/Coconut cream – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Chopped cilantro – 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp (optional)

Method:
1. Take a heavy bottomed non stick frying pan on medium heat and throw in the thickly sliced onion rings with no oil. Give them a stir and cover with a lid. Open the lid, and stir them again, add a few splaches of water and cover the lid again. Continue doing this until the onions are are caramelized and cooked. Transfer them into a blender container. Add the yogurt, roasted groundnut paste and roasted coconut paste/coconut cream and blend till it is a smooth puree.
2. Pour oil into the same pan, and add ginger garlic paste. Fry for a minute and add the pureed paste. Throw in red chilli powder, salt and turmeric and mix well. Cover and let cook for around 15-30 minutes on low heat until oil separates and floats on top while stirring occasionally in between. Add garam masala, chopped cilantro and pour in a about 1 1/2 glass of water and mix well (you can add more water if you prefer a thin consistency.) Half-Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Pour lemon juice and remove from heat. Serve immediately along with Naan or parathas or along with a Pulao or plain rice.

For the final curry preperation:

1. Just when you want to serve the curry, gently drop the shallow fried Kofte into the Qorma and bring to a boil. Simmer and let cook for 3 minutes.
2. Serve warm with Roti.

***

I would like to ask the readers of my blog before I sign off for today ..
a) Are there any magazines, published in Hyderabad, showcasing local Hyderabadi food and recipes in English, Hindi or Urdu languages? If yes, please let me know which ones are your favorite?
b) Or in a larger picture, any good food and recipe magazines about authentic Indian food published in India?

My current favorite food magazine is ‘Everyday Food’ by Martha. Just loving it! It is not about Indian food though.

Luv,
Mona

Chatpate Kale Chane

Snacks at the evening time after a small afternoon siesta were always so looked forward to by us all kids during my childhood in Hyderabad. Mirchi ke bhajiye, Palak ki pakodi, Aloo ke bhajiye, Pyaz ki pakodiBhelpuri, Aloo cutlets with chutneys, Samosa, or a variety of Fruit-chaat etc are the usual typical Indian tea time snacks.

Black Chickpeas-Kala Chana     ~     White Chickpeas-Kabuli Chana
Top-Pressure cooked Chana; Middle-Soaked Chana; Bottom-Dried Chana

There are two types of Chickpeas found in the market, black chickpeas called as Kala Chana in Urdu, and white chickpeas called as Kabuli Chana in Urdu. The black chickpeas are also sprouted and consumed in salads or lightly stir fried for a nutritious snack.

Note: Fresh chickpeas are green in color, in fuzzy pods, and are called as Hara Chana or Hari Boot. Have a look at them here. Fresh green chickpeas are sweetish in taste and taste awesome when dry roasted in pods in pans on stovetop until lightly charred, then shelled and eaten warm. When these green fresh chickpeas are dried in sun, they get dark in color with brown skin and rock like, called as the Kala Chana or Black Chickpeas. When these black chickpeas are skinned and split, we get Chana Dal or Bengal Gram. Instead when the black chickpeas are roasted and then skinned, we get Phula Chana, also referred to as Dalia or Bhuna Chana or Roasted Chana.

Spicy Black Chickpeas – Chatpate Kale Chane

During a recent visit to one of the grocery stores here, I spotted a bag of Kala chana which I quickly bought home and decided to enjoy them the way one of my aunt used to prepare during my childhood which I had always loved.

Spicy Black Chickpeas – Chatpate Kale Chane

Ingredients:

Dried Black Chickpeas/Kala Chana – 200 grams
Salt – 2 tsp
Canola oil – 1 tsp
Kalonji – 1 tsp
Dried red chilli – 1, whole
Cumin seeds/Zeera – 1 tsp
Red Ripe Tomato – 2, medium sized
Amchur powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Onion – finely chopped, for garnish
Cilantro – finely chopped, for garnish
Green chillies – finely chopped, for garnish

Method:

1. Wash and soak the dried kala chana covered overnight in cool fresh water.
2. The next day, drain the water and wash the kala chana in cool water. Drain and put them in a pressure cooker. Pour 1 glass of cool water and add salt into the cooker and pressure cook the chana until tender, around 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a pan at medium heat, pour oil and add the kalonji and zeera. As they splutter, add the tomatoes, stir and cover the pan for 2-3 minutes. Add the red chilli powder and amchur powder and stir them again. Add the pressure cooked kala chana with the water and stir gently to mix well, half cover the pan and let cook until it is mostly dry. Add a few more splashes of water if needed. Once done, the chana should be fairly dry.
4. Serve them into individual plates. Garnish with chopped onion, green chilli and cilantro. Enjoy with a cup of warm evening tea as a snack.

Luv,
Mona

Tamatar-pyaz wali dhulli Moong ki dal

Pulses are an essential component of Indians meals. They are the main source of protein and iron in an Indian diet.

Split husked Moong dal~Dhuli hui Moong dal and Tomato

Moong is one variety among the common Indian pulses. Whole Moong, as called as Green gram, in Urdu language is called as Hari Moong. These whole moong beans are sprouted to increase their vitamin C content and consumed in salads or sauteed lightly. Split moong with skin is called as Chilkon wali moong. And split husked moong, which I have used today to prepare this dish is called as Dhulli hui moong ki dal.

Tamatar-pyaz wali dhulli Moong dal
served with store bought warm whole-wheat Afghani bread

Split husked moong is oval shaped and pale yellow in colour. I love to prepare them this way in a tomato-onion mixture for breakfast as my Ammi used to do during my childhood.

Tamatar-Pyaz wali Dhulli Moong dal – Tomato-Onion flavored split husked Moong lentils

Ingredients:

Split Moong Da/Dhulli hui moong dal – 1 cup
Canola oil – 2 tsp
Onion – 1, finely sliced
Tomato – 1, large, finely chopped
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Method:

1. Wash and soak the split moong dal for about an hour in cool fresh water.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan at medium heat and add the sliced onion. Stir and cook until just lightly browned. Add the chopped tomato, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well and cover the lid and let cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are mushy.
3. Drain the dal and to the tomato onion mixture. Mix well and pour in 1 cup warm water. Cover and let cook until the dal is soft but not mushy. Add more water if needed. Once done, remove from heat, garnish with cilantro and serve warm immdiately.

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

Luv,
Mona

Bhune Aloo

Pan-roasted spicy Potatoes

I enjoy these simple and easy to prepare spicy pan-roasted potatoes along with scrambled eggs, a toasted bread and home made butter for a scrumptious breakfast. You can also enjoy these versatile pan roasted potatoes along with roti and a vegetable curry for a light meal, some grilled sheekh kababs and a fruit salad on the side for a yummy brunch. Kids will especially love them.

Bhune Aloo – Spicy Pan-Roasted Breakfast  Potatoes

Ingredients:

White Potatoes – 5, medium sized, peeled and quartered, (or cut thinly as shown in the picture below)
Red Chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Canola Oil – 1 tbsp
Nigella seeds/Kalonji – 1 tsp (optional)

breakfast potatoes along with omlette

Method:

1. In a bowl, add the quartered potatoes, red chilli powder and salt. Mix it all with your hands so that the potatoes get evenly covered with the spices.
2. Pour oil into a large heavy bottomed non-stick frying pan at medium heat. As it heats up, add the kalonji. Immediately add the seasoned potatoes from the bowl and stir well. Cover the lid for about a minute.
3. Stir them scraping the pan with a wooden spoon, sprinkle a few drops of water and immediately cover with the lid. Repeat the process of scraping and sprinkling with water while covering the pan with lid in between every one or two minutes until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 mins. Pierce a knife into the quartered potato to check for doneness. Serve warm.

I am sending these pan roasted potatoes over to Ammalu’s Kitchen for the Think Spice, Think Kalonji event.

Luv,
Mona