Kulfa ki Katli

Its a wonderful day today in Hyderabad. The weather is the coolest it has ever been since I landed here, and my jet lag seems to be fading away gradually. So, I thought this morning as the perfect opportunity to visit the wholesale market in Hyderabad at Gudimalkapur, and indeed the visit was totally worth it. The market was a frenzy, but a treat my sore eyes. There were huge piles of fresh greens, seafood, vegetables and fruits, flowers and I bought all that I could at very reasonable prices.

Kulfa ki bhaji ~Purslane

To start with I chose Kulfa ki bhaji (in Urdu language), (Purslane in English) that I bought to cook and satisfy my long patience. It had been more than 3 long years since I had tasted Kulfa ki bhaji and many other such basic fresh vegetables and fruits available here in Hyderabad. Purslane is a succulent with thick leaves and reddish stems and a crisp citrusy taste.

Today my Ammi prepared Kulfa ki Katli, a dal preparation cooked along with Kulfa ki bhaji, tomatoes, tamarind and other aromatic spices. Aloo Methi and Khushka were accompaniments to this humble dal concoction and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.

Kulfa ki Katli – Purslane simmered in Aromatic and Tangy Dhal


Thick Tamarind concentrate – 1/4 cup
Kulfa ki bhaji/Purslane – washed and drained, tender leaves and stems chopped fine, roots discarded ~ around 3 cups, loosely packed
Tuvar ki dal – 1 cup, washed in several changes of water and drained
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Tomato – 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
For Baghaar:
Canola oil – 4 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Dried red chillies – 2, each split into two
Garlic pods – 2, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs


In a pressure cooker, add the washed dal, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, tomatoes, salt and curry leaves. Add about 4 cups water and pressure cook until the dal is mushy. Once done, mash the dal with a dal ghotni, or blend it until smooth. Add the chopped purslane and gently mash just a little bit. Add tamarind and pour in more water to adjust the consistency. Let it cook on medium high flame. Meanwhile prepare baghaar, add oil to a small frying pan at medium high heat. As soon as it is hot, add the baghaar ingredients and let them splutter for just a few seconds. Immediately pour this baghaar hissing into the cooking dal. Let the dal cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Serve warm along with rice and a curry of your choice.

I have never been able to find this green leafy vegetable/herb in Toronto. If anyone of you living in Toronto has been able to spot Purslane at grocery stores, please let me know. Also, if anyone is willing to trade seeds with me, I am more than happy. Please contact me if interested.

Note: If Purslane is unavailable you can try this recipe with any of your favorite greens. I have tried this dal using baby bok choy and spinach.


42 thoughts on “Kulfa ki Katli

  1. Hi Mona
    You have done great justice to Hyderabadi cuisine by posting your recipes here. I visit your site often when I want to cook similar to my folks back in Hyderabad. As a fellow Hyderabadi I understand that rasaal aam and Kulfe ki bhaaji has a special place in my heart. I looked for it in stores but couldn’t find it anywhere but I did find purslane seeds on Amazon and it’s very easy to grow too. Thought I should let you know as a thanks for sharing your recipes with us!

  2. Jazakallah for the recipe, recently I’ve discovered that in Windsor which 4 hrs drive from Toronto …. Has kulfa locally grows in houses , on side walks . My elderly aunt from Hyderabad recognized it planted it in her house . Hope this helps . Jazakallah!

  3. Salaam,

    Thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe. I recently came to know that Kulfe ki bhaji is available in Toronto as Water cress, it can be found in the chinese market and should be found in other markets as well. I though I should inform you,

  4. Assalam Alaikum

    Wanted to clarify, whether onions are non necessary for this recipe and also that whether tomatoes should be cooked along with the daal before adding Kulfai ki Bhaaji??

    Cooking your recipe now:)


    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Zunaira, onions are not needed in this recipe, also tomatoes are to be added while pressure cooking the dal.

  5. ASAK Mona,thanks for posting this recipe.i have been longing to eat this.i have a request for u,can u share any recipe of ambada(gongura) bhaji either chutney or daal or with meat…anything with do.

    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Sara, will do inshallah.

  6. ASSALAMALAIKUM Mona! Howz your vacation goin? Its raining now in hyd, I guess u r enjoying it!! Anyways post some nice recipes on Bhutta( corn) if u find time, which I’m sure you don’t have because I guess u might be visiting all relatives.

    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam Uzma, I have too much to do in too less time during this trip to Hyderabad. Inshallah will try.

  7. Hi Mona, recently stumbled upon your site n totally loving it. Just wondering.. would you be kind enough to publish how to make hyderabadi garam masala powder? I am sure that will enhance the flavours much n give everything an authentic hyderabadi feel. thanks in advance. -cma

    CMA, I will try to post the recipe for Hyderabadi Garam Masala as soon as possible.

  8. salaam mona!

    its great that you are back in hyd, must b enjoyin

    what are groundnuts? same as peanuts? found this some other of your recipes, not sure what this is, or if we get in USA


    WaAlaiKumAsSalaam AMA, peanuts and groundnuts are the same. They are easily available at most of the Indian grocery stores.

  9. Hi Mona…

    I loved your palak gosht and will try n make it your way when i do it next time…i make palak chicken n mutton both but a bit differently, i’d love to do it hyderabadi way.

    This kulfa daal is a favorite at my place too n again the ingredients are a bit different….i have the recipe in my drafts but the pictures are dull so it gets neglected everytime i plan to post something.

    have a nice day..

  10. Asak Mona,
    Such lovely recipes, simple & really awesome. In most of your dishes you use yellow onions.. I have tried to get them but couldnt get them here in Hyd :p do u know any particular store where I can get them ?


    Ali, you can use regular white or pink onions instead, but not red onions as it has a strong flavor.

  11. Hi Mona how are you?

    This is very tasty and healthy recipe. I love the picture of the leaves, so fresh. 🙂

    Jeena, I am doing great, enjoying my hometown 🙂

  12. Hi Mona,
    Simply delicious to look at, i prepare this curry in the same procedure in hyderabad.I think tommorrow i will prepare it.
    bye Mona

  13. Assalamu alaikum Mona,

    A hearty welcome to Hyderabad Mona Di. How you are feeling being in hyderabad? Have a good time. Take care.


  14. assk mona
    happy to know u are in hyd and having good time.
    i heard it was very hot in hyd few days back.
    ur visit at farmers market would have been visual bliss to see all vegetable colors.
    i miss the tarkari bandi/ vegetable cart we used to see in streets in hyd a lot. these bands are so colorful really.
    liked ur katli rec, do make the same in usa , alhdlh.
    u can get kulfa in usa n arabic/mexican/orental stores easily.
    but i miss chuka and maat bhaji, never found it in usa. had 10 years back in india.
    have good time in ur mayka in hyd and ur loved ones.

  15. This purslane looks so healthy and fresh! What a difference with the scrawny ones I find at the ethnic stores here! Love that dish which shows me a new way of using it as in Lebanese cuisine we don’t use it this way.

  16. i was LONGING to make katly, but i couldnt find the kufla anywhere, so i subbed palak for kulfa and it tasted the pretty much the same!thanks for the recipe 🙂

  17. its called ganagvayalu aaku in telugu, isnt it? i found this bhaji here in US and forgot what its called. let me know. this is how i prepare this dal too!

    Sri, in telugu it is called Gangapaayala/Peddapaayala/Peddapaavila aaku koora.

  18. Yummy!! Kya bagar bhi dethey hai? Anyways if u r in hyderabad on a vacation do let us know, we all fellow readers can meet up.??

    Uzma, haan, baghaar bhi dalta hai is dal mein.

  19. Hi Mona,you are in hyderabad. mail me ur number. I ll call you..

    If u add fistful of chanadal along with tuar dal, it will give special taste to the dal. I use grated or cubed raw mango instead of tamarind extract whenever mangoes are available. and a tsp of ghee to the bhagaar along with crushed garlic really give out special flavour. Try it next time or ask ur mom abt this combination.:)

  20. What a wonderfully simple dal. A photo of the market next time? I have seen purslane leaves growing as weeds here, will have to check out farmer’s markets.

  21. Hi Mona, first I thought it’s ‘Kulfi’ ki katli. :)and oh…it’s bhaji here. look like methi..no? Your pics says it has a delicious taste!

  22. I learnt from my mom that if u add salt to daal, it will take more time to cook. I also experianced it. So I think we need to add salt in the end before switching off the stove. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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