Khadi Masoor ki Dal~Chard wali

Every person has his own share of ups and downs that he or she has to go through in their life. And these phases teach a lot. Life goes on, and the hope for a better tomorrow is what keeps everyone going. I am back to blogging after a much needed short break الحمد لله.

Gorgeous Red Swiss Chard Leaves

The other day, when I was grocery shopping I couldn’t resist buying a big bunch of pretty ruby red swiss chard leaves. These earthy, slightly salty tasting greens that hail from Sicily are a chock-full of fantastic antioxidants and a rich source of Vitamin C. The leaves are a relative of beets family which is clearly evident with the resemblance in the appearance, and the earthy taste they share with beet greens.

I added these beautiful leaves to Masoor dal, making a slight variation to the usual Khadi dal that I keep preparing. Substitue chard with any greens that you can get your hands on like spinach, kale, collards, or mustard greens if you want.

Khadi Masoor ki Dal~Chard wali – Red Chard Dal

Ingredients:

Ruby Red Swiss Chard – 1 big bunch (comes to 6 cups of chopped and loosely packed leaves+stems)
Tomatoes – 5, medium sized, chopped
Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 4, each slit into two
Masoor dal – 1 cup, washed and drained

Red Swiss Chard Dal served along with Tala-hua Gosht and Chawal : my lunch today

Method:

Wash, drain and cut the chard into strips. Chop up the stems finely. In a pressure cooker, add the chopped chard leaves+stems and add add the chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Add salt, red chilli powder, green chillies, turmeric powder and mix well. Close the lid and pressure cook on medium high heat for 5-10 minutes. Later, open the lid and add the dal and mix well. Again pressure cook for 5-10 minutes until the dal is soft but not mushy or over done. Serve warm along with chawal or parathas.

Note: People who tend to develop oxalate containing kidney stones should eat greens including Swiss Chard sparingly.

Red Chard wali Dal is my contribution to the food event – Health Nut Challenge 4 : Bitter Better Health, being held at Yasmeen’s super blog~Healthnut, and also to the event ‘Delicious Dals from India’ being hosted by Suma at her blog Veggie Platter.

Luv,
Mona

Rejuvenating Sprouts

Sprouts, which are germinated seeds are living foods that are highly nutritious and can be prepared very easily to enhance any recipe. They are good sources of proteins, vitamins, trace minerals and low in calories. They aid in digestion, reduce stress, boost immunity, prevent cancer and hydrating to the body.

Whole Masoor sprouts

I usually prepare a simple sautéed side dish using sprouts which I also enjoy as a snack along with a cup of hot chai. You can even substitute the whole masoor sprouts here with moong sprouts.

Sautéed Sprouts

Ingredients:

Sprouted Whole Masoor – 1/2 cup
Yellow/White Onion – 1, small sized, thinly sliced
Tomato – 1, medium sized, finely diced
Dry roasted Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Canola oil – 1 tsp

Sautéed whole Masoor sprouts

Method:

In a pressure cooker at medium high, pour oil and as soon as it warms up, add the sliced onion and let cook for a few seconds until just lightly softened. Add tomatoes, salt and half cup water and cook them for a few minutes until mushy. Add the sprouted masoor. Also mix in red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Mix well and pressure cook for just 5 minutes or less. Open the lid and cook for a further 3-5 minutes and serve. You can also sprinkle a little bit of fresh lemon juice if desired.

Luv,
Mona

Sojni ki Phalli Ka Dalcha

‘Phalli’, in Urdu Lanaguage means beans or pods. Sojni Ki Phalli in Urdu language, are also called as ‘Drumsticks’ in English language. They are long, green, slender and triangular pendulous pods which grow on the Drumstick tree or Moringa oleifera, its scientific name. The trees are drooping and are native to the Indian subcontinent mainly. The tree is very useful as it does not require any special conditions to grow well and the leaves and pods are high in nutrition. The tree is drought resistant and almost each and every part of the tree is useful to mankind. I have however never consumed the leaves of the plant, but I simply love the drumsticks.

The pods which are rich in vitamin C, iron, folic acid and calcium have an outer hard skin, winged and waxy seeds in the centre and a delicate delicious pith in between. They are very long in length, around 30 cm or more. Once cooked, the only parts of the pod consumed are the sweetish and delicate jelly like pith and the winged seeds. Be sure to look for younger looking ones which are bright green in color while you shop.Seeds show as knobbles in mature seeds, avoid these. They are available fresh at various Indian stores selling groceries, and are also sold canned. However canned or frozen drumsticks can only give you a faint impression of the real thing.

To prepare the pods, they are first washed and pat dried, top and bottom trimmed, and the outer skin is scraped slightly with knife, cut into 5-6 cm long tubes and then simmered in water and spices for 10 minutes to be added to any curry or dals and consumed. There is a particular method by which the pods are consumed. The pods are easily broken into three strips once cooked and each strip is scraped by a spoon or by running your teeth down the lenth of the strip. Some even chew the outer tough skin to extract the juices and the sweet pith and later the skin is discarded it at the side of the plate.

Among the various dishes in which these pods are added, the most favorite one enjoyed by me is Sojni ki Phalli Ka Dalcha. I remember I was a little kid when I tasted these for the first time, and I still love them immensely.

Sojni ki Phalli ka Dalcha- Drumsticks in a Tangy thin Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

Sojni ki Phalli/Drumsticks – 4, cut into small tubes-approx 5-6 cm in length (as shown in the picture above)
Tuvar ki dal/Yellow lentils (or) Masoor ki dal/Red lentils (or) Chane ki dal/Bengal gram – 1 cup
Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Tamarind concentrate – 3 tbsp
Canola Oil – 2 tsp
Curry leaves, fresh – 5-8
Dried Red chillies – 3
Garlic Cloves – 2, large, smashed
Tomato – 2, finely chopped

Method:

1. Soak the dal for about 2 hrs in surplus cool water. Later drain and boil the dal in a saucepan with 4 cups of fresh water along with a pinch of salt and turmeric until the dal is mushy. Add tamarind concentrate to the dal. With an immersion blender, puree the dal or whisk it alternatively until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, in a pressure cooker, pour oil, add the curry leaves and the dried red chillies, cumin seeds, garlic cloves and as soon as they start to splutter, add red chilli powder, turmeric, salt and the chopped tomatoes. Mix well. Add the drumsticks and pour in 2 cups water. Close the lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes or until the pods are done. To test doneness, try breaking a pod using a spoon, if it easily breaks, then it is done. Pour the pureed dal into the saucepan with the drunsticks and pour water to achieve the consistency you want. Add tamarind concentrate, and let it cook on medium for 5 more minutes. The dal is neither too thick or too thin in consistency. Serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: Basmati Chawal, and a Vegetarian or Non-vegeratian side dish.

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

Luv,
Mona

Khatti Dal

Hyderabadi Khatti Dal is kind of like a lentil soup with a slight tangy flavor due to the addition of tamarind concentrate. Tamarind is the traditional souring agent used for the Khatti dal. Sometimes upon its unavailability, lemon/lime juice or raw green mango puree is also used. This distinct and popular dal preparation is usually a side dish at meals in most Hyderabadi households to wet their rice and enjoyed with an another vegetarian or a non-vegetarian side dish.

Tamarind pods – Imli

Hyderabadi Khatti dal is distinct and different from other Indian dals. Khatti dal has origins from the Mughal era of the Qutub Shahs. The North Indians use whole grain dals (sabut dal), and Andhra dals are usually thin and the baghaar (tadka) consists of mustard seeds, whereas Khatti dal has the baghaar of dried red chillies and cumin seeds, and the consistency of the dal is neither too thick or too thin.

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Baghaar:
The technique of baghaar (in Urdu) reminiscent to Indian cuisine, also often referred to as seasoning/tempering or chaunk/tadka in Hindi is an important step towards flavoring a dish. It helps brings out the best flavors from dry spices. The process involves heating some oil in a small frying pan, to which dry spices are added one by one and stir fried until they pop. This hot oil with spices is then poured, hissing over the partially cooked or completely cooked dish to impart flavors and aroma. As soon as this is done, cover the dish with a lid so as to trap all the aroma and flavor inside. Different spices are used for different dishes. Usually baghaar is done at the end of cooking, but sometimes it is also done right at start or in the middle of cooking a dish.

Baghaar for khatti dal – sliced garlic, curry leaves, dried red chillies and cumin seeds

Below are a few precautions to be taken while doing baghaar:
1. The process requires attention, and takes just a few minutes.
2. Take care not to overheat oil or else spices will burn.
3. Keep a splatter screen nearby before you start the process as few spices begin to pop and jump.

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Adding garlic in the baghaar or tempering process for this dal gives it a unique flavor and makes it even more delicious. I like to prepare this dal using Tuvar dal/Yellow lentils or Masoor Dal/Red Lentils.

Imli ki Khatti Dal – Tangy Tamarind Dhal

Ingredients:

For the Dal:
Tuvar dal/Yellow lentils or Masoor Dal/Red Lentils – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Small green chillies – 4, roughly chopped
Haldi/Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
For Sourness:
Raw tamarind juice or tamarind concentrate – 2 to 3 tbsp or according to taste (if tamarind is unavailable, you can even add lemon/lime juice to taste for sourness)
For the Baghaar(tadka)/Tempering:
Canola Oil – 2 tsp
Garlic Cloves – 2, large, each cut lenghwise into two
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Dred Red chilliies – 2, each broken into two
Fresh/Dried Curry Leaves – 8
Fresh Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped


Khatti Dal – Sweet and Sour Lentils

Method:

1. Wash and soak the dal in surplus water for 2-3 hrs. Later, drain the dal and wash it in fresh changes of water. Drain and add it to a pressure cooker along with 3 cups of fresh cool water, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, chopped green chillies and salt and pressure cook it till the dal is very soft. Pour the contents of the pressure cooker into a blender container and blend it till pureed. (My Ammi used a Dal Ghotni to mash the dal) Or you can even simply puree it using an immersion blender.
2. Meanwhile in a small non stick frying pan at medium heat, pour oil and as soon as it gets warm, add the cumin seeds. As they begin to splutter, cover with a splatter screen and reduce heat to medium low, and throw in the remaining ingredients for baghaar/tempering and remove from heat.
3. Pour the contents of the blender container back into the pressure cooker and bring it to a boil. Add the tamarind juice (or lemon/lime juice), the baghaar, and stir to mix. You can add more water if you want to achieve the consistency you desire. Some people like a thin consistency and some prefer a slightly thick consistency. Adjust salt and serve warm.

Suggested Accompaniments: Khatti dal goes very well along with Tala hua Gosht and Khushka.

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

A list of few other delicious dals from the Hyderabadi repertoire:

1. Khadi Dal
2. Daalcha
3. Tamatar ki Dal
4. Kairi ki Dal
5. Mitthi Dal

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Suggested Accompaniments: It is a side dish to meals to wet rice and had along with a vegetarian or non-vegetarian side dish.

A while ago Meeso of For the Love Of Food! awarded me with the ‘Rockin Girl Blogger’ award. I rock! 🙂 Thanks Meeso.

I pass on this award to all those talented bloggers in this ever growing world of food blogosphere.

Luv,
Mona

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