Dal Makhni

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I have made this dal quite a few times yet I missed blogging about it. I checked and rechecked the blog to confirm I hadn’t written about it before. Well, I haven’t as yet and so here it is. The best part is that the daughter too loves it and we make it for lunch.

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Recipe from here

Serves 3-4

WHAT WE NEED

3/4 cup Whole black urad dal

2 tbsp Rajma / Kidney beans

3 cups Water

1 Onion, medium

2 Green chillies

2 tsp Ginger garlic paste

2 Tomatoes

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

2-3 Cloves

2 Cardamom

1″ Cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp Red chilly powder

1/2 tsp Kasoori Methi

1/4 cup Milk

3 tbsp Unsalted butter

Salt

Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Soak the urad dal and rajma overnight or for 8 hours in sufficient water
  • Pressure cook both with 3 cups of water for 5-6 whistles or till the dal is fully cooked
  • Mash and keep aside
  • Chop the tomatoes and blend in a mixer to a purée
  • Chop the onions finely
  • Heat butter in a pan and add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon
  • After 1-2 minutes, add the chopped onions and green chillies
  • Add the Ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes away
  • Add the pureed tomatoes and red chilly powder
  • Cook till the fat separates, around 5 minutes
  • Add the smashed lentils and 1/2 cup of water
  • Add salt and simmer for 15-20 minutes till it reaches the desired consistency
  • Add more water if gets too thick
  • Add milk and let it simmer for another 10 minutes (usually cream is added but I substitute with milk which is easily available and works well for me)
  • Add kasuri methi and turn off the gas
  • Serve hot with rotis or rice
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme,’Indian Regional Dishes’.

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Palak Dal

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My daughter has reached that age where she has become super picky about what she eats and one of the things she doesn’t like is spinach. So I have to find different ways to make her eat spinach. This dal is one of those attempts. She loves the regular toor dal and so I figured it was best to add spinach to it and make life easier for me.

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Serves 3-4

WHAT WE NEED

1 small bunch spinach

1 Onion, large

1/3 cup Toor dal / pigeon pea

1 tbsp Cooking oil

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

1/4 tsp Cumin seeds

1-2 Green chillies

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/4 tsp Red chilly powder

Salt

Water

WHAT TO DO

  • Cook the toor dal / pigeon pea with 2/3 cup water in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles.
  • Mash the dal and set aside
  • Wash and chop the spinach finely and set aside
  • In a large pan, heat the oil and add mustard seeds
  • Add cumin seeds and slit green chillies
  • Chop the onions and add it to the pan
  • Fry the onions till translucent
  • Add the spinach and fry till it wilts
  • Add the cooked lentils, turmeric powder and red chilly powder
  • Add salt and bring it to a boil
  • Simmer for 7-8 minutes
  • Take off the heat
  • Serve warm with rice or rotis
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Indian Regional Dishes’

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Snake gourd & Red lentil Kootu

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All my life I hated eating kootu though my mother never gave up trying to feed it to us. Then I got married and became fully incharge of the kitchen which is when I realised how easy and nutritious and tasty the kootu is. It has a beautiful blend of vegetables and lentils, not to forget the ever evolving spice blend and a crackling tadka to top it all. So I have earned my mother’s wrath by making kootu more often than she ever did.

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Serves 3-4

WHAT WE NEED

200 gms Snake gourd

1/4 cup Masoor dal / Red Lentils

2 tbsp Roasted gram

1 tsp Coriander seeds

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

1-2 Dried Red chillies

2 tsp Coconut oil

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds

1/2 tsp Bengal gram

1/2 tsp Urad dal

1 sprig Curry leaves

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Cook the lentils till it is mushy and can be mashed. If using a pressure cooker, add 3/4 cup of water and cook till 2-3 whistles
  • Chop the snake gourd into thin semi circular pieces and cook it in water for 8-10 minutes
  • Dry roast the roasted gram, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies individually for 1 minute each
  • Let cool and grind to a coarse powder
  • Add the snake gourd to the cooked lentils in a vessel and let it cook for 5 minutes
  • Add salt and the spice mix and simmer for 7-8 minutes
  • The water in the lentils and snake gourd should suffice. If t turns too thick then add water to dilute it
  • Take it off the heat
  • In a small pan, heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds
  • Once it splutters, add the Bengal gram and urad dal
  • When the lentils turn brown, chop and add the curry leaves
  • Pour the entire mix on to the lentil mix
  • Serve warm with rice and ghee
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Indian Dishes’.

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Molaga Podi | Idli Gunpowder

   

I made quite a few new year resolutions with regard to my cooking. So each day of this first week of Blogging Marathon, my dish will be a small little step towards one of my resolutions. I was deeply impressed by the book, ‘Cooked’ by Michael Pollan. Amongst the many arguments he made, one that struck a chord with me was about ‘cooking from scratch’. After reading that, I realized how many things I buy that can be made at home which would most likely be fresher, healthier and free from preservatives. 

I started making sambhar powder, rasam powder and ginger garlic paste at home and have continued to do so for almost six months now. Then, one day I was chatting with my mom and extolling the benefits of cooking from scratch to which she replied, “oh good, so you will start making molaga podi on your own now.” So I was caught and had no choice. I am highly allergic to frying red chillies. Despite tying a huge scarf around my face, I sneeze an entire day and a half if I have to fry even two red chillies. So I get molaga podi from mom in bulk. Now, I couldn’t. So I took up my scarf and set off on the mission.

This recipe is from my mother and modified to suit the ultra spicy requirements of the husband. 

WHAT WE NEED

 Dried red chillies                         30

Bengal gram dal                            1/2 cup

Split black dal/ urad dal              1/2 cup

White sesame seeds                     2 tbsp

Oil                                                       1 tsp

Salt

WHAT TO DO

  • Dry roast the sesame seeds till they start popping and set them aside to cool
  • Heat 1/2 tsp oil and add the red chillies and fry the, for 2-3 minutes.
  • To ensure that the chillies don’t turn black move them about regularly. Set aside to cool.
  • Heat the other 1/2 tsp oil and add both dals and fry till golden brown.
  • Set aside the dals to cool.
  • Once cooled, put all the ingredients into a blender, add salt and blend to a powder.
  • Enjoy with idlis, dosas and uttapams.

 

NOTES

  1. The ratio of chillies to lentils depends on your spice preference. If you aren’t sure then fry 3/4 cup each of Bengal gram dal and split black dal. Keep 1/2 cup of the mixed fried dal aside. Mix the one cup dal with the chillies. If you find it too spicy, grind the balance dal separately and mix with the red chillies mixture.
  2. To maintain the consistency of the recipe, it is essential to have the red chillies of same quality and spice level. It is ideal to buy them from the same shop which should usually work the same way every time. If not, add some paruppu podi to the red chilly mixture to reduce spicyness.

This is a part of the Blogging Marathon under ‘New Year Challenge’.

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This is my entry for the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge hosted by Srivalli.

Orange flavored lentil ladoos

 I am an accidental cook, someone who never thought would be in the kitchen longer than it takes for a glass of water. But the roller coaster of life had me come rollicking into the kitchen and parked here for sometime to come.Life in the kitchen has been full of surprises. One such surprise was when I first made these lentil ladoos. It was my first ‘independent’ endeavour for a Diwali sweet. You know how huge an event that is! Surprisingly it was a huge success; such a huge success that my mother-in-law asked for the recipe and my father-in-law finished off the ladoos almost single handedly. These events are only next snowing in Malaysia on the impossibility index. Ever since, I make this recipe off and on, whenever we have a craving for sweets but I am not in the mood to spend too long in the kitchen(that is almost always).

Today I felt like wanting to add a little something to make this recipe mine. It is my mother’s recipe and I wanted to finally come out of her shadow. Ok, I know I am over analyzing this but something needs to be here which is entirely my idea and hence I hit upon the Orange flavor. I have to say it turned out to be a wonderful idea and I am here to record this momentous occasion for posterity.

So here goes –

WHAT WE NEED (FOR 15 LADOOS)
1/2 cup Yellow Moong Dal / Pasi parupu

1/2 cup Roasted gram/ Odacha Kadalai / Chatni Dal

3/4 cup Sugar, powdered

3/4 tsp Cardamom powder

1-2 tsp Orange zest

1/3 cup Ghee / clarified butter

8-10 cashew nuts, broken

8-10 raisins

WHAT TO DO

  • Dry roast moong dal and roasted gram separately.
  • Need to be especially careful with the moong dal since it can brown fast and stick to the bottom of the pan. So roast it on low flame and constantly stir and move it around. It should take around 12-15 minutes for the moong dal to get roasted and acquire a reddish tinge.

 

  • The roasted gram can be roasted on medium low flame and it would around 5 minutes.
  • Cool both the lentils completely.
  • Take the sugar and grind it to a fine powder and keep aside.
  • Once the lentils have cooled down, powder them almost finely ie. leave a few bits here and there to provide crunch in the ladoos.
  • Mix the lentils with the sugar.
  • Add the cardamom powder and orange zest and mix well with your hands or a spoon.
  • The cashew nuts need to be broken to small pieces ie. One cashew it can be broken into six pieces.
  • Heat the ghee and add the cashew nuts. Once they start browning, add the raisins.
  • Take the ghee off the flame, add it to the lentil- sugar mixture and mix it lightly with a spoon.
  • Let it cool for 3-5 minutes.
  • Check to see if it has sufficiently cooled down to be mixed with your fingers.
  • Mix the ghee with the lentil mixture so as to form a crumbly dough.

 

  • Take little dough in your hand and press it to form a ladoo.

 

  • Similarly make ladoos out of rest of the dough. It needs to be completed when the dough is warm else you will not be able to shape it.
  • Let it rest for 15-20 minutes before popping it in your mouth. Store it in an air tight container.

 

NOTES

  1. Taste the lentil mixture before adding ghee. It should give you an idea of the sweetness. If you want it to be sweeter, add more powdered sugar and mix well.
  2. If you are unable to shape the dough into ladoos because the dough is too dry, then heat 2 tbsp of ghee and pour it on the dough. Mix and try again. It should work.
  3. If the dough is too soft or wet and the ladoos are not holding their shape, it means the ghee is in excess. You can either add powdered cashews or almond flour as required to get the shaping consistency.
  4. The cardamom powder and orange zest are totally optional.
  5. I usually peel the orange skin and freeze them. When I need the zest, I powder them and add.
  6. You can stock the roasted and powdered lentils and sugar. Whenever you need a quick sweet, just heat the ghee and make the ladoos. Easy peasy!

I am sending this to My Legume Love Affair or MLLA as it is popularly known started by Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook and currently managed by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen. This month’s affair is hosted by Padmajha of Seduce Your Tastebuds