August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6


1 cup small split yellow dal, pre-soak for 30 minutes
1 cup of rice
2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
½ teaspoon of asafetida (Kayam) powder (found at specialty Indian store)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small piece of ginger, grated
2 green chilies, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 whole black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 red potato, small dice
1 medium onion, small dice
½ cup of green Indian peas or frozen green peas
4 cups of water
Salt to taste


Wash and soak the split yellow gram and rice together for 15 minutes. Drain till water is clear. Heat the water until it is boiling and keep aside. On medium heat, add ghee in a large heavy pot (cast iron will work) until the hot. Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the asafetida, turmeric, ginger, peppercorns and cloves. Stir for a minute or till fragrant. Be careful not to burn the mixture. Add potatoes and onion with salt. Cook until onions become translucent. Add the split yellow gram and rice, mix well. Add peas at the very end. Add the hot water to this and bring to a boil. Cover and keep on low heat for 25 minutes or till the mixture is slightly mushy. Taste to make sure dal is cooked all the way.

Khichdi is traditionally cooked in a pressure cooker which is much faster. If you happen to have one, in the last step after adding all the ingredients, cover and bring to maximum pressure on high heat. Pressure cook on high heat for 4 whistles. Put off the flame and set aside till all the steam escapes.

*Recipe Property of Palak Patel

Tarka Daal

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6


1 pound chana dal (dried yellow split peas), rinsed until the water runs clear
2 pints water
4 tablespoons clarified butter
2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 whole green chilies, pricked with a knife
1 small (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
3 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Kosher salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste
Handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Put the lentils and water into a pan, stir well and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the water with a spoon. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until the lentils are just tender, adding more water as necessary.

When the lentils have cooked through, remove the pan from the heat, and use a whisk to break down the lentils. Set the mixture aside to thicken and cool.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, and fry for 20 to 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the onion, chiles, and ginger, and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Blend the garlic and tomatoes to a puree in a food processor. Add the puree to the pan, and stir well to combine. Add the turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and 3 1/2 ounces of water to the pan, and stir well to combine. Season the mixture with salt, to taste, and simmer over a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the oil from the sauce has risen to the surface of the sauce.

Add the cooked lentils to the sauce, and stir well, adding more water as necessary, to loosen the mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, and season, to taste, with salt before serving. Stir in the chopped cilantro just before serving. If this dish is not sour enough for you, add a squeeze of lemon juice. If you are a garlic lover, you can add another 2 cloves of garlic.

*Recipe Property of Palak Patel

Not-so-dull Dal

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6


3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 dried red chiles
Pinch asafetida (optional)
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 jalapeño (cored and seeded to make more mild), finely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1½ cups washed masoor dal or yellow split peas (channa dal)
6 cups water
Juice of ½ lemon


Heat the oil with cumin and chiles in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for 1½ minutes. Add the asafetida (if using), and cook for 20 seconds, and then add the onion and jalapeño. Cook for 1 minute, stir in the kosher salt, and cook until the onion and jalapeño have softened, about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and lentils, and cook until garlic becomes fragrant, 1 to 1½ minutes. Stir in ¼ cup of the water, cook until the pan is dry, and then add an additional 5¾ cups water and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover, and stir every 10 minutes until the lentils are soft and break apart easily but are not completely broken down, 25 to 35 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and serve with rice.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

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