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

Warm Lentil Salad with Coconut and Tomato

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4


2½ tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon yellow split peas
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole dried red chiles
8 fresh or 12 frozen curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
18 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 fresh hot green chile, cut corsswise into thin slices
1 red onion, sliced
1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 small tomato, chopped
1 cup split peas or lentils simmered in water to cover until tender, and drained
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


Combine the oil, the mustard seeds (if using), and yellow split peas in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the mustard seeds crackle and/or the dal begins to color, 1 to 2 minutes. (Cover the pan if using mustard seeds; they pop and splatter.)

Add the cumin and cook, stirring, until the cumin turns golden brown, about 1 minute.

Add the dried chiles, curry leaves, and asafetida (if using), and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. (Stand back when using the curry leaves; they spit when they hit the oil.)

Add the fresh chile, onion, and salt, and cook until the onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the coconut, if using, and cook, stirring, until it turns golden brown, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato, and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the cooked lentils, lemon juice, and cilantro, and stir until the lentils are warmed through. Taste for salt. Spoon the salad into a serving bowl, and serve warm or at room temperature.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran

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