Category Archives: dal

Sambhar (South Indian style)

Sambhar:  A popular South Indian cuisine served well with rice, idlis and dosas.  A soup which is mildly spicy, sweet and tangy, with different vegetables. I prefer more mangosteen than Tamarind because the later causes more acidic sensation down the throat.

Makes 4 bowls
1 cup pigeon pea lentils (tuvar dal)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½  cup chopped green beans
¼  cup grated coconut
½ cup chopped carrots
2-3 sticks of celery finely chopped
9-10 medium size cauliflower florets
3 finely chopped tomatoes
½  tablespoon tamarind pulp
8 pieces mangosteen (Kokam)
¼ cup gur or jaggery (or brown sugar 1/4 cup)
½  teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2-3 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons urad dal
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-3 curry leaves
2-3 dry red chillies
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons sambhar masala (get readymade or refer to homemade spices section to make your own)
¼ cup of oil or ghee (3:1 ratio for cooking sambhar and sautéing chilli)

(You can choose your own veggies for sambhar; standard ones are eggplants, carrots, drumsticks, bottle gourd, potatoes cauliflower)

Process: Soak the pigeon peas for several hours. Once soaked, add 2-3 cups of water and cook the dal by covering the cooking pot with a lid between low to medium heat till it’s completely soft. Whisk it little and keep aside. Heat oil in a medium cooking pot, add the mustard seeds, let them splutter. Add the curry leaves, cumin seeds, urad dal, fenugreek seeds and saute for 30 seconds. Add the celery cook for 2-3 minutes then add the veggies, coconut and cook for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, tamarind pulp, powdered spices, salt and cook for 6-7 minutes by constantly stirring the mixture.

Add half cup of water, cover with a lid and cook till the vegetables are soft. Now add the dal, jaggery and mangosteen. Add water if required depending on the consistency you want. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer on low heat for 7 minutes. Heat oil in a small skillet, add dry chillies to the oil  and pour the tempering over the cooked sambhar. Garnish with cilantro and mix well.
Serve with idlis or dosas!


Yellow Moong Dal

The quickest and simplest dal filled with proteins and flavored with simple spices. You don’t have to soak it for hours, before cooking  just wash it several times with cold water and put it straight for cooking.The roasted coriander seeds and fennel seeds adds to the flavour but if you don’t like seeds in your mouth then you can avoid using it.

Serves 2
1 cup yellow split moong dal
1 chopped tomato
1 green chili
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon roasted coriander seeds(optional)
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds(optional)
3-4 curry leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoon of oil or ghee
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
Please check (Measurements)

Process: Wash the dal with cold water 2-3 times till the water looks clean. Keep it aside. Heat oil in a medium cooking pot, add the mustard seeds, let them splutter. Add the green chili, curry leaves and saute for 30 seconds. Add the cumin seeds,coriander seeds, fennel seeds ,tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt. Sprinkle some water and cook on medium heat till the oil starts separating from the tomatoes.
Add the dal and 2 cups of water. Increase the heat and bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling reduce the heat between low to medium cover with a lid and let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Keep checking at intervals so that the dal doesn’t spill. Once the dal looks soft, gently whisk it. Bring it to a boil for another 1 minute on high heat.
You can add more water during this time as per your desired preference for thickness. (If you are adding more water, make sure you cook it well, bringing it to a boil and letting it simmer for 1-2 minutes)

Turn off the stove, squeeze some lemon juice and garnish with cilantro. Serve with Hot rice.

Black Lentil and Kidney beans creamy dal

Black Lentil and Red Kidney Beans together is a wholesome and tasty dal. The richness of thick cream and all other veggies is a good thing in one package!! Just remember to overnight soak these beans to cook next day easily..

One cup black lentil (soaked and boiled)
½ cup Red kidney beans (soaked and boiled)
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoon of butter
1 chopped green chilli
1 ½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup fresh cream
1 teaspoon ginger
1 cup finely chopped celery or cabbage
2 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4-5 curry leaves
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chilli powder or Paprika powder (for the colour)

Please check (Measurements)

Process: Mix the boiled kidney beans and black lentil and cook with bay leaves adding another one cup of water for around 20 minutes, whisk it a bit and keep aside.
Heat one tablespoon of butter in the cooking pot. Add celery or cabbage and sauté it till brown, add the tomatoes, green chillies and cook till the tomatoes are completely cooked. Pour in the dal and the cream with one cup of water and salt. Bring it to a boil and then cook it on medium heat for nearly 5 minutes.
For tempering heat the remaining butter in a small tiny skillet, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, ginger, cilantro and Kashmiri red chilli powder and sauté for 30 seconds. Add little cooked dal from the pot in the skillet, mix it well so that there are no lumps and then add it to the big pot. Serve it with rice or parathas/Nan