Gravy (Curry and daals)

Kokum Dal ( Sola Dalithoy)

Kokum Dal
Kokum Dal

I am back from a long break. I am still trying to get back into my blogging routine. Last month end we moved to a new house(very near to our old apartment). We did not realize how hard it was to move with two little kids. The packing, moving and unpacking was just too much on us. Since it is summer break for Ishaan, he is home full time. There were days when we packed and they unpacked everything!. It was exhausting to manage everything alone. God bless V who was trying to manage a very tight work schedule and the move. Probably it is the longest stretch of time where I did not even touch the laptop. I am glad the move is over and we can spend more time with kids again.

My cooking during this time has been very basic. I cooked daily but tried to keep it very simple. Most days we had different versions of dals and some side dish. Eggs were on the menu most of the time as it is very quick to make a dish with them. Pasta dishes and soups were regular lunch items.

Kokum or sol (as we call it at home) is a staple in my pantry. I get my stash from India. Aayi got me a big batch last year. As days pass, kokum loses most of its aroma and color. So I am trying to use it up soon. I prepared this sola dalithoy last week. It was delicious. Fresh kokum would give it much better color and taste. Increase or decrease kokum according to personal taste.

Pictorial:
Toor dal with kokum, green chillies, turmeric and water.
kokum dal1
Cooked toor dal.
kokum dal2

Kokum Dal ( Sola Dalithoy)

A simple tangy dal with kokum
4.25 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 -3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 5-6 pieces of kokum
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 1 tea spn mustard seeds
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • Oil/Ghee
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 1 tbl spn chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Cook dal with turmeric, slit green chillies, kokum and water in pressure cooked (about 3-4 whistles) till dal is mushy.
  • Add salt and enough water to dal to get it to required consistency.
  • Cook till it starts boiling, take off the heat.
  • Heat a little oil and add mustard seeds.
  • When they start popping, add curry leaves, asafoetida.
  • Pour the seasoning over dal.
  • Garnish dal with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with rice.

 

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Mango Dal (With Fenugreek/Methi)

Mango Dal with Fenugreek
Mango Dal with Fenugreek

Few days back my friend Mahi had invited us for dinner and she made a delicious mango dal. It reminded me of the big batch of frozen mangoes I had bought from Costco. It was another purchase on the whim. I never made anything with them. I usually make mango dal using this recipe. This time I wanted to try something different.

When I started making it, I remembered a big batch of roasted fenugreek(methi) seeds powder that aayi made for me when she was here last year. I was supposed to consume that batch after Ayaan’s birth. I religiously did for a while, but there was only so much time left for myself after taking care of a 4 year old and an infant. Most of the days I was happy to put a decent meal on the table and find enough time to sit and eat. So the fenugreek powder stayed there. I used it in this dal and it elevated the taste of this simple dal. I have made this once every week since then. Even the boys enjoys it very much.

Pictorial:
Cook dal with mangoes.
mango dal with fenugreek1 mango dal with fenugreek2
Add spices, salt. Put seasoning and serve.
mango dal with fenugreek3 mango dal with fenugreek4

Mango Dal (With Fenugreek/Methi)

Very aromatic, sweetish mango dal flavored with roasted fenugreek seeds
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 1 cup mangoes sweetish ones
  • 1 tea spn red chilli powder
  • 1 tea spn roasted fenugreek methi powder
  • 3-4 kokum pieces or 1/2 tea spn tamarind extract
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • Oil/ghee
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Roast fenugreek seeds (without oil) till a nice aroma comes out. Make a powder and keep aside (this remains good for a long time when stored in airtight container).
  • Cook toor dal with mango pieces, turmeric in pressure cooker (about 3-4 whistles).
  • When pressure cooker is cooled down, mash dal with the back of the spoon.
  • Add enough water to bring to required consistency.
  • Add chilli powder, fenugreek powder, salt, kokum(or tamarind), boil it for few minutes. Take off the heat.
  • Heat a little oil and add mustard seeds.
  • When they start popping, add curry leaves.
  • Pour the seasoning over dal.
  • Serve hot with rice and ghee.

Notes

Fenugreek(methi) powder has a bitter taste. So start with a smaller amount and adjust to your taste.

 

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Spinach Dal with Garlic (Lasuni Dal Palak)

Lasuni Dal Palak
Lasuni Dal Palak

We have always loved the very aromatic Lasuni Dal Palak in restaurants in India. When we moved to US, I tried different recipes to get the same strong aroma of garlic to my dals/gravies. Somehow I could not reproduce the same. Then I read about this recipe where garlic is used in 3 ways on some blog (for the life of me, I am not able to locate that recipe, I will update this post with the link when I find it). I made few twists to it over the years and finally I came up with this recipe which we absolutely enjoy. Garlic is added to the dal in 3 stages – once while cooking dal, then with onions and then again in a seasoning which is poured on top. This is not the regular lasuni dal palak but a mix of  that and the Andhra style spinach pappu. Finally I have a recipe of spinach dal which no one complains about. When I make this, I make some extra rice since everyone at my home seems to enjoy this very much.

Some variations of this dish – Nupur’s Lasuni dal palak, Sailu’s Lasooni dal palak, a simpler dal palak by me.

Pictorial:
Cook dal with spinach, garlic, turmeric.
lasuni dal palak3
Heat oil, add cumin, urad dal, methi seeds. Then add onions, tomato and fry.
lasuni dal palak1 lasuni dal palak2
Add dal, chilli powder, cumin powder, salt. Cook.
lasuni dal palak4 lasuni dal palak5
Slightly crush garlic and chop. Make a seasoning of mustard, curry leaves, garlic and pour over dal.
lasuni dal palak6 lasuni dal palak7

Spinach Dal with Garlic (Lasuni Dal Palak)

A very aromatic garlicky dal with spinach. Garlic is added 3 ways to get the heady aroma.
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 -5

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 2 big cloves garlic
  • 1 tea spn cumin powder
  • 1 tea spn chilli powder
  • Salt

Seasoning 1 :

  • 1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tea spn methi fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tea spn urad dal
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup tomato
  • 1 tea spn chopped garlic
  • 1 tea spn chopped ginger
  • Oil

Seasoning 2:

  • 1 tea spn crushed and then chopped garlic
  • 1 tea spn mustard seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • Ghee

Instructions
 

  • Pressure cook toor dal, chopped spinach with garlic, turmeric, adding enough water till dal is cooked.
  • Mash it well and keep aside.
  • Heat a little oil and add cumin seeds, methi seeds, urad dal.
  • When they are fried, add ginger, garlic, onion.
  • Fry till onions are brownish.
  • Add tomato and cook till it is mushy.
  • Now add the cooked dal, cumin powder, chilli powder, salt.
  • Add enough water to make it a thick dal.
  • Bring it to bowl and take off the heat.
  • Separately, heat ghee and add mustard seeds.
  • When they start popping, add garlic, curry leaves.
  • When garlic turns brownish, pour the seasoning over the dal and close the lid immediately.
  • Serve hot with rice and a dollop of ghee.

Notes

Instead of cooking spinach in pressure cooker, It can be added while frying onion to keep it more greener in color.
Ghee increases the aroma of the dal, but avoid it if you are very calorie conscious.

 

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Ridgegourd Gravy (Gosale Ambat)

gosale ambat
Ridgegourd or Gosale is one of the favorite vegetables for any Konkani person. It is one of those vegetables where every part of it is used – even the ridges to make a chutney. When my father in law was alive, we used to grow ridgegourd in our garden. These days we have many more banana plants, mango trees, so we no more have the empty space where these vegetables were grown. We do get very fresh ridgegourds in ‘santhe’ (local farmer’s market).
One of our favorite dishes to make is this ambat. Traditionally made with cooked dal and ground coconut, spiced with teppal. But for making it quickly, you can even leave out coconut and it still tastes good.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup toor dal
1/4 cup coconut
1 cup chopped ridgegourd(gosale)
2-3 red chillies
A pinch turmeric
2 pieces kokum (or use tamarind)
2-3 teppal
Salt

Method:
gosale ambat1 gosale ambat2 gosale ambat3 gosale ambat4
gosale ambat5

Cook toor dal with turmeric in pressure cooker. Cook ridgegourd in enough water with some salt.
gosale ambat6 gosale ambat7
Grind coconut with red chillies to a smooth paste.
Add coconut paste, slightly crushed teppal, kokum,  dal to ridgegourd.  Bring it to boil. Serve hot with rice.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

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Moong Dal Gravy (Muga Dali Kadi)

Mooga dali kadi
No matter how much you change your palette to adjust to new kind of food, you always crave for the food that you grew up eating. I stayed away from my favorite Konkani dishes for a few months, just because I was trying out new things. Now we have reached a stage, we crave Konkani food every single day. Konkani kadis – like Jeer mirya kadi, taka kadi are some of the things that we are having these days. Recently, I made this long forgotten muga dali kadi. It has the same basic spices like jeer mirya kadi, but it also gives the protein due to the addition of one of the easy-on-your-tummy and easy-to-cook dals – yellow moong dal. The garlic seasoning makes it so heavenly. I prepared a big pot and we had it for two days, it tastes much better on the second day.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup yellow moong dal
1 tbl spn fresh/frozen coconut
2 red chillies
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn pepper
1/2 tea spn thick tamarind extract
1 tbl spn chopped garlic
A pinch turmeric
Oil
Ghee
Salt

Method:
mooga dali kadi3 mooga dali kadi4
Cook dal with turmeric and water till it is completely mushy. I cooked it in pressure cooker for about 1 whistle.
mooga dali kadi1 mooga dali kadi2
Heat a little oil and add cumin seeds, pepper. When they are slightly browned, add chillies, coconut. Take off heat and grind to a smooth paste.
mooga dali kadi5
Add the paste, tamarind and salt to cooked dal. Add enough water to make it into a gravy consistency. Bring it to boil.
mooga dali kadi6 mooga dali kadi7
Heat a little ghee and add garlic. When the garlic is browned, pour it over the kadi and cover.
Serve hot with rice.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins
Mooga dali kadi

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Toor Dal Amti

toor dal amti

My MIL (Mother In Law) prepared this for us during our India trip. Considering I love all kinds of Marathi (or Marathi inspired) dishes, I loved it. I don’t know if it is a authentic Marathi dish, but I am sure you will like it. I usually make amti with goda masala which has become a hit with my family and friends. This has almost similar aroma. She makes it slightly sweetish but when I prepare this, I leave out jaggery. It is a nice change to regular dal.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup toor dal
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup tomato
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
1-2 tea spns jaggery
Oil
A pinch turmeric
Salt

For masala:
3-4 cloves
2″ cinnamon
1 tea spn coriander seeds
1/2 tea spn badishep/saunf
1/2 tea spn sesame seeds (til)
3-4 pepper
Oil
2 tbl spn fresh/frozen coconut
3-4 red chillies

toor dal amti2

Method:

toor dal amti1toor dal amti3
Cook toor dal with 1/4 cup onion and turmeric in pressure cooker till it is soft.
Heat oil and fry all the spices for masala. Then add coconut and fry till it heats through. Make a paste.

toor dal amti4toor dal amti5
Heat little oil in a pan and add remaining onion. Fry till they are brownish (add little salt while frying onion, salt it helps in breaking down onion faster). Now pour in cooked dal and masala paste. Add tomato. Bring to boil. Add coriander leaves, jaggery and let it boil for few minutes.
Serve hot with rice.

PS : I have tried this both with and without jaggery. I personally loved no-jaggery version. So if you don’t like sweet gravies, leave jaggery out.
I sometimes add a handful of spinach while cooking dal to give extra nutrition.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 25mins

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Masoor – Spinach Gravy with Coconut (Masoori – Palak Ambat)

masoor palak ambat

Masoor was not very commonly used in Konkani dishes before. But it has become a regular at  my home these days. The most popular masoor dish at home is this masoor bhaji which I my family loves. This is another very simple gravy with Konkani flavors. If you are not too fond of coconut, just leave it out and follow the remaining steps – just make a powder of fried coriander seeds and add. The gravy still tastes very good.

Spinach/Palak was also not frequently available at our hometown. These days we have sante (farmer’s markets) once a week and we can find spinach there.

Ingredients:
1 cup whole masoor
2 tbl spn coconut
1 cup spinach leaves
1 tea spn coriander seeds
3-4 red chillies
1/4 tea spn tamarind
A pinch turmeric
2 tea spns chopped garlic or 1/2 cup chopped onion
Oil
Salt

Method:
masoor palak ambat1masoor palak ambat2

Wash masoor, spinach. Take them in a cooker insert (or directly in cooker) add turmeric and water. Cook in pressure cooker till done – about 3 whistles.
Heat oil and add coriander seeds. When they are fried, grind them with coconut, tamarind and red chillies.
masoor palak ambat3masoor palak ambat4masoor palak ambat5
Add the ground masala to cooked masoor-spinach mixture and bring it to boil. Add salt, cook for couple of minutes. Switch off heat.
In another pan, heat a little oil, add garlic or onion – whichever you are using – and fry till they are brownish. Pour this over masoor mixture. Serve hot with rice.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30 mins

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Red Amaranth Gravy (Tamdi bhajji – Odi Ambat)

tamdi bhajji ambat

Red amaranth is a very popular leafy vegetable that we get in the market here. It is in season now, so we go to any santhe(like a local farmer’s market) we can find this in abundance. Some people even get this to our door step. There are many varieties of tamdi (red) bhajji (leafy vegetable), some are bright red – where the gravies look almost like beetroot and some loose that color when cooked. Often, the farmers cut the portion outside the soil which is called modile(literally means cut) bhajji.

We prepare bhajji sasam, randayi, upkari (simple stir fry) etc with this. This ambat (gravy) can be prepared with spinach or malabar spinach (vali) also. We usually prepare the fritters(odi) during summer and they are used in such gravies throughout the year.

Ingredients:
3 -5 cups chopped red amaranth
1 cup fresh/frozen coconut
5-6 red chillies
1 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 cup ashguard fritters/kulave odi
Oil
1/2 tea spn tamarind extract
Salt

Method:
Chop the stem and leafy part of the vegetable separately.
tamdi bhajji ambat1tamdi bhajji ambat2
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and fritters. Fry on a low flame till the fritters turn brown. Add the chopped stem and after cooking for sometime, add the leafy part.

tamdi bhajji ambat4tamdi bhajji ambat5
Grind coconut, chillies and tamarind to a smooth paste.

tamdi bhajji ambat3tamdi bhajji ambat6

Add this paste to the cooked amaranth. Add salt and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve with chapatis or rice.

tamdi bhajji ambat

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 25mins

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Gooseberry Tambli (Avale Tambli)

avale tambli

In winter, we usually get fresh gooseberries. The local ones we get are quite small, but I usually buy the big-ping pong ball sized ones from Bangalore.

Gooseberries are full of vitamin C, minerals and fiber. They increase the resistance power of the body. They are extensively used in Ayurvedic medicines. Earlier, I was preparing gooseberry pickle (Avale Hindi) whenever I got them. The other day I got the recipe of this gooseberry tambli in a Kannada weekly.I prepared the same and we liked it.

Also check out dried gooseberry tambli(kadi).

Ingredients:
2-3 gooseberries (big sized)
1 cup fresh/frozen coconut
2-3 green chillies
Ghee
2 tea spn cumin seeds
Salt
1 cup buttermilk

Method:
Fry 1 tea spn cumin seeds and green chillies in ghee. Add coconut and gooseberry pieces (after removing seeds ) and grind them to a smooth paste. Add salt and dilute with required quantity of buttermilk.
Heat little ghee and add cumin seeds. Pour this seasoning over the tambli.
This is a cold recipe, so tambli is not cooked.
Serve with rice.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

Pictorial:

avale tambli1

avale tambli2

avale tambli

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Teppal (Tirphal) Chutney / Tambli

tepla chutney

Tirphal or teppal is used a lot in Konkani cooking. It has a very distinct flavor that goes very well in coconut dishes. You can read more about this spice here. We use them in preparing chutni and other dishes.

For preparing chutni, we use tender teppal (called jeev teppal in Konkani) which is generally available during rainy season. These tender teppals have a very strong aroma compared to dried ones. These are used in chutnis, tambli or tavashe (cucumber) hulel etc. When used, teppal is not eaten directly with the dish, but picked up and thrown. These teppals grow fully in December or January when they are collected, dried and stored in airtight containers after removing the seeds from them.

Ingredients:
1 cup grated coconut
3-4 green chillies
1/2 tea spn thick tamarind extract
Salt
7-8 Teppal (tender ones preferred, if not available, use dried ones)

Method:
Grind all the ingredients except teppal in a mixer to a smooth paste. Take a table spoon of water in a mortar, add the teppals and crush them with pestle. Remove and discard the teppals and add the water to the paste. The chutni is ready for use.
The same can be diluted and used as tambli with rice. The chutni can also be mixed with cucumber pieces to make hulel.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 10mins

Pictorial:

tepla chutney1

tepla chutney2

tepla chutney

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