Saboot masoor ki dal or whole red lentil sauce by Harini P

Saboot masoor or whole red gram/lentils are native to North India and were not much favoured in the South until recent times possibly because of their unavailability earlier. While the split lentils are a bright orange, the whole grams are brownish and resemble kulith/kollu/horse gram. These lentils cook very fast and have a very creamy texture and a nutty flavour. To cook you need to add water so that it stands at least an inch above the lentils as they swell slightly once cooked. The internet does not have much information except for what I found at the Cook's thesaurus. The site informs that lentils du Puy (French) can be substituted for these in preparations.

The pictures below are to help you identify and differentiate these from the other common lentils used in Indian cooking.

saboot massor or whole orange lentils by Harini P
Whole orange lentils /Saboot Masoor

Red gram OR Masoor dal
Split orange lentils / Masoor dal

Recipe: Saboot masoor ki dal / Whole red lentil sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 1litre
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner/Easy
Spice Level: Low
Recipe/Post by: Sunshinemom

Ingredients:
Whole red lentils/saboot masoor - 200g.
Onions - 3/4 cup finely chopped
Tomatoes - 1/2 cup coarsely chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Fresh ground coriander powder - 1tsp.
Salt to taste

To temper
Oil (I recommend mustard oil/kachhi ghani) - 2 + 1 tablespoons divided
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Ginger (julienne) - 1tsp.
Garlic (Grated or minced) - 3 or 4 cloves
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Green chillies - 2 split lengthwise

To garnish:
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp.
Onion rings - few as desired
Vegan Lentils,vegan side dish,vegan dal,vegan lentil sauce,masoor dal

Procedure:
  1. Cook the lentils in enough water without salt and set aside. I do this in a pressure cooker along with rice.
  2. Heat 2 tbsps. oil in a pan. If using mustard oil heat the oil till smoking hot. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Heat again and proceed as with other oils. This is done to rid the pungent odour characteristic of mustard oil.
  3. Once hot enough add the chopped onions and saute till pink. Add the chopped tomato and a pinch of salt and fry letting the tomatoes sweat well. When the oil separates add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and the cooked lentils. Mix well first without adding more water to squash some of the lentils. Now add enough water to bring the dal to a saucy consistency or make it thinner if you intend to have it as a soup. Adjust the salt and add the coriander powder. Let the sauce simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small wok or seasoning wok. When hot add the tempering ingredients in the order listed above. When the green chillies change to a light green shade (1 second) pour the tempering over the sauce. Optionally garnish with raw onion rings.
  5. Serve with indian flatbread or rice. Even as a soup it is healthy and tasty. Makes a great dinner for the winters.


Special Notes/Tips:
  • I use mustard oil in Winters as it is said to generate warmth in the body. During other seasons I prefer sesame oil or sunflower oil.
  • It is good even if you omit the tomatoes.


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Methi, Chana Daal and Tofu Dry Curry

Posted by Beyond Curries | Thursday, November 26, 2009 | , , , , , | 2 comments »


Long time back I saw a recipe in a magazine which used methi and chana daal. If I think of it now, maybe that's the inspiration for this dry curry recipe. This is very easy to prepare and absolutely healthy too. Usually I prepare it with only methi and chana daal. Last week I got a sudden flash in my mind to use tofu also in the recipe. I tried it the very next day and was not disappointed at all. Everybody in my family loved it, even my 4 year old. This curry recipe uses only 6 ingredients excluding salt and the tempering, making it suitable for this month's theme in BC: Less is More.


Recipe: Methi, Chana Daal and Tofu Dry Curry
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves: 2-3 people
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner/Easy
Spice Level: Low
Recipe/Post by: Madhuram

Ingredients:

Fenugreek Leaves - 5 to 6 cups loosely packed
Onion, finely chopped - 1 medium size
Chana Daal - 1/2 cup
Tofu, extra firm, grated - Approximately 175gms
Garam Masala Powder - as per taste
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 teaspoon or as per taste
Salt - as per taste

For Tempering
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon

Procedure:

  1. First remove the tofu from the pack. Put it on 2 layers of kitchen towel or paper, cover it completely and place some weight on it to remove the excess water. Press the tofu for at least 30 minutes. After that grate the tofu in a grater.
  2. Meanwhile wash the chana daal and place it in a cooker and add enough water just to cover it and leave it for one whistle. The daal should not be in mashed consistency. It should be fully cooked but should retain its shape too.
  3. Remove the methi leaves from the stem, clean it with water, drain it and keep it aside.
  4. In a large skillet add the oil. Once it is hot, add the cumin seeds and let it splutter. Fry the onions. Adding a pinch of salt while the onion is cooking quickens the process.
  5. To this add the methi leaves and sautee it until it is cooked completely. You may add a pinch of sugar to reduce the bitterness. Add little water if necessary.
  6. Once the methi is cooked, add rest of the ingredients, from cooked chana daal to salt and combine it well. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your palate. This goes well with rotis or can be a meal by itself.


Special Notes/Tips:

  • I used 2 big bunch of methi leaves. The methi we get in US/Canada is very big and not as tender as the ones we get in India. So it takes extra time to cook. If you are not sure, just pop it in the microwave oven for 3-5 minutes and it should be good to go.
  • For the tofu, I got a pack which was 350gms and used half of it for this recipe. Actually there is no hard and fast rule about the quantity of tofu. You can add as much as you want.


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Do you have school going kids? Do you find it difficult to decide upon what to pack in their Lunchboxes that is not only healthy, non messy, good to taste, appetizing for your kid, easy to make, with no exotic ingredients needed to fix the dish. something that do not need to be packed carefully to avoid spills, something that tastes good even if cold (unlike maggie and noodles which turn in a hard mass after sometime).

I know many of you face the same dilemma every morning when you try to pack something different, something easy yet something that your kid will eat without making a face.

Bori is one such thing that I like to make for my kid for his short breaks at school. Readied in ten minutes, calling for only basic pantry ingredients like Wheat flour, oil and sugar, and absolutely loved by my kid, this one lands in my Kid's lunchbox very frequently.

And since this month we, at Beyond Curries, are following LESS IS MORE theme, with recipes that need six or less ingredients, this surely fits the bill...No??

Photobucket


Recipe: Bori (Crushed and sweetened Indian Flatbread)
Prep Time: 3-5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 mins
Serves: 2 kids or one adult
Shelf Life: One day
Recipe Level: Basic
Spice Level: Its sweet :-)
Recipe/Post by: Alka


Ingredients:

Wheat flour 2 cups
Pinch of salt
Oil 1 1/2 tbspn
Sugar 3 tspn (or as per taste)
Water to knead the flour
Oil 1 tsp for tempering


koki

Procedure:

  1. Mix wheat flour, pinch of salt and oil and knead a tight dough using some water.
  2. Divide the dough into two balls and roll each one in a thick flat bread.
  3. Cook each on griddle (tawa) , pour little oil while tossing and cook it on medium flame till small brown patches appear on both surfaces of this koki (flatbread). Repeat the procedure for second koki.
  4. While still hot crush it in some large bowl, crumbling in between your palms, till coarse mixture is obtained.
  5. Now add sugar, and temper it with a spoon full of hot oil.
  6. Serve with papad or pickle of your choice


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Capsicum Thokku (Green Pepper Pickle)

Posted by Beyond Curries | Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | , , , , | 7 comments »



It's been a long time since I took note of this Capsicum Pickle recipe from a Tamil Magazine. Finally I got a chance to make it last week. I was very skeptical about the taste but I need not have worried after all because it was very good. With minimal ingredients, simple procedure and excellent taste, this recipe is definitely a keepsake. It goes very well with idlis, dosais and even rice, especially curd rice.


Recipe: Capsicum Thokku (Green/Bell Pepper Pickle)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Makes: 1/2 cup
Shelf Life: Upto a week in the refrigerator
Recipe Inspiration/Source: Aval Vikatan (Tamil Magazine)
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner/Easy
Spice Level: Medium
Recipe/Post by: Madhuram

Ingredients:
Capsicum, medium size - 2

To roast and powder
Fenugreek seeds - 1 teaspoon

To grind
Fenugreek powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida (Hing) - 1/4 teaspoon
Juice of 1 big lemon
Red chili powder - 1/2 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt - 1 teaspoon

To temper
Oil (preferably Sesame Oil) - 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon

Procedure:
  1. Wash the green peppers, remove the stalk and finely dice them.
  2. Heat a frying pan and toast the fenugreek seeds. Powder it once it is cool and set aside.
  3. In the same frying pan add the 3 tablespoons of oil and once it is hot add the mustard seeds. Now add the chopped peppers and a pinch of salt and sautee it until it is cooked well. Mine is an electric range and it took approximately 12 minutes.
  4. While the capsicum is cooking, in a blender grind together the ingredients listed. Save the extra fenugreek powder for later.
  5. Once the capsicum is cooked well add the ground paste and mix together. Let this cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  6. If you wish you can add another teaspoon of oil to the pickle before removing it from the stove top and mix it well.
  7. Transfer to a clean container which has a lid and close it when it has cooled completely.


Special Notes/Tips:
  • If you have some leftover fenugreek powder you can mix it with idli batter. You can also mix it in buttermilk and drink it. This is a good remedy for stomach related ailments and will also help to cool down the body.


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When less is more can one ignore the protein powerhouse in sprouts? Sprouts are nutritious and require very few ingredients to add taste. In fact, if you add too much you might end up taking away the nutrients.

In Maharashtra, sprouts form a very important part of food and are incorporated into various dishes such as usal or salads. Sprouted seeds are sold in our local markets in plenty and I find it very convenient to pick up my favourite combination of beans. If you do not have this facility it is very easy to sprout beans at home. Sprouted alfalfa or wheat are equally nutritious and do a lot for the skin and hair while they prevent cancer, heart diseases and ease menopausal problems as well as osteoarthritis.

The sprouts that is featured today is a local favourite that is not generally used or even heard of in most other parts of India. I really hope you find them in your locality because they are very tasty and have a delicate flavour that will send those taste buds into a frenzy! These are moth beans known as 'matki' locally.

vegan sprouts



Recipe: Moth beans Sprouts Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes including steaming time
Cooking Time: 5minutes
Makes: 2 level cups
Serves: 2
Shelf Life: Must be had fresh
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner/Easy
Spice Level: Low
Recipe/Post by: Sunshinemom

Ingredients:
1 cup moth/matki bean sprouts (or any other such as moong)
1tbsp finely chopped onions
1tbsp finely chopped tomatoes
1tsp. cumin seeds
1 green chilli slit lengthwise
1 garlic clove cut, minced or crushed
1" ginger, julienne
1tbsp. coriander leaves to garnish
1tsp. oil

Special Utensils:

A wide colander to sprout the seeds.

How to sprout beans at home?

  1. Soak the bean seeds in plenty of water for about 6 hours in case of smaller beans such as moth beans, moong beans etc. and about 8-10hours in case of large seeds such as chickpeas or dry peas.
  2. Rinse the soaked seeds and place in a sieve or colander. Germination depends on several external conditions such as humidity, sunlight and air. I usually keep the tray in the less lit corner of the kitchen and rinse the germinated sprouts once before allowing the roots to grow longer. The rinsing should be done very carefully as the roots being tender may break otherwise and no excess water should remain in the tray. If it is your first time you could use a cotton towel to line the tray as this will absorb the excess water. In our conditions sprouting takes place within 24 to 32 hours. If the seeds start letting out a slight odour throw them and start again. This will happen if the water has not drained out completely.
  3. Sprouts may be stored in the refrigerator and will not spoil for at least a week but they are best had fresh to gain nutrition.
  4. Procedure for salad:
  5. Steam the sprouts for about five minutes so that it turns soft but retains a bite.
Procedure:
  1. Heat oil, splutter cumin seeds and add garlic, ginger and green chillies. Saute till the green chillies change colour slightly.
  2. Add onions and saute till translucent. Add tomatoes and steamed sprouts. Adjust salt and pepper.
  3. Squeeze a dash of lime and have as it is or serve with rotis. Why not top a slice of bread?


Special Notes/Tips:

  • If using moong beans, you may go raw vegan. Just mix raw onions, tomatoes and sprouted beans. Adjust salt and garnish with ginger and green chillies. Squeeze lime and serve. Tastes equally good and makes a wonderful evening snack.
  • I sometimes add alfalfa sprouts to this after removing from fire and stir it well. This is the only way I can ensure that the goodness of alfalfa flows into our systems.
  • The raw vegan version with alfalfa makes a very refreshing appetizer if served in small portions in spoons or in wraps formed out of Chinese cabbage or bok choy/ pok choi leaves.


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All about Poha ~ Kanda Poha

Posted by Alka | Monday, November 09, 2009 | , , , , | 5 comments »

Poha or flattened rice is a very popular Breakfast in India. The easy to make and easy to digest Poha will always come to your rescue whenever you are in hurry to fix some quick and healthy breakfast .

Poha or Flattened rice (also called beaten rice) is a de husked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids.

There are various recipes to use Poha in variety of ways.

As per Wiki here are some suggestions:

  • Chniré'r pulao :- A snack prepared by immersing the rice flakes in cold water, drying them, and then preparing pilaf-style with nuts, raisins, black pepper, green chillies, and salt and sugar to taste. This is very popular as a breakfast or evening dish in families, and may not be available in any stores or restaurants.
  • Chniré bheja :- Some flakes are immersed in a bowl of usually cold water, flavoured with lime juice, salt, sugar, and a little black pepper.
  • Bajeel Ogarne :- Here beaten rice is seasoned with mustard seeds, coconut oil, red chillies.
  • Beaten rice with curds :- Here beaten rice is soaked in water and then sieved. Curd is added with table salt, preferably eaten with mango or lemon pickle.
  • Kanda Pohe :- In this dish beaten rice is soaked and sieved. Small pieces of boiled potato, onion, mustard seeds, turmeric and red chilli are seasoned and mixed with beaten rice and served hot.
  • Dadpe Pohe :- Thin or medium beaten rice is mixed with fresh coconut, grated green mangoes, chili powder, and coriander. Then it is seasoned with salt and a tadka (fried mixture) of peanut oil, mustard seeds, turmeric and finely chopped onions.
  • Sweet Bajil ( Tipe Bajil in Tulu ):- Beaten rice is mixed with jaggery and grated coconut.]
  • Khara Bajeel :- The beaten rice is mixed with red chilli powder, salt and coconut. Sometimes seasoned.
  • Sajjige Bajeel : - Combination of upma and Khara bajeel.
  • Dhaiyya Phovu : - Combination of yogurt, sugar and phovu.

Today let's concentrate on Kanda(Onion) Poha and I am doubtful whether there could be any Indian who haven't tried this famous Maharashtrian dish.The piping hot kanda poha, garnished with fresh coriander leaves and some dash of lime juice, accompanied with some Farson (sev, papdi, bhujiya etc) or some crunchy papad is a nice way to start your day with .

kanda poha,batata poha



Recipe: Kanda Poha (Beaten rice flakes with onion)
Prep Time:
5 minutes
Cooking Time:15 -20 minutes
Serves: 2 people
Shelf Life: Tastes best when eaten piping hot
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner/Spice Level: Low to Medium
Recipe/Post by: Alka


Ingredients: Poha 2 cups (beaten rice flakes... pick the thick one variety)
Onion 1 (cut in thin slices)
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Green chillies 2
Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbspn

Special Utensils:

Colander to drain the excess water from rinsed poha


Photobucket

Procedure:

  1. Pick, sieve and wash poha well, by either soaking in water for few seconds and then draining excess water by using colander or place the poha in colander and run water through it till water runs clear. Set it aside to drain and later add salt as per taste, mix gently with fork taking care not to break the flakes
  2. Peel and slice onion and chop green chillies
  3. Heat oil in Kadai or pan, add curry leaves and mustard seeds, allow it to splutter.
  4. Add sliced onion, and saute till tender but do not let the onion get browned.
  5. Now add green chillies,turmeric powder and finally salted poha and mix them gently.Cover the pan with lid.
  6. Cook on low flame for about 3-5 min.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  8. Serve hot with papad or thin sev or farsan of your choice.


kanda poha


Special Notes/Tips:

  • This is a basic Poha recipe, you can make it more nutritious, spicy, colourful and tasty by adding different vegetables .
  • For instance before, before adding sliced onion, add one peeled, sliced and salted potato, saute it for some time and then proceed with above given method. This is Oh-So-Popular Batata(potato) poha.
  • Adding shallow fried peanuts give the poha a nice crunchy twist.
  • You can also add a tomato, after potato and onion is cooked to give poha a tangy taste.
  • Chopped carrot and beans and boiled fresh peas when added to regular poha, not only make the poha more nutritious but also visually appealing due to lovely colours of vegetables.



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I am not sure if you had noticed it, but here in Beyond Curries we post on a theme. Finally starting this month, we decided we would announcement the theme to our dear readers, so that they know what they are going to get to read about.

Presenting you the theme for the November month theme, which is going to be "Less is More" Well most people when they think about Indian Cuisine tend to assume that many ingredients go into making a complete dish. Most times they are wrong. I don't deny the fact that yes, many of our dishes do require more than 6 ingredients. But hey we do have simple dishes too. Our goal is bring clarity to what forms Indian cooking. Of course it is not a simple task to be done away with. Trying to explain the plethora of what makes it will take all years together. But we will try!

In "Less is More", we are going to share recipes that are made with no more than 6 ingredients (salt and tadka ingredients are not counted)

I wanted to start this series with a sweet and a lovely one at that. Who wouldn't like Chocolate! Now that is not a question, but a statement. There aren't many people who can resist chocolate. On my part, the darker is more fanciful, the more bitter, it tastes better! Many a times, many such bitter things are scorned but not a bitter dark Chocolate, I am sure.

I love indianising anything and everything. Infact I can't say chocolate or cocoa is not part of Indian Cuisine. We are good at adapting right. So presenting to you on the theme Less is more, comes this delicious Chocolate Halwa! Given my addiction to halwas, it is only natural that I combine my two most loved ideas into one!

I know most would prefer to eat chocolate as such, yet here is another wonderful way to eat it!




Chocolate Halwa


Recipe: Chocolate Halwa
Prep Time: 15 - 20 min
Makes: 2 measuring cups
Shelf Life: Can be stored for a week in refrigerator
Recipe Level: Beginner/Easy
Recipe/Post by: Srivalli


Ingredients:

Condensed Milk - 400 gms
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Butter - 50 gms
Roasted Nuts

Procedure:

  • Take all the ingredients in a thick bottomed pan, mix well to blend the cocoa into the condensed milk and get a lump less cocoa.
  • Meanwhile roast chopped nuts like cashew, Almond in ghee and keep aside.
  • Cook the condensed milk and cocoa mix over a medium flame, while you keep stirring it. After 5 mins, the mixture starts getting together.
  • Just then you can remove from flame, else you will get more solidified chocolate, which can be called burfi!
  • Remove to a bowl and garnish with roasted nuts.

Special Notes/Tips:

  1. I normally roast the nuts in the same pan that I am going to cook this halwa, to save on cleaning. Works out well too.
  2. This takes about 5- 7 mins of cooking time, if not less. As I said, if you want a thicker version, cook for few more mins, have a greased plate ready. Once its done, spread on the greased plate. Dip the knife in ghee or butter and make insertions. Once its cool, you can remove them as squares or bars to get chocolate burfi.
  3. I removed one stage before to land in a perfect halwa!
I must say, though all the halwas I have made till now turned out well, none can beat the chocolate halwa in taste and comfort!


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