Here is what I cooked tonight!
- Paruppu Usili - Lentil Crumble with Green Beans
- Eggplant Podi Curry - Eggplant Curry with a special spice mix
- Drumstick* and Onion Sambar - This is a thick lentil dish that is used as a gravy for rice and other dishes
Here are the recipes:
This dish can be prepared with Cabbage/Banana Flower instead of Green Beans.
Channa Daal - Split Yellow Peas - 2 cups
Toor Daal - aka Daal - 1/2 cup
Mustard Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Curry Leaves - 10 (finely chopped)
Red Chilies - 8
Asafoetida - a pinch
Olive oil - 5 Tbsp
Grated coconut - 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Cilantro - chopped - 1/4 cup
- Chop-up the green beans into 1 cm long pieces and cook them in water. Pay close attention so they don't become mushy. Drain the excess water and keep aside.
- In a mixing bowl, soak the Channa Daal, Toor Daal and the chilies for about 30-45 minutes in hot tap water.
- Drain the water and grate the ingredients in a food processor or blender. The key is to grate/crumble and not make a fine paste of the lentils.
- In a large pan, heat up the oil. Splutter the mustard seeds and add the curry leaves and a pinch of the asafoetida to the hot oil. Turn down the heat.
- Add the lentil and chili mix to the hot oil and saute until golden brown.
- Add the cooked green beans and the grated coconut to the hot mix and saute for about 10-15 minutes on low heat.
- Add salt to taste and cilantro as garnish.
There are two common ways of preparing sambar: a) use ready-made sambar powder/mix b) make your own sambar wet-mix. I consider the latter the real McCoy and I personally like the taste of sambar prepared using the latter technique.
Toor daal 2-3 cups
Tamarind paste - 1 Tsp
Drumsticks - about 10 1"-2" pieces
Onions - 2 cups - chopped
Coriander seeds - 1 Tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Red Chilies - 5-6
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 Tsp
Shredded Coconut - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 Tsp
Garnish: chopped curry leaves and cilantro
- Cook the lentils until soft in a pressure-cooker or in a conventional sauce pan.
- In a sauce pan, roast the coriander seeds, cumin, red chilies. You may use a drop or two of oil if you like to roast these. I dry toast them.
- Grind the the ingredients from step 2 and the grated coconut in a blender. Use little water (the mix should be moist/wet but not runny).
- In a large sauce pan, heat up about 4 cups of water. Once the water starts to boil, add the chopped onions, drumstick and the cooked daal to the water. Turn down the heat a notch or two. Add the tamarind paste, turmeric and a pinch of asafoetida. Stir the mix so the lentils don't stick to the bottom of the vessel.
- Cook until the vegetables are cooked thoroughly.
- Add salt to taste and garnish with cilantro and the chopped curry leaves.
There are several ways to prepare Eggplant curry. The one I have described here is something close to my own heart.
Asian purple eggplant - 2 Lbs (chopped lengthwise into quarters - make 4 pieces out of each eggplant!)
Curry leaves - 5 - finely chopped
Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 Tbsp
Channa Daal - 1 Tbsp
Urad Daal - 1 Tsp
Olive oil - 1/4 cup
Red Chilies - 5
- Dry roast the coriander seeds, Channa daal and the red chilies. Grind them coarsely and keep ready.
- In a large heavy-bottomed pan, heat up the oil.
- Splutter the mustard seeds in the oil. Turn down the heat.
- Throw in the curry leaves and urad daal.
- Add the eggplant. Cook until the eggplant is tender.
- Add the spice mix from step 1 to the pan, stir in evenly.
- Add salt to taste and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Traditionally in South India, the 3 dishes I have described in this post would be served with rice and Appalam (a lentil fritter) as pictured below:
Bon appetit' :)