Sunday, November 28, 2010

Four Nice Dishes!

I haven't posted anything in quite a while now. I have been busy with other things and been a bit lazy in the cooking department. But, I made up for it today. I prepared 4 dishes. That's right, 4 dishes:

1) Refried Mung bean (sundal*), 2) Spinach Kootu**, 3) Onion and Tomato Sambar** and 4) Black Pepper Cabbage Curry.

*A Sundal is a dish from South India which is somewhat similar to re-fried beans.
**Kootu and sambar are also South Indian dishes which are similar to stews.


These dishes can be eaten by themselves or as great accompaniments to a bowl of rice or some Pita bread or chappati or Naan.

Here are my recipes!

Mung Bean Sundal (Payaru Sundal in Tamil)
For the benefit of those who may not be familiar with Mung Bean, it is a commonly available in many grocery stores. The Asian stores and the Indian Grocery store will definitely carry it.


Mung Beans need to be soaked in water overnight before cooking. I usually cook them in a Pressure Cooker, but I know you can cook on stove top in a regular pot. The latter will take longer, of course!


Ingredients:
8 cups of cooked Mung Bean
3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
4 Red Chilly Peppers
4 Tbsp shredded coconut (fresh/frozen/dry)
1 Tsp Mustard seeds
2 Tsp White Lentil (Urad Dal)
2 Tbsp shredded ginger
2 Tbsp shredded curry leaves
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of Asafoetida


Preparation:
Heat up the oil in a large pan.
When the oil is hot, turn down the heat.
Add the mustard seeds and let'em splutter.
After oil cools a bit, add the White lentils, asafoetida, cumin, shredded ginger, curry leaves, coconut.
Next, add the cooked Mung Bean. Stir, so the mixture doesn't stick to the pan.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro!
Add salt to taste!



PS. Some people do not like to overcook the Mung Beans as I have done. That's cool too. In fact, if you cooked the Mung Beans Al Dente, they do offer a different texture to the dish :)



Spinach Kootu (Keerai Kootu in Tamil)

NOTE: This recipe is slightly different from the recipe I posted earlier!

Ingredients:
1 cup cooked lentils (Toor dal)
2 Lbs frozen spinach
3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
5 Tbsp shredded coconut (fresh/frozen/dry)
1 Tsp cumin
5 Green Chili Peppers

1 Tsp White Lentil (Urad Dal)
1 Tbsp shredded ginger
2 Tbsp shredded curry leaves (split into 2 portions, 1 portion will be used as a garnish and the other will be used in creating the spice mix)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 cup filtered water
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of Asafoetida


Preparation:
Cook the Lentils and keep ready.

In a blender or a food processor, grind the green chilis, curry leaves, cumin and the coconut into a paste.

Heat up the oil in a large pan.
When the oil is hot, turn down the heat.
Add the asafoetida, frozen spinach, curry leaves, ginger.
Add the cooked lentils.
Add the spice paste.
Stir!

Cook until the mix is not too runny (until much of the added water has evaporated) and spinach is not raw anymore, stir frequently.

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro!

Add salt to taste!


Black Pepper Cabbage Curry (Muttaikos Milagu Podi Curry in Tamil)


Ingredients:
Head of small cabbage shredded
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
3 Tbsp Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
3 Tbsp shredded coconut (fresh/frozen/dry)
1 Tsp Mustard seeds
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp White Lentil (Urad Dal)
1 Tbsp shredded ginger
1 Tbsp shredded curry leaves
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of Asafoetida

Preparation:
Heat up the oil in a large pan.
When the oil is hot, turn down the heat.
Add the mustard seeds and let'em splutter.
After oil cools a bit, add the White lentils, asafoetida, cumin, shredded ginger, curry leaves, coconut.
Add the cabbage, turmeric. Stir!
Turn down the heat to medium.
Stir occassionally, cook until the cabbage turns slightly brownish!
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro!
Add salt to taste!


Onion and Tomato Sambar (Vengayam Thakkaali sambar)
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.

Ingredients:
Toor daal 2-3 cups
Tamarind paste - 1 Tsp
Tomatoes - about 4 diced/sliced
Onions - 2 cups - chopped
Coriander seeds - 1 Tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Red Chilies - 5-6
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 Tsp
Shredded Coconut - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 Tsp
Sesame seed oil - 1 Tbsp
Garnish: chopped curry leaves and cilantro

Preparation:

  1. Cook the lentils until soft in a pressure-cooker or in a conventional sauce pan.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. In a large sauce pan, heat up the sesame oil, saute the onions and the tomatoes until the tomatoes get softer.
  5. Add 2 cups of water. Once the water starts to boil, add the cooked daal and the spicy paste from step 3, 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.
  6. Add salt to taste and garnish with cilantro and the chopped curry leaves.


Bon appetit' :)

PS. If you are looking for a diabetic friendly meal, the Cabbage Curry and Spinach Kootu seem to not increase blood glucose levels drastically. I would take it easy on the Sambar and the Mung Bean Sundal.

PPS. Msg To my cousin: "Naalaikku kaathaala Idli Thakkaali sambar..." :)

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