Spicy Tomato Daal

Daal along with rice makes its appearance during our meal time in one form or the other; be it the humble daali thoy, Palak Daal, Mango Daal or the ubiquitous rasam, sambhar we have it pretty much every day.

At times, I also make this Spicy Tomato Daal which is quick, healthy and delicious. An Indian colleague of mine describes it as healthy soup in the comfort of a bowl. I couldn’t agree more, I mean after a long day what better way to unwind than to have this simple thick daal along with a bowl of rice?

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup toor daal
  • ¼ cup moong daal (split)
  • 3 ripe tomatoes (medium sized) [chopped]
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1-2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2-3 dry red chilies (broken)
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • 1 Tbsp Tamarind juice
  • 2 tsp Jeera/ cumin seeds ( I like lot of cumin seeds)
  • Turmeric a pinch
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • oil
  • salt

Method:

  • Pressure cook the moong daal+ toor daal in enough water along with 1 tsp  jeera/cumin seeds, ¼ cup chopped tomato, a pinch turmeric and 2-3 halves of broken red chilli.
  • After it is cooked, mash it and keep aside.
  •  Now take a deep vessel and heat 2 tsp of oil and add the mustard seeds. After they splutter, add jeera seeds and curry leaves, broken red chillies and reduce the heat a bit.
  • Add the finely diced tomatoes, salt and let it cook for a while until the water from the tomato is all absorbed.
  • Add chili powder and if required stream in little bit of oil. Add the tamarind paste and cook again.
  • Next add the boiled mashed daal and stir well. Let it simmer for about 5- 10 minutes.
  • Finally garnish with coriander leaves.

This tastes good when it is a bit tangy, so go little extra on the tamarind or tomatoes. Serve with rice.

Indian Okra Fry/ Crispy Bhindi Fry Recipe

bhendi fry

In our house okra is one of our favorite vegetable. Thankfully we get this all the year around in our grocery stores and so there is no dearth of okra related recipes in our household. It regularly makes its way onto our table in the form of Okra raita, okra coconut curry, Spicy bhendi curry etc. But this simple and easy okra fry is our all time favorite. 

We like the okra in this fry to be crispy (not mushy) and so I do a trick while cooking this. I first cook the okra/bhindi/lady’s finger until it turns brown and crispy and then in the second step add the chopped onions and garlic. I know this is unlike the standard fry in which the onion is cooked first followed by the vegetable. But trust me on this, adding bhendi first gives it good room to turn brown and crispy and then by adding the onion later it retains the crispiness of the okra. 

bhendi masala

Also we like this sabji/fry with less of masala and hence I do not add too much masala to this. I do add kitchen king masala at times, but that is optional. 

Tips to get rid of stickiness in okra/bhindi:

  • Wash the bhindi and pat it dry before chopping. Dry it with clean cloth or with paper towel. If there is any moisture left, then it will make the okra sticky while cooking.
  • Also for most of my okra dishes I use a wide pan (not deep) and cook the okra on medium high heat and keep stirring in between. Add oil in between.
  • I also avoid covering it with lid (in the initial stages) and do not sprinkle water to cook.

On a final note, please do not forget to leave your comment on the Gourmet mushroom Giveaway. The last day for this is July 10th.

okra fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh okra/lady’s finger
  • 1 big onion (chopped)
  • 2-3 garlic pods (peeled and crushed)
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1 tsp kitchen king masala (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves (garnish)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Wash the okra thoroughly and pat them dry. Make sure there is no moisture, otherwise okra will become sticky and slimy when cooking.
  • Cut the top and the tail of the okras and chop them into small round pieces.
  • Heat oil in a big wide skillet, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and let it splutter.
  • Increase the heat to medium high and add the chopped okra/bhendi and stir it in intervals. Depending on the quantity this will take quite a bit to cook and turn crispy and brown.
  • Add salt, chopped onion, chopped garlic and fry until it turns light brown or translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, kitchen king masala. Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the powder is well coated.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and stir well.
  • Serve hot with roti or yogurt rice /daal rice.

ladys finger fry

Chettinad Potatoes

Inspiration as they say comes from unexpected places and this recipe is a testimonial to that. Few weeks ago, I was looking for some North Indian styled recipe using spinach on Sanjeev Kapoor’s website, hoping to find some inspiration and ideas, but few searches and clicks later I landed on a recipe of Spicy Tempered Potatoes called Urulai Chettinadu with which I was pretty impressed. Strange! I would have never imagined searching for Chettinad and Sanjeev Kapoor at the same time. 

Here is a good description of what Chettinad cuisine is on Sig’s blog. This cuisine originated in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu state. This cuisine is well known for its hot and spicy, aromatic non vegetarian dishes. Chettinad cuisine is different from the traditional healthy vegetarian cuisine of the Tamil Brahmins. (these sentences are rephrased from her blog)

Even though I was raised in Bangalore (South of India), I have/had not tasted dishes related to this either at family, friends or restaurants. To me, it meant some type of exotic cuisine which is spicy and consisted only of non-vegetarian/meat dishes.

 We do have a Chettinad restaurant in our part of town. But the restaurant I am told has nothing to do with Chettinad cooking specialty. They use it as a sort of advertisement and en-cash on the name. So I plead my ignorance about this cuisine and dare not make any authentic claims about this dish. But truly the dish is flavorful, spicy and delicious.

That being said, I am open to learning and I would love to hear from you dear readers about this cuisine and any vegetarian dish that you love and strongly recommend. 

Happy Weekend, ya’ll. If you are in the United States then wish you a very happy long weekend. We are off on a 3 day road trip, so see you all after that!

Tempered Chettinad Potatoes

Recipe Source: Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor 

Ingredients  

  • 10-15 Baby potatoes ( halved )
  • 15-20 small onions/ pearl onions
  • 4 dried red chillies ( I used byadgi variety)
  • 2 Tbsp split black gram (urad dal)
  • 1 Tbsp chana daal/ Bengal gram
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Turmeric a pinch
  • 5- 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 – 10 curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 

Method:

  • Peel the onions, cut the stems and keep aside. Peel the potatoes and cut into halves.
  • In a small pan, dry roast the red chillies, chana daal, sesame seeds, urad dal and black pepper. Let this cool and grind to a coarse powder. (This powder can be stored and used for other curries as well.)
  • Heat a big pan and add oil to it. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and let it splutter.
  • Add the small onions and sauté till lightly browned and cooked.
  • Add potatoes, stir, add salt and sprinkle water. Cover and cook on medium heat check in between and sprinkle water as required and toss. This might take about eight to ten minutes for the potatoes to cook.
  • Now add the freshly prepared masala powder, turmeric and mix. Check for salt.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for about three to four minutes more till the potatoes are done.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.