Chana

Bowl of Channa

Chana

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Serves: 4

Sweet and Sour Indian Chickpeas
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup chana, uncooked
  • Water as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 1 dry red chili (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
  • ½ to 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, minced or finely chopped (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dhana jeeru (spice blend of coriander and cumin powder)
  • 1 small piece (half the size of golf ball) of jaggery (Indian raw sugar) or 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or ½ teaspoon tamarind pulp
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Wash chana and soak into 1 to 1 ½ cup water for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight in a medium soup pot or a Dutch oven or a pressure cooker.
  2. Season with salt and cook chana covered with enough water, about one hour or cook it in a pressure cooker according to manufacturer’s direction.
  3. In a separate medium soup pot or a Dutch oven, heat oil on medium high heat. Add mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Lower the heat and add sesame seeds and let it sizzle. Add chickpea flour and sauté for a second or two. Add asafoetida powder, red chili, turmeric and chili powder. Add channa with cooking water and green chili. Mix well. Chickpea flour will thicken the cooking water and turn into gravy like consistency. Add jaggery or sugar, dhana jeeru and lemon juice or tamarind pulp. Let chana cook for 8 to 10 minutes until all the flavors come together. If gravy is too thick add some water. Garnish with cilantro before serving. Serve warm with any flat Indian bread or rice.
Notes
You can also add 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of minced ginger in this recipe. In that case omit jaggery or sugar.

 

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Turka Dal

Turka Dal

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Serves: 4

Split lentil soup
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup uncooked masoor dal (split red lentils)
  • ½ jalapeno chili, finely minced (optional)
  • ½ inch ginger piece, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon dhana jeeru (spice blend of coriander and cumin powder)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 ½ cups of water
For Turka or Vaghar:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ medium size red onion, finely diced
  • ½ medium size tomato, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chili (optional)
  • Pinch of red chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon garam masala
Directions
  1. Rinse dal and transfer to medium size soup pot. Add 1 ½ cups of water and let dal soak for 30 to 40 minutes. (Soaking is optional). Cook the dal in a pressure cooker according to manufacturer’s direction or cover the pot with a lid, and cook for about 45 minutes or until dal is cooked.
  2. After dal is cooked, start heating dal on a medium heat. Add salt, turmeric, and dhana jeeru, green chili and ginger. Mix well. Let dal simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a separate small soup pot, heat oil on a medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add curry leaves and red chili. Add garlic, onion, garam masala and sauté them until onion is light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato and sauté it for one minute and pour everything on top of the dal. Stir the dal and let it simmer for one minute. Add lemon juice and let it simmer for two more minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.
Notes
You can follow the same recipe for whole and split mung beans, split and whole urad beans (known as dal makhani), split Indian chickpeas (chana dal) and blend of split lentils.

 

 

Slow Cooker Turka Dal

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Serves: 12

Recipe can be adjusted depending on the size of slow cooker. Left overs can be frozen.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups uncooked masoor dal (split red lentils)
  • 1 jalapeno chili, finely minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons dhana jeeru (spice blend of coriander and cumin powder)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 6 cups of water
For Turka or Vaghar:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 medium size red onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium size tomato, finely diced
  • 2 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 9 to 10 curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chili (optional)
  • Pinch of red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
Directions
  1. Rinse dal and transfer to 3-quart slow cooker pot. Add 6 cups of water to cover dal. Add green chili, ginger, turmeric and dhana jeeru. Season with salt and stir the contents of pot.
  2. In a separate small soup pot, heat the oil on a medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add curry leaves, red chilies, garlic, onion, garam masala and sauté it until onion is light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato and sauté it for one minute and pour everything on top of the dal. Stir the dal, cover slow cooker pot and let it cook on high for 5 hours.
  3. Uncover the pot, add lemon juice and stir. Cover the pot again and let it cook on high for another hour. Before serving adjust the seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.

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Gujarati Dal

Gujarati Dal

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Serves: 4

This sweet and sour split pigeon peas soup is part of Gujarati thali (plate) and served almost everyday. It is commonly served over rice.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup oily or unoily toover dal (split pigeon peas), uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Small (golf ball size) piece of jaggary or 3 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon or to taste finely chopped or minced jalapeno or serrano chili
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
For Tempering (Vaghar):
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • 1 whole dry red chili (optional)
  • Pinch of red chili powder (optional)
Directions
  1. Wash split pigeon peas few times. For oily dal make sure all the oil is washed off. Soak in about 1 ½ cups of water for 1 to 2 hours or until peas are soft in a medium size soup pot. (Soaking is optional but it will reduce cooking time).
  2. Add diced tomato. Cover with a lid and cook it with water on a medium heat until peas are very soft, about one hour. Once the dal is cooked, take off the heat.
  3. Add ½ cup of water and mix it with a whisk or an immersion blender until it has a consistency of slightly thick soup.
  4. Start heating the dal on medium heat. Add salt, jaggary, turmeric, dhana-jeeru, green chili and ginger. Stir dal and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on low heat or a simmer burner.
  5. To cook dal in instant pot: Wash and soak dal in instant pot container. Set instant pot on pressure cook setting and cook dal for 20 minutes (for unsoaked dal increase time to 30 minutes). Once dal is cooked, release steam and follow step 3. Next, set instant pot to sauté and follow step 4. Reduce simmer time to 5 minutes.
  6. In a separate small heavy bottomed sauce pan, heat oil on medium high heat until shimmering. Add fenugreek seeds and let them sizzle. Lower the heat, add mustard and cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida, curry leaves, red chili and chili powder. Pour oil with everything over dal. Mix it with dal, add lemon juice and let it simmer for two to three minutes. Garnish with cilantro before serving. Serve warm along with meal of Indian flat bread and vegetable, and over rice.
Notes
You can follow this same recipe for whole and split mung beans, split lentils and black-eyed peas mix with split pigeon peas. Do not use mustard and fenugreek seeds, instead, use only 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.

 

 

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Kadhi

Kadhi

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Serves: 4

(Yogurt and Chickpea Flour Soup) Even though this recipe does not have any legumes or grains, it is in this section because it is eaten in place of Dal. It is quintessential Gujarati recipe.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup yogurt (not Greek)
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons sugar or to taste, depending on sourness of yogurt
  • ½ japapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped or minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped or minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, for garnish
For Vaghar:
  • 2 teaspoons Ghee (clarified butter)
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • Pinch of red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 red dry chili (optional)
  • 5 to 6 fresh curry leaves
Directions
  1. Mix yogurt and chickpea flour into a medium pot with a whisk. Add water while mixing until it has consistency of thin soup. Add next four ingredients. Cook it on a medium heat until it starts to boil over, stirring constantly. Watch it while it cooks otherwise yogurt and water will separate or it will boil over.
  2. Lower the heat and in a separate small soup pot, heat ghee on a medium heat until it shimmers, one minute. Add fenugreek seeds and let them sizzle. Lower the heat and add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Add all the remaining ingredients. Pour ghee over kadhi and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm over rice or vegetable pulao.

 

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