Rajma

Rajma

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Serves: 4

Dark Red Kidney Bean Soup
Ingredients
  • 2 15.5 oz. cans dark red kidney beans
  • ½ cup masoor dal (red split lentils), uncooked
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small tomato, small diced
  • 1 small russet potato, small diced (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 9 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Water as needed
Directions
  1. Rinse masoor dal and transfer to a small pot. Add ½ cup of water, cover the pot and let dal cook on low heat until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Rinse and drain the beans from cans and set it aside.
  3. While dal is cooking, heat oil in a medium soup pot or a Dutch oven on a medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add onions and sauté them until light golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, green chili and all the dry spices. Sauté everything until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add tomatoes, ginger and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. If you are not using potato, go to step 4. Add diced potato, ½ cup water and season with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cover the pot and let potato cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Add beans and ½ cup of water. Let them heat on low heat until dal is cooking. As soon as dal is cooked, add dal and season with remaining salt. Cover the pot and let everything cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Uncover, add lemon juice and cook for 2 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning. If rajma is too dry, add some water.
  6. Serve warm with Nan or Paratha and over rice.

 

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Mung Dal

Mung Dal

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Serves: 4

This recipe is either served as a side dish with Kathi or in place of a Shaak (vegetable).
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup mung dal (without skin)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • ¾ teaspoons turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oilve oil
  • Water as needed
Directions
  1. Pick through mung dal and rinse it.
  2. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Add asafetida, turmeric and chili powder. Add 1 ½ cups of water and season with salt. Stir everything. Partially cover the pot and let it come to boil. Once it comes to boil, uncover the pot and let dal cook until the foam on top subsides, about 7 minutes. Cover the pot and let dal cook for another two minutes or until tender.
  3. Serve warm with Paratha or Rotali or over rice with Kathi.

 

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Palak Mung Dal Sabzi

Palak Mung Dal Sabzi

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Serves: 4

Spinach with Mung Dal
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. baby spinach (palak)
  • ¾ cup mung dal (without skin)
  • 1 medium onion roughly cut into ½ inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chili, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (ground coriander and cumin blend)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons oil
Directions
  1. Pick through mung dal and rinse it.
  2. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Add ½ teaspoon of each turmeric and chili powder. Add 1 ½ cups of water and season with ½ teaspoon salt. Stir everything. Cover the pot and let it come to boil. Uncover once it is boiling and let it cook until the foam on top subsides, about 7 minutes. Cover the pot and let dal cook for another two minute or until tender.
  3. In a separate wok or a frying pan, heat remaining 3 tablespoons over medium high heat. Add remaining mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add onion and sauté it until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garam masala, dhana-jeeru, green chili, ginger and garlic. Sauté everything for two more minutes. Add tomato paste and sauté for a minute. Add spinach and ½ cup water. Cover the pan and let spinach cook until slightly wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, add kasuri methi and let spinach cook until it is fully cooked.
  4. With a blender or an immersion blender, puree the spinach until smooth. Transfer the pureed spinach to wok or frying pan again and combine it with mung dal. Let it simmer for 5 minutes covered with a lid.
  5. Serve warm with Paratha or Nan or over rice.

 

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Dal Vada

Dal Vada

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Serves: 4

Mung Dal Fritters
Ingredients
  • 1 cup mung dal with skin
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, roughly chopped
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Water as needed
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
Directions
  1. Rinse mung dal in a strainer with water. Soak mung dal in 3 cups of water for 4 to 6 hours or until dal is soft.
  2. Drain most of the water from mung dal, keeping as much skin as you can. Grind mung dal in batches of ½ cup in a blender along with chili, ginger and garlic until it makes a soft batter, leaving some texture. Gradually add tablespoon of water to move contents of blender. Once mung dal is grinded, add turmeric to batter and season with salt.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan until ready for frying. Using two spoons or a small ice cream scoop drop about one tablespoon of batter in the hot oil. Drop 6 or 7 more vada in hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Let excess oil drain on a baking sheet with a wired rack to keep it crispy. Keep frying until batter is gone, about 20 to 25 vada. Serve warm as an appetizer or a snack.
  4. Dal Vada is usually served with thinly sliced red onions season with salt and lemon juice and sautéed green chilies in oil seasoned with salt. To make chilies, take 4 or 5 chilies, if jalapeno then cut in fourths, serrano cut in half, lengthwise, with seeds removed. Sauté chilies in 1 tablespoon of oil for 2 to 3 minutes and season with salt. You can also serve with cilantro chutney and/or ketchup.

 

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Handvo

Handvo

Serves: 8

Handvo
Savory Cake with Squash
Ingredients
For Batter:
  • 3 cups uncooked rice (not Basmeti)
  • 1 cup toover dal (split pigeon peas)
  • ¾ cup yogurt or buttermilk
  • 6-8 cups water
For Handvo:
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 medium size dudhi (Indian squash) or 2 medium size zucchini, shredded
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
For Vaghar:
  • ¾ cup oil, any kind
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida powder
Directions
  1. Make batter: Wash rice and dal and let it soak in water for 6 to 8 hours or until rice and dal become soft. In a blender, grind rice and dal in batches to make a thick batter. Add yogurt or buttermilk by one tablespoon and water in small amount to grind rice and dal until it is thick batter. The texture of rice and dal should be like sand. Cover tightly and let it ferment over night or up to 24 hours in warm place. (In cold weather it takes longer for batter to ferment. You may need to keep it for 24 hours.)
  2. To fermented batter, add squash, cilantro, chilies, ginger, turmeric powder, salt and sugar in the batter. Mix everything well. Add baking powder and mix again.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease 13” x 9” baking pan with cooking spray.
  4. Prepare Vaghar: Heat oil in a small heavy bottomed pot on a medium heat. Add fenugreek seeds and let it sizzle. Add mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Lower the heat to low and add asafetida powder and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds. Take it off the heat and pour into batter. Take about 1 tablespoon of water and pour into pot and stir it to get all the remaining spices and pour into batter. Stir the batter to combine everything.
  5. Pour the batter into baking pan and spread the top with remaining sesame seeds. Bake it for about an hour uncovered. Bake it uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes or until the Handvo is light golden brown on top and toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean. For the last 5 to 7 minutes, turn oven to broiler and let the top brown dark golden. Let it cool down for 20 to 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve it warm with oil or green chutney of cilantro.

 

 

Lilva Ratalu No Handvo

Serves: 8

This is my cousin Vibha Gajjar's recipe of Savory Cake of Green Pigeon Peas and Purple Yam.
Ingredients
  • 1 bag of frozen lilva (fresh pigeon peas), thawed, available in Indian grocery stores
  • 1 bag of frozen ratalu (purple yam), thawed, available in Indian grocery stores
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 teaspoons sesame seeds, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped green chili, divided
  • 4 teaspoons minced ginger, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 4 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 1 tablespoon corn or potato starch
  • For Vaghar:
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon asafetida powder
Directions
  1. Prepare lilva: Put thawed lilva in a food processor and process it until crumbly, with some texture. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a medium heavy bottomed pot. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Add ⅛ teaspoon asafetida and 2 teaspoons sesame seeds. Let it heat for 30 seconds. Add crushed lilva, 2 teaspoons each of green chili and ginger, and coconut. Stir everything. Add garam masala and season with 1 ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir everything again. Cover the pot and let cook for 5 minutes to blend all the seasoning. Take off heat and add 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and cilantro and stir. Set it aside.
  2. Prepare ratalu: Cook ratalu either in microwave or on stove top with ½ cup of water. Once it is fork tender, mash it roughly, add starch and mix to coat ratalu with starch. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in another medium heavy bottomed pot. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add ⅛ teaspoon asafetida and 2 teaspoons sesame seeds. Let it heat for 30 seconds. Add mashed ratalu, peanuts, 2 teaspoons each of green chili and ginger. Season with 1 ½ teaspoon salt, mix everything and let it cook 2 minutes to blend seasoning. Tale off heat and add 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Mix everything and set it aside.
  3. Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease 13” x 9” baking dish.
  4. Pour half of lilva mixture in baking dish and smooth it out. Pour half of ratalu mixture in baking dish and smooth it out. Repeat with the same.
  5. Prepare Vaghar: Heat oil in a small heavy bottomed pot on a medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Lower the heat to low and add asafetida powder and sesame seeds. Take it off the heat and pour over the top layer. Evenly distribute oil and seeds.
  6. Bake handvo, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes until top is light brown. Let it stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Cut into two inches squares and serve with green cilantro chutney as an appetizer or light lunch.

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