Saturday, October 8, 2011

Panchmel dal (mom's recipe)/ Five lentil mix

My mom is expert in vegetarian cooking and used to make a lot of varieties, which I appreciate more and more now. Sometimes a seemingly simple recipe is so delicious and requires so little effort that you are surprised by it. So when I asked my mom what to cook ( yeah, I keep poking for ideas), she told me this recipe.

Panchmel dal /five lentil mix

  1. Split green gram dal-1/4 cup
  2. Chana dal- 1/4 cup
  3. Washed yellow moong dal- 1/4 cup
  4. Washed urad dal- 1 tbsp
  5. Toor/arhar  dal -1/4 cup
  6. Ginger- 1" piece,grated
  7. Onion-1, medium, chopped
  8. Green chillies-1 chopped
  9. Salt to taste and turmeric powder-1/4 tsp

For tadka/tempering
    1. Garlic-2 cloves sliced thinly
    2. Heeng/asafoetida- 1 pinch
    3. Jeera/cumin seeds- 1 tsp 
    4. Ghee/ clarified butter- 1/2 Tbsp
  1. Take all the dals in a container and wash them thoroughly.
  2. Put these together in a pressure cooker and add water.
  3. Add ginger, chopped onions, green chillies, salt & turmeric powder.
  4. Cook on high flame till 2 whistles and then on medium low flame for few minutes till its done.
  5. For tadka, heat ghee in a tadka pan.
  6. Add jeera and heeng. When the jeera sizzles , add sliced garlic.
  7. Sauté for a few minutes.
  8. Pour the tadka contents in the cooked dal and stir.
  9. Heat for a few seconds and serve hot with roti/ indian flatbread.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Karela fry/ fried bitter gourd

Karela or bitter gourd is not a vegetable which I relish much. The reason is obvious; it's bitter. 
When I learnt this recipe from my mother-in-law and was expected to make it, I was a little apprehensive....but I'm so glad I tried. This preparation is marvelous (even though it's common in north India) as it removes the bitterness and brings out the flavor of Karela beautifully. Though it requires some pre-prepration, its a must try especially for those who don’t like bitter gourd.  

  1. Karela/ bitter gourd - 6, small
  2. Sarson oil/ Mustard oil (for frying)
  3. Onion- 1 medium
  4. Garlic-3
  5. Ginger-1" piece
  6. Green chillies- 2
  7. Salt for marinating + for cooking
  8. Red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
  9. Coriander powder-3-4 tsp
  10. Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
  11. A simple string 
  12. Method
  13. Wash the gourds thoroughly.
  14. Make a slit in the middle and remove the seeds.
  15. Fill in some salt and also rub salt on the outside thoroughly .
  16. Keep overnight.
  17. Make a coarse paste of onion, garlic, ginger & green-chillies.
  18. Add the spices- salt, Red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder as per your taste to the paste. (Quite a lot of people fry this paste but I chose not to)
  19. Wash the karelas thoroughly in order to remove all salt.
  20. Fill them with thespice  paste and tie  with a string in order to close the opening firmly
  21. Heat oil for frying.
  22. Fry all the filled and tied karelas till they lose their green color and become brownish.
  23. Serve as dry veg with roti (indian flatbread).