Posts Tagged ‘indian’


panchkuti dal (savory indian lentils)

January 28, 2018

a great savory vegan lentil dish from rajasthan. some people find my favorite gujarati dal too sweet and sour, and dal makhani too heavy. if that sounds like you, and you like something simple and hearty without sugar or cream, try this panchkuti dal. the combination of lentils works really well to set it apart, even though the spice blend reminds me a lot of other northern dal dishes, like dal from nearby punjab. i’ll make this panchkuti dal, also called panchmel dal or panchratan dal or just rajasthani dal, for my vegan or health-conscious friends – it’s one of my favorite lentil recipes with no cream, butter, sugar, or ghee. check out over thirty bean and lentil recipes right here.


2 tbsp chilkewale urad dal (split black lentils)
2 tbsp toovar (arhar) dal
2 tbsp green moong dal (split green gram)
2 tbsp chana dal (split bengal gram)
2 tbsp masoor dal (split red lentil)
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
about an inch of cinnamon (dalchini)
4 tsp finely chopped garlic (lehsun)
4 tsp finely chopped ginger (adrak)
2 whole dry kashmiri red chillies , broken into pieces
8 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 bay leaf
pinch of amchur (green mango powder)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)
0 to 4 minced fresh green chilis
salt to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice


cook dal by simmering in twice its volume in liquid (i just used a cup as a guide)

or tarladalal recommends, “Wash all the dals and soak them in enough water in a bowl for 1 hour. Drain. Combine the soaked dals with 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Keep aside.”

in a separate pan, heat oil and add the whole mustard and cumin seeds.
When the seeds crackle, add the cinnamon, garlic, ginger, red chillies and bay and curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and amchur, and cook over a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the garam masala and green chillies, mix well and cook over a medium flame for 1 minute.
Add the cooked dal, salt and lemon juice, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Serve hot. Top with cilantro leaves and plain yogurt.


recipe adapted from tarladalal and archana’s kitchen


(if you don’t have all five kinds of split lentils and peas, just use a combination of anything you have in the house! just make sure to cook whole lentils separately from split peas and lentils – they have a different cook time.)


puliyodharai / puliogare (tamarind rice)

December 17, 2017

This rice recipe from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and other parts of southern India, is the perfect fancy vegan dish for your next special occasion. It is a temple dish, offered as prasāda, or an offering to a deity.


cook a cup of rice as you normally would. use sesame oil instead of butter – about a tablespoon. when it’s done, add a quarter-teaspoon of turmeric and take off the heat.

for the spice blend, toast the following in an ungreased skillet:

dried red chilis (4 if you’re Indian, 3 if you like it very hot, 2 for medium-hot, and 1 for mild)
2 t whole coriander
1 t chana dal or yellow split peas or split chickpeas, and 1 t urad dal or split black dal
1/2 t whole sesame seeds
1/4 t each whole fenugreek and whole black pepper

when golden brown, crush these ingredients in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, along with a pinch of asafoetida if you have it.

set aside this ground spice mixture.

now bust out a big skillet or dutch oven. you will be tempering more spices in here.

heat 3 T sesame oil in the pan. when shimmering and hot, add 1 t urad dal and 1 t black mustard seeds, 1 t chana dal, and 1/4 t peanuts. when golden, add more dry chilis if you like, ten curry leaves, and 1/4 t turmeric. you can add a pinch of asafoetida here if you have it. add tamarind to taste – i used a few spoonfuls of paste mixed with about a cup of water – or you can use 50g of dried tamarind and soak for about a half-hour. salt the mixture. add a pinch of sugar or jaggery if you like. simmer until the mixture reduces a bit and looks saucy. add the ground spice mixture and stir well until it starts to smell incredible. add the cooked rice, stir, and serve.


based on recipes from veg recipes of india and padhu’s kitchen


The flavors are unbelievably good. Since it has so much flavor, it’s great served with something a little bland – we had vegan stewed red cabbage with red wine. The sourness of the rice went perfectly with the cabbage. One of my new favorite vegan side dishes!


khatta meetha baingan, improved recipe (sweet and sour indian eggplant)

August 28, 2016

If you love sweet and sour eggplant, but don’t want to deal with making the coconut and sesame paste for baghara baingan, this is a perfect bet.

I already have another khatta meetha baingan recipe on this blog. However, it’s more of a loose idea of a dish than an actual recipe. Here’s a new version (well, new to me). I found it on some website late at night – don’t remember where I got this from. I’ll keep looking…

– Roast a bunch of eggplants. Maybe 8 tiny “Asian eggplants” or 2 big purple ones. I used about 5 brinjals.
– Heat 2 T mustard oil in a skillet, or a teaspoon of black mustard seeds in 2 T neutral oil like coconut or canola.
– When sputtering, add 1 t whole cumin seed and 1 t whole fennel seed. Fry til sputtering.
– Add 3 dry chilis, a few curry leaves, and an onion. Fry til onion becomes translucent.
– Add 1 T garlic. Fry 1 min.
– Add 1 t turmeric, 2 t coriander, fry 1-2 mins.
– Add 2 tomatoes and some tamarind paste or tamarind water, to taste.
– Add the gutted roasted eggplant and simmer for twenty minutes.
– Add a sprinkle of sugar, to taste, and serve topped with fresh cilantro and/or plain yogurt with rice.

Super flavorful, healthy, and satisfying. Sweet but not too sweet, savory, spicy but not too spicy, and just as sour as you like it. Definitely one of my favorite ways to prepare eggplant.

Eggplant is so cheap and plentiful at the farmers’ market at this time of year – take advantage of it!


hyderabadi baghara baingan (indian sesame peanut eggplant)

August 16, 2016

this recipe by tarla dalal looks like everything i am craving today in one recipe. plans for khatta meetha baingan went right out the window once i read this.

8 to 10 brinjal eggplant (these are a small variety, so use much less if you have large dark purple eggplant)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 to 3 green chillies, slit
4 tbsp oil
salt to taste

For the coconut and sesame paste
2 tbsp sesame seeds (til)
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut (or dried coconut flakes)
2 tbsp raw peanuts
1 tsp chopped ginger (adrak)
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera) powder
1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder, depending on your taste
1 tsp tamarind (imli) pulp

For the garnish
2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)

Slit the brinjals, lengthwise, into four, but leave the stems on, so the eggplants remain joined at the stem. Keep aside.

For the coconut and sesame paste

Combine the sesame seeds, coconut, peanuts, ginger, garlic and onions in a pan and dry roast them over a slow flame till the flavours are released and the ingredients are lightly browned.
Add the turmeric powder, coriander seed powder, cumin seed powder, chilli powder and tamarind paste and grind it to a smooth paste using ½ cup water. Keep aside.

How to proceed

Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan, add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds.
When they crackle, add the brinjals, curry leaves and green chillies and sauté over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan, add the coconut and sesame paste and cook till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Add the cooked brinjals, ½ cup of water and salt and cook covered over a slow flame till the brinjals are soft.
Serve hot.


by tarla dalal


decided to roast the medium lavender-colored italian eggplants at 425. the smaller brinjal eggplants and little red eggplants that look like tomatoes (!!) were fire-roasted over a gas stove and finished in the 425 oven.



absolutely incredible. a warning that the 3 slit green chilis and 1 t of chilli powder from the original recipe could be fiery depending on your chilis; i did 2 hot green chilis and 1/2 t chilli powder and it could be a bit hotter for my taste but is already hovering near the mild/medium line. if you have super-powered garden chilis, then beware.

the sesame-peanut-coconut mixture smells amazing as it is cooking. the tamarind and coconut add the perfect sweet and sour flavor, so the eggplant isn’t too bitter. the toasted sesame and peanut are absolutely perfect.

this is in my top 5 eggplant recipes of all time, along with georgian style eggplant stuffed with carrot and parsnip, japanese miso eggplant, baba ghanouj, baingan musasalam, and a simple eggplant parmigiana.

seriously this is amazing. tagging as “favorite”.


baingan musasalam / mughlai baingan masala (indian eggplant and tomato)

August 3, 2016

mughlai cuisine, according to wikipedia, is a medieval cooking style from northern india and pakistan. it’s even influenced by mongolian food. the history of empire is wild.

history, eggplant, and cream are three of my favorite things, so i’m excited to try this recipe by tarla dalal


3 cups eggplant
1 to 4 tbsp ghee (recipe called for 4; i used less than half that)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp ginger-garlic (adrak-lehsun) paste
1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp coriander (dhania) powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato puree
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh cream
salt to taste

the recipe says to start by frying eggplant pieces, but i plan to roast the eggplants whole and scoop out the flesh instead. however you like to cook eggplant, do that first.

in a frying pan, start ghee and cumin seed

add onions and saute 5 mins

add the ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and 1 cup of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

add tomatoes, cook 5 min

add the tomato puree, sugar, fresh cream and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

add eggplant, cook 2 min, serve garnished with cilantro


recipe by tarla dalal


it’s a keeper! among my favorite eggplant recipes, for sure  [though i definitely prefer georgian-style eggplant stuffed with carrot and parsnip. as weird as it sounds, there is just something perfect about it.]

i haven’t made khatta meetha baingan in years, but i will have to make it soon to see if it’s still my favorite indian eggplant recipe, or if this (and its less souped-up cousin baingan bharta) is the new favorite.


dal makhani (punjabi lentils)

February 27, 2016

nothing against my favorite gujarati dal.

sometimes you just want something that tastes like butter, and cream, and winter comfort.


cook 3/4c black split urad dal (if using whole dal, soak overnight) in 1.5c water and a pinch of salt. when cooked completely (better a little overdone than a little underdone,) add half a can of red kidney beans. mash and set aside.

in a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat about 2.5 T butter and/or ghee (i used a combination) over medium or med-high heat. (butter is a lot of the flavor of this dish, so if you’re vegan, i recommend a buttery oil like coconut.) add a teaspoon of whole cumin seed, an inch of cinnamon, 2 whole cloves, a small hot green chili pepper slit lengthwise, 3 cardamoms, and a small finely chopped onion.

cook until onions are golden brown, and turn down heat to medium.

then add 1/2 t ginger-garlic paste, cayenne (1/4 t for mild, 1/2 t for medium, 1 tsp for hot,) 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, and 1 1/2 c fresh or canned pureed tomato. simmer until oil rises to the top.

add the dal, salt to taste, and about 4 T water. simmer 15 min.

stir in a half-cup of heavy cream or, if you’re vegan, substitute coconut milk. simmer about 2 minutes. serve with fresh cilantro and rice.


wonderful. definitely a favorite.

adapted by friedsig from tarladalal


borar jhaal (bengali lentil balls in mustard sauce)

January 23, 2016

1/2 c urad dal, rinsed (also called “black lentils”)
1-4 green chilis (recipe called for 4, which seems painful)
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t ginger paste
pinch of asafoetida or onion/garlic power

1 t nigella seed

1 t black mustard seed
1 t yellow mustard seed
0-2 green chilis
1 t sugar

soak dal for 30 minutes
drain; put in blender with salt, ginger, chilis, and sugar, & blend
roll into 12 balls & squeeze out water
fry in 1 c mustard oil for 5 minutes – make sure to wait til the oil is sizzling before frying them!
drain on paper towels or paper bags.

separately, mix up the sauce with a little water

heat 3 T oil in a pan & add nigella seed, stir-fry 1 min
add mustard sauce, simmer 10 min
add fried balls & remove from heat




from Mark’s book about Indian cooking




the sauce is not really a sauce. i may not have copied this down correctly. it’s kind of just mustardy water. maybe my mustard seeds are old? balls of fried lentil are always good but i might recommend fermenting it and doing some vadai or some dosai instead of this. i do really like the nigella seed infused oil – i might try that with dal some time.

if you really want to try this, i would say, remember to only add water a bit at a time into the blender. i got the texture right (for once) and the balls held together, but it’s a delicate balance, and many times my vadai came out unfryable (unfriable?)

also just skip the sauce and fry them in nigella seed and mustard seed.