Urad Tamatar Dal | Urad Dal with Tomatoes and Purslane

A favourite of our family

Purslane is abundant in our garden even in Autumn. All season, since early December, it appears in different parts of the garden. We have followed it around, pulling out the plants and using the leaves. A nice way to keep it under control.

Today we have used it in an urad dal, and it turned out to add that beautiful lemony flavour to the dish as well as a little texture against the creamy urad. I hope you like this dish.

Are you looking for similar Dal recipes? Try Ghol Takatli Bhaji, Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, Simple Monk’s Dal, Urad with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander, Urad Dal Sundal, and Urad Dal Garlic Rice. Or try Moolangi Tovve (Daikon Dal).

Also browse How to Use Purslane in Salads.

Browse all of the Urad recipes and our Indian recipes. Check out our Indian Essentials. Our Dal dishes are here. Or explore and be inspired by our easy Late Autumn recipes.

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Purslane Salads | How to Use Purslane in Salads

Purslane, Portulaca Oleracea, is an edible succulent plant that spreads vigorously. The leaves are crunchy with a tangy lemon-peppery flavour. It pops up in gardens here from December (early Summer) through to Autumn. It is prolific in my garden, so much so that I can pull the whole plants out when young, nip off the root and use the stem and leaves. For larger plants, stems are picked and leaves removed. You should always wash it really well as it is such a ground-hugging plant.

Pick them early in the day for best flavours. If I need to pick them later in the day, I will cover them in water for an hour or so until they perk up and lift their heads. Don’t soak any longer, they turn to mush (being a succulent).

In some parts of the world you can buy Purslane in green groceries but in Australia that is not the case. So you can forage alongside footpaths and in parks and green areas, but always be careful that it has not been sprayed. The best way is to purchase some seed, or gather it from flowering foraged plants, and grow in your own garden. Once you have planted it in your garden you will always have it. It grows best in warm to hot, dry climates.

It is used around the world, from Greece to Mexico, South Africa, India and Turkey. It is a nutritional medicine cabinet in a plant with remarkable amounts of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. It is mainly used raw but is also cooked in some places, such as India.

We’ve put together some of our favourite salads using Purslane to inspire you. Be sure to let us know how you use it and which salads are your favourite. Don’t forget that you can use Purslane to replace other sour or lemony ingredients such as sorrel in salads and other dishes.

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Ghol Takatli Bhaji | Maharashtrian Purslane in Yoghurt

Purslane (Ghol in Marathi, Kulfa in Hindi) grows prolifically in my garden and is a powerhouse of goodness. It grows around the world, used mainly by Persians, in India cuisines, and by the Australian indigenous people. It is perfect in salads or cooked in stir-fries and bhajis.  It is a seasonal plant which has a unique tangy taste.

This dish is a Maharastrian style curry usually eaten with steamed rice or rotis. It can be made with Purslane, green Colocasia, sorrel leaves, red amaranth, spinach leaves and other greens. It has a lovely texture with peanuts and channa daal. The dish is typically made with a medium thin yoghurt base.

Similar dishes include Kadhi (Yoghurt Curry), Kadhi with Okra, and Pulissery.

Also browse How to Use Purslane in Salads.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes and all of our Indian Yoghurt recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Quinoa and Purslane Salad with Radish and Kalonji

Today’s salad could really be called a Garden Salad, because the radishes and the purslane come from my side garden. Both grew abundantly in our garden this year. It is a salad flavoured with citrus juice and kalonji seed adds crunch and a visual element. You could use black sesame seeds or poppy seeds if you prefer. Kalonji can be found at any Indian grocery store.

Similar recipes include How to Use Purslane in Salads, Ghol Takatli Bhaji, Summery Grain or Lentil Salad, Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pecans, Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts, and Purslane Salad with Tomatoes.

Browse all of our Quinoa Salads, Purslane Salads, and all of our Radish Salads. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Black Barley and Purslane Salad

Black Barley with its inky taste makes beautiful salads, like this one I made from pantry and garden ingredients during the COVID-19 lockdown (2020). Black Barley mixed with some home-made peach chutney, soft oven dried tomatoes, purslane from the garden, and garden herbs. A little olive oil and the tiniest bit of something acid (taste first as purslane is a little sour) – lemon or lime, preserved lemon, or rice vinegar. You might not have peach chutney ;), but you can substitute with something sweet-tart like barberries or dried cranberries, or use sweet – raisins for example – with a little more acid in the dressing.

Similar recipes include How to Use Purslane in Salads, Warm Barley and Cannellini Beans Salad with Charred BroccoliniGhol Takatli Bhaji, and Quinoa and Purslane Salad.

Browse all of our Black Barley recipes, and our Purslane dishes too.

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Dakos with Tomato, Herbs and Feta

Throughout Italy and Greece, dried bread is common – bread that has been baked, sliced, then baked again until very very dry. The most loved use of this bread, called Dakos or Paximadia in Greece and Friselle in Italy, is in salads where the juice of the tomatoes and oil and vinegar dressing soak into the bread, softening it and adding the flavours of Summer. They can also be used like a bruschetta as a base for a variety of Mediterranean toppings.

We have made a couple of other Dakos dishes, a salad that also confusingly called Dakos, and a baked Dakos dish – both are delicious. This is a variation on the salad, with a few different spices.

Similar dishes include Tomato and Roasted Lemon Salad, Braised Tomatoes with Herbs, Fattoush, Simple Tomato Bread Salad, Dakos and Baked Dakos.

Browse all of our Dakos dishes, our Italian food and Greek recipes. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Purslane Salad with Tomatoes

Purslane is that lemony tart succulent-leaved plant that is considered a weed. In fact, for many years, I hounded it from the gardens that I had the pleasure to work in. But, well hello!, the leaves are beautiful in salads and even in cooked dishes.

This is a very simple salad, but delightful. It features Purslane, whereas we usually just added it to other salad ingredients. It also makes a great substitute for rocket and sorrel in your salads, if you don’t have any of those ingredients at hand.

Similar recipes include Quinoa and Purslane Salad, Purslane Salad with Radish, Peas with Purslane and Mustard, and Purslane Salad with Burrata.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes, and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Purslane Salad

Our garden has a great Purslane patch, not planned but cultivated once we realised how precious these leaves are. Purslane, a native of India, now grows world wide thanks to the longevity of its seeds and the fact that a plant will spring from any small piece of an existing plant that might hit the ground.

Our plants, well watered, become quite luxurious, lifting its branches off the soil and showering us with both lovely tender leaves and, surprisingly, tiny seeds which are also edible. We don’t wash them away, but keep them to add to which ever dish we are making.

The easiest way to use Purslane, should you get your hands on some, is in a salad. Add the leaves to any salad that you are making, especially green salads, for a citrus, slightly sour tang. It will life your whole salad. It can also be used in place of watercress or with baby spinach in any salad.

Or make a salad from the leaves (rather than adding them to other salads), which is what we are doing today.

You can read more about Purslane here.

Similar recipes include Purslane Salad with Tomatoes, and Green Salad with Chickpeas and Feta.

Browse all of our Purslane recipes. Our many Salads are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Purslane Salad with Burrata

This is a herby salad with the tang of purslane, the bite of spinach, the crunch of nuts and the creaminess of burrata.

I have used Purslane, as we grow it exceptionally well in Summer. Rather than weed out all of this plant, I leave a little patch and water it well. It grows lusciously with long branches lifting up from the soil. It is easy to pick, and more important, easy to clean by rinsing a couple of times. The tart tang of purslane adds a lovely lift to salads. It is very easy to grow, and you may find it occasionally at your green grocers. You can always forage it, it is everywhere, but make sure it IS purslane and that it has not been sprayed.

I have to mention how lucky I am to have a green grocer owned by a Middle Eastern family. They stock the best Dill that I have ever seen. Very thankful. I need to mention that the inspiration for this recipe comes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More but we evolved the recipe over the years to use our common ingredients and make it egg-free. It is like a third cousin twice removed.

Similar recipes include Herby Salad with Radishes, Spinach and Watercress Salad with Ricotta, Purslane Salad with Tomatoes, Every Meal some Simple Greens, Purslane Salad, Raw Beetroot and Herb Salad and Mustardy Peas with Purslane.

Browse all of our Purslane dishes, and all of our Salads. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Purslane | Pigweed | Luni-Bhaji | Kulfa

Purslane is that ubiquitous weed that grows almost anywhere, but it is mostly weeded. It is persistent, with seeds being able to germinate even when 40 years old, and plants will spring from tiny pieces of leaf. What is not commonly known is that Purslane is delicious and highly edible with a pleasantly sour taste. But before you go foraging around your neighbourhood, make sure that you can identify the plant accurately, and that it hasn’t been sprayed.

Purslane is native to India and Persia and has spread throughout the world as an edible plant and as a weed. It was said to be Gandhi’s favourite food. Many countries embrace it as a natural part of their cuisine. (Purslane, India’s Gift to the World) In India in different languages it is called Kulfa, Luni or Luni-Bhaji.

A common alternative name for Purslane is Pigweed. The 19th Century Englishman William Cobbett said that it was suitable “only good for pigs and the French.” Good on the French! It is from the Portulaca family and is also called Porchellanetta in Italy where it grows wild along the coast.

The 16th Century Florentine Renaissance painter Bronzino immortalised a recipe that resembles today’s panzanella without tomatoes.  In his recipe, wild purslane is listed as one of the ingredients. It was probably a dish that was made before tomatoes came into season, and tomatoes added as the Summer wore on. He wrote that a salad of chopped onion, purslane and cucumber beats any other pleasures in life.

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