White Pea and Potato Bhatura | Vatana Bhatura

Have you heard of White Pea Bhatura? Chole Masala is a very popular north Indian dish. White Pea Bhatura is very similar except that it uses vatana or dried white peas in place of the chickpeas. As you can imagine, it is very delicious! Bhatura – oh my, a delicious puffed bread.

White peas are very popular in North India. They are smaller than chickpeas, white in colour and smooth and round. Bhatura is a deep fried puffed bread made from a fermented dough.

Chole Bhatura is often eaten as a breakfast dish, sometimes with lassi. It is also a street food snack and even a complete meal. It is often accompanied by onions, tomatoes, carrot pickle, green chutney and pickles.

This is truly delicious! Even without the Bhatura, but especially with them.

Similar recipes include White Peas Curry, White Peas Sundal, and White Peas, Coconut and Green Mango Sundal.

Browse all of our White Pea recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Green Mung Soup

Here is another Mung Soup, one of the most grounding and nourishing soup there is. This recipe is based on one from the Ayurvedic guru, Vasant Lad. I saw him once in Coimbatore, working with his students and his techniques of deep readings the pulses. He certainly is an amazing teacher and practitioner.

He says that this soup is balancing for all doshas. It is cooling and energising. It is also very light on the digestion, and a couple of cups of this with rice and chapatis or with the main meal is beneficial.

Similar recipes include Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, Simple Mung Soup, and Mung Soup with Asparagus.

Browse all of our Mung Bean recipes and all of our Indian Soups. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Poritha Kootu with Beans

Here is another Poritha Kootu to add to our list of about a dozen recipes.  It is a delicious way to serve a range of vegetables (or make it without vegetables), with the health benefits of lentils as well. A Vegetarians dream!

Today I am using Green Beans and Italian Flat Beans – they are readily available here and quite delicious. They make an excellent kootu.

I find mung is one of my favourite dals, one that nourishes and makes me feel relaxed and comfortable. I tend to use split, hulled (yellow) mung in Summer and whole or split, unhulled (green) mung in Winter, in various dishes.

Similar dishes include Poritha Kootu with Snake Gourd, Ridge Gourd Masiyal, and Eggplant Kothsu.

Browse all of our Poritha Kootu recipes and all of our Green Bean dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Pumpkin Milk Kootu

Today we have another of the rare Indian recipes that use milk. This recipe is one that can substitute the milk for coconut milk if that is more to your taste.

In India, milk is usually reserved for desserts, and in Ayurveda the consumption of milk with vegetables is not encouraged. In this recipe, I imagine that home cooks would use milk thickened with rice flour in place of coconut milk if that was not available.

It is best made with Indian tender pumpkin, but I have also made it with a number of our pumpkin varieties and quite love it. It is a very simple dish – pumpkin, seasoned, in milk with a simple tadka. But simple is best, no?

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See – very traditional Tamil recipes. You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Cluster Beans Kootu, Green Bean Kootu, and Brinjal Asadu.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Pumpkin dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Matki Sprouts Misal

Both Matki sprouts and Horse Gram sprouts are highly nutritious, and fairly easy to sprout if you are careful. For these sprouts, I prefer to wrap the soaked lentils/beans in muslin cloth and place in a dark cupboard for 24 – 48 hours, sprinkling with water occasionally.

One way of using the Matki sprouts is to make Misal – a gravy based dish that is often eaten with bread but can be served with rice. The matki sprouts don’t take as long to cook as the horse gram sprouts do – under 15 mins to be soft but with a little texture still. Just how I like it.

Similar dishes include Carrot and Mung Sprout Kosumalli, Sprouts Usal, and Black Gram Sprouts Sundal.

Browse all of our Matki dishes, and all of our Misal recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Cluster Beans Jaggery Kootu

Another in our Kootu series is made with cluster beans, and jaggery is added which counterbalances the slight bitterness of the beans and compliments the tamarind very well. It is slightly sweet-sour.

Most Kootus are made from vegetables, coconut and a mix of spices. Sometimes lentils or a dal is added to thicken the kootu. Generally kootus are made with vegetables that are locally available.

The recipe is another of Meenakshi Ammal‘s from her cook books Cook and See. She says that this same Kootu can be made with green beans, sabre beans, eggplant, plantain, plantain flower and chow chow.

Similar dishes include Pumpkin Milk Kootu, Cluster Bean Kootu, Brinjal Kootu and Mango Kootu.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Cluster Bean dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Kootu with Coconut

Kootu (or Koottu) is a simple, yet delicious dish that’s made in most Tamil homes in Tamil Nadu in South India.  While it can be made at any time, it is especially important during some festivals, such as Pongal.

This kootu is different from the traditional Aviyal as the mix of ingredients is different. Each Tamil home has their own style of making this kootu and the vegetables chosen also differ from home to home. Kootu usually includes lentils and is similar to sambar and kuzhambu, but there is a variation that is similar to Aviyal in that lentils are not used but a variety of vegetables are included. Most kootus are spiced with a coconut, cumin and red or green chillies in a paste – sometimes spices are kept to a minimum and just a coconut paste is used.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes. You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Aviyal.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Aviyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Buttery Dal, with Urad and Tomatoes

While lentils are a beloved pantry essential around the world, they are cooked with unmatched culinary skill in India. Dal is a staple dish in most Indian homes, one that cuts across all social and economic groupings. In Northern India, there is a deep love for urad lentils, those hard back bullets that are white when skinned. Recipes vary from deeply spiced and complex, like Dal Makhani, to gentle, subtle and glorious, like Urad Tamatar, and Amristari Dal.

What all (or most) of them have in common is an enrichment with butter and/or cream. Urad lentils are particularly comfortable with surprising amounts of this dairy fat, so there is a need to get over any qualms – just dive in and add. After all, you are not eating it every day, right? This is a restaurant style dish (ie lots of butter and cream), but if you do want to minimise the quantities, you can get by with adding about 1/2 or 1/3 of the amount. In homes similar dishes are made for breakfast, particularly in the countryside and probably with smaller amounts of butter and cream.

The recipe is one of the gentle, subtle, earthy urad dishes. You will adore it. I have added a chilli-cumin finishing oil which is gorgeous, but optional.

Similar recipes include Amristari Dal, Dal Makhani Nilgiri, and Urad Dal with Onions.

Browse all of our Urad recipes and all of our Dals. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Brinjal Dosai Masiyal | Eggplant Masiyal

This Masiyal made with eggplants is so good with Dosai that is has been given the name Dosa Masiyal. It is thick and gorgeous, tangy and spicy, and easy to make.  But don’t keep it only for dosa – it is also good as a side dish, or with rice. It is surprisingly good in wraps and on toast! Or thin it somewhat, and it is perfect for rice and idli.

I have cooked without onions, but onions can be added – see the notes at the end of the recipe.

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar recipes include Brinjal Kootu, Brinjal Asadu, and Brinjal Kootu with Tamarind.

Browse all of our Eggplant recipes and our Masiyal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.
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Aamti with Drumsticks and Coconut | Maharashtrian Dal

Aamti is a lentil dish from Maharashtra that is made with toor dal and defined by its souring agent – tomato or tamarind – as well as cumin, chillies or chilli powder and fenugreek. Aamti also contains Goda Masala or, if that is not available, Garam Masala can be used.

This is the second of our Aamti recipes. In this one we have included drumstick vegetables to add texture and flavour. If you are not familiar with Drumsticks, they are long, thin and tapered vegetables that grow on a tree. Their outer skin cannot be eaten as it is fibrous and tough. It is the inner pulp and seeds that are delicious and add flavour to dishes. Consequently, the pieces of drumsticks are sucked between the teeth to extract the inner goodness. It might sound strange, but I know that once you have tasted drumsticks you will be addicted.

Aamti is very easy to make if your toor dal is already cooked (I keep cooked toor dal in the freezer), and your drumsticks are already cooked (our friends provide us with drumsticks and I freeze them too). If so, it will take under 10 minutes. This recipe comes from Sukham Ayu, a book by Jigyasa Giri on Auyrvedic cooking at home. I have added my own tweaks, of course.

Similar recipes include Aamti Bhaat, Poritha Kootu, and Dal Tadka.

Browse all of our Dals and all of our Maharasthrian recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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