Khar is a unique Assamese dish, traditionally served as a starter. Traditionally, pure khar uses kola khar as its main ingredient. Kola Khar is prepared by sun-drying the peels of the bheem khol banana tree trunk, burning them to ashes, and then filtering water through them. It is an alkaline preparation that is believed to have medicinal properties. The dish is served before the main meal to help prepare the digestion for the flavours to come in the main meal.
These days kola khar is often substituted with other items, usually baking soda. Khar can be made with a variety of ingredients – pulpy vegetables such as gourds, papaya, pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant and cucumber, as well as lentils and a variety of greens. Today we are using Mung Beans although toor dal and urad dal are also common. We have seen it made with rice flour and no lentils.
Mustard greens and some chilli leaves are used in our dish today, although Spinach would be equally as fine. I have added a couple of betel leaves, because they are in the fridge and they give a lovely flavour. However, there is no need to be so exotic. Use spinach and/or mustard greens, or whatever greens you have. The recipe has a lot of garlic in it which softens its raw bite due to the cooking and adds a lovely umami flavour. Don’t confuse this dish with Lebon Khar, which is a Middle Eastern dish of cucumber and sour cream or yoghurt with a vinegar and mustard dressing.
Similar dishes include Mung Dal with Green Mango, Bengali Mung Dal, and Mung Dal with Ghee.
Browse more of our Assamese recipes, all of our Mung Bean dishes, and our Dals. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring dishes.
Continue reading “Khar | Assamese Garlicky Flavoured Mung Beans with Greens”
Lemons and limes, even oranges, are used in savoury dishes throughout India, for example in South India in Rasam and in Kuzhambu. Wonderful dishes. This recipe takes a simple Mung dal, blends it until it is silky smooth and infuses it with the flavours of lemon or lime peel and flesh. It is a delightful dish, and very refreshing in Summer.
This recipe is similar to Kancha Dal, but adds the lemons. It is a Bengali dish which I came across in the excellent book Bengali Cooking.
Similar dishes include Mung Dal with Ghee and Spices, Kancha Dal, and Mung Dal with Coconut Milk.
Browse all of our Dal recipes, and all of our Mung Dal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.
Continue reading “Lemon Dal”
Mangoes are coming back into the local Asian shops – there have been green mangoes for a while, but recently the early sweet mangoes are appearing. We needed no further prompting to celebrate the long Australian Mango Season with mango dal.
All the flavour and taste of mango is in this kootu as tamarind is not added – it is full of natural flavours. You might think that it would be too sweet, but the spices mellow the sweetness. The recipe is meant for a sweetish mango, but a slightly sour one can be used as long as it is soft enough to melt into the dal. Our local shop will have sweet-sour mangoes later in the season. These would also work with this dal. Today I have made it with a very soft sweet one.
It is quite a simple dal with few spices, but that is the beauty of the South Indian style of cooking. If you feel it is too sweet, add a little amchoor (to layer different mango flavours) or lime or lemon juice. I never find this is necessary, but it is an option if you prefer. I like with good chilli heat and slightly salty.
This is a very traditional Tamil recipe. It 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 traditional 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 Lemon Dal.
Browse all of our Mango dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.
Continue reading “Mango Dal / Kootu”
In Kerala, there is an amazing dish, Neyyum Parippum, which is mung dal cooked with few spices, and with a fair amount of ghee added. Because the amount of ghee is frightening (but delicious), different versions of the dish abound, introducing more spices and less ghee. Here is one of them, given to me by a Keralite friend.
Similar dishes include Masoor Dal with Green Chillies, Dal Tadka, and Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach.
Browse all of our Kerala dishes and all of our Dals. Our Indian dishes are here. Or enjoy our Late Winter dishes.
Continue reading “Kerala Mung Dal with Onions, Garlic and Green Chillies”
Ridge Gourd is also known as Ribbed Gourd, and it makes a particularly lovely dal. It is a simple dal recipe that perfectly accompanies rice and roti. It is also very good with curd rice. This is a dish loved in Tamil Nadu.
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 Mango Kootu, Kerala Mung Dal, Ridge Gourd Masiyal, and Poritha Kootu with Simple Spices.
Browse all of our Ridge Gourd dishes and all of our Dals. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
Continue reading “Ridge Gourd Dal | Peerklankai Paruppu”
Today our dal is made with split Channa, small chickpeas that have been hulled and split into two. Usually we make dal from mung dal, mung beans, urad dal or toor dal, so it is unusual for us to make it with channa.
In this dal, we have used eggplants. Cut into wedges, they float beautifully in the spicy channa gravy.
Similar recipes are Dal Makhani, Brinjal Kootu, and Tomato and Channa Dal Rasam. And try Eggplant dishes such as Baingan Tamatar, Poritha Kuzhambu, Brinjal Tamarind Kothsu, and Sampangi Pitlai.
Browse all of our Dal recipes and all of our Eggplant dishes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to enjoy our Mid Winter posts.
Continue reading “Channa Dal with Brinjal | Eggplant Channa Dal”
Urad lentils, in all their forms, and one of our favourite lentils, partly because of a dal that we made a long, long time ago. We love it. My daughter and I, at our respective places, still often make that recipe in bulk and freeze it for those busy winter evenings when you just need to grab something from the freezer to avoid ordering pizza or buying bags of chips.
Urad dal needs special handling. It needs long cooking, and is best keep soupy (in my opinion). It is a common dal in North Indian cooking, especially in the Punjab, and goes well with tomatoes, onions, butter, cream and yoghurt.
Continue reading “Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways”
Moth Beans, what a delightful name! It is pronounced as Moat beans, the delights of transliteration not making that immediately obvious. They have a delightful flavour – rich and nutty. The tiny beans go well in salads, snacks and curries, and they can be sprouted too.
Today we are cooking a dal with Moth Beans, also called Matki Beans, in the Maharashtrian style. It is tangy and delicious.
Similar recipes include Lemon Dal, Moringa Leaf Dal, Daikon Dal, and Dal Tadka.
Browse all of our Moth Bean dishes and all of our Dals. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.
Continue reading “Dal with Moth Beans | Dal with Matki Beans”
There are a lot of Drumstick Leaves (Moringa Leaves) available now, so we have been buying them and painstakingly stripping the leaves from the stalks. When Moringa Leaves become the next superfood, remember that India has been using them for centuries. (Turmeric too.) And the leaves are very tasty – a slight bitterness adds a delightful flavour note to dishes.
Tonight we made a dal with Mung and added Moringa Leaves. Usually Moringa Leaves are used with Toor Dal, but as we have already make Sambar with them, tonight we chose split yellow mung. The sweetness of the mung with the bitterness of the leaves is a delightful combination.
Similar recipes include Drumstick Leaves Sambar and Poritha Kootu.
Browse all of our Drumstick Leaf recipes and all of our Dals. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Moringa Leaf Dal | Dal with Drumstick Leaves”
This is another great toor dal dish, how I love this lentil with its silky smooth texture. Meenakshi Ammal’s recipe is based on the recipe for Brinjal Chidambaram Gothsu, except that the eggplant is replaced with cabbage.
The cabbage gives the dish an entirely different flavour. While the eggplant has a smokiness about it that enhances the dish, and the flesh melts into the toor dal, the cabbage retains some texture and bite and a definable taste of cabbage. But it is oh so good. The green chilli adds a lovely fresh heat.
Although this recipe is the same as the one for Brinjal Chidambaram Gothsu, it has a different name – Cabbage Baaji. Gothsu/Kothsu is made from eggplants only.
Are you looking for other Cabbage dishes? Try a Simple Cabbage Thoran, Lemak-Style Vegetables, and Kimchi.
You could also try these similar dishes – Beetroot Vathakuzhambu, Poritha Kootu with Snake Gourd, Brinjal Kothsu, Poritha Kootu with Coconut Chilli Paste, Poritha Kootu, Brinjal Chidambaram Gothsu, Pitlai, and Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth Leaves.
Or alternatively, check out all of our cabbage recipes, and all of Meenakshi Ammal’s dishes that we have made. All Indian recipes are here. You might like to browse Indian Essentials. Or take some time to explore our Mid Autumn collection of recipes.
Continue reading “Cabbage Baaji | Cabbage Kothsu”