Simple Monk’s Dal

Dal is a generic term for a dish made with lentils, sometimes with vegetables. It is probably a term coined outside of India to incorporate the wealth of different thick and semi-thick dishes made with lentils. Within India, lentil dishes that fit into that category are infinite in variety, varying in the lentil used, the spices used, the consistency and the vegetables incorporated. Each will have a different name, and even the change of 1 spice or 1 other ingredient (e.g. whether coconut is included or not) might change the name of the dish completely.

However, the recipe for this dish came to me with only the title Dal. It is probably Sri Lankan influenced, and is as simple as an be. But all dishes from this source are both simple AND amazingly flavoursome. It comes from the monks of the Kauai Aadheenam.

The monks used this dal for lunch and served it just with rice and a vegetable dish. It is made with toor dal, that beautiful creamy, slightly sweet dal that is also used for sambar, pitlai, kothsu and other related dishes, which is cooked with a little coconut mik. Toor dal can take a while to cook, depending on its age and quality, so allow enough time.

Are you after other Dal recipes? Try Urad and Rajma Dal, Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, and Mung Dal with Ghee.

Or are you looking for other Toor Dal recipes? Try Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu, Lentil Balls in a Spicy Gravy, and a Classic Seasoned Sambar.

Try some more Sri Lankan dishes. Try Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, Sweet Pongal, Fenugreek Kuzhambu, and Carrot Sambol.

Have a look at all of our Dal recipes and all of our recipes made with Toor Dal. Or explore all of our Sri Lankan dishes and all of our Indian Recipes. Alternatively, have a look at our Late Autumn collection of recipes. Continue reading “Simple Monk’s Dal”

Mung Dal with Ghee and Spices

There are many variations of mung dal, ghee and spices. Mung and Ghee are like a match made in heaven. It can be as simple yet heavenly as Neiyyum Parippum, as complex as a Dal Tadka, or even more complex. Each, although very different dishes, are divine. The simplest variation of spices can make all the difference.

This Mung Dal with Ghee adds cumin, fenugreek (optional), green chilli and garlic to a simple Neiyyum Parippum. Now it must be said that Cumin is the third partner in a trinity that is amazing – Mung Dal, Ghee and Cumin. The fenugreek, which can be left out, adds a slight bitterness. The chilli adds flavour and texture without bite, and the garlic a little groundedness.

This recipe comes from Kerala where it was shown to me by a local chef. This comes from my quickly scribbled notes. I hope you enjoy it.

Are you looking for similar Mung Dal dishes? Try Simple Monk’s Dal, Neiyyum Parippum, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, and Simple and Gentle Mung Dal.

Feel free to browse our other Mung recipes and our Kerala recipes are here. Or have a look at our Indian Collection of recipes. Finally, explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Mung Dal with Ghee and Spices”

Whole Unhulled Urad and Rajma Dal | Urad Lentils and Kidney Beans Dal

It has been a while since I posted an Urad recipe. Urad is one of my favourite lentils, comforting and nourishing, and used a lot in the Punjab region. It is easy to cook with, especially if you know and respect its properties.

This dish is a cousin of Dal Makhani, using yoghurt instead of butter and cream, and whole urad rather than split urad dal.

And what a stunner! This is a slow cooked dish – taking around 5 hours – but they are effortless hours. No need to do more than the odd stir or two.

Are you looking for Urad recipes? You might like to try Urad and Red Rice Kitchari, Urad Dal Garlic Rice, and Urad Tamatar Dal.

We also have Rajma (kidney bean) recipes – try Rajma Sundal, Feijoada, and Capsicums Stuffed with Kidney Beans and Feta.

Or perhaps you are looking for Dal Makhani style dishes. Try our very popular Dal Makhani Restaurant Style, Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani, and Amritsari Dal.

Punjabi recipes are always packed with flavour. Try Baingan ka Bharta, Quince Aachar, and Tomato Bharta.

Alternatively, explore all of our Dal Makhani and similar recipes. Or browse Punjabi recipes. We have a range of different Urad recipes and Rajma (Kidney Bean) recipes. You might also like to check out the Madhur Jaffrey recipes that we love. Oh and our Dal recipes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to browse our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Whole Unhulled Urad and Rajma Dal | Urad Lentils and Kidney Beans Dal”

Aamti | Maharashtrian Lentil Curry

I do love the Keralite classic Mung Dal with Ghee (Neyyum Parippum), and its offshoots – Mung Dal with Cumin and ISKON Mung Dal.

Maharashtra has a dish that exhibits the same simplicity, but it is made with toor dal (and not quite so much ghee). Toor dal is the lentil that gives Sambar (from Tamil Nadu) its creamy, flowing consistency.

Simply spiced, the dish highlights the flavour of the lentils. The dish is served with rice, and is a variation on its simpler ancestor, Varan Bhaat which literally means Lentil Curry-Rice. In many Maharashtrian households, this dish or the simpler Varan is cooked every day and it is a comforting and nourishing dish. It is also made as naivedyam/prasadam for Ganesha Chathurthi. It is particularly simple to make. (If you are after other recipes for Ganesha Chathurthi, browse here.)

You might also like to try the Mung Dal dishes above, or our range of Sambars. Or try Eggplant and Toor Dal, Plain (Toor) Dal Rasam, or Poritha Kuzhambu.

Explore all of our recipes for Toor Dal here, and our Maharashtrian recipes here. Take some time and browse all of our Indian recipes. Or simply try our Mid Summer collection.

Continue reading “Aamti | Maharashtrian Lentil Curry”

Mung Dal with Coconut Milk | Sri Lankan Style

Another beautiful Mung Bean recipe, a soup from Jaffna in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan in its origins, this Mung Dal recipe from Jaffna is quick and lovely. The recipe is from that lovely cookbook of South Indian and Jaffna / Sri Lankan cooking – A Monk’s Cookbook by the monks from the Hindu Aadheenam on Kauai in Hawaii (you can download it here).

Mung in all of its forms is a favourite of ours – whole beans, split dal, hulled or unhulled. The gentleness of its texture and flavour always makes one feel loved and nourished. With a flavour that is just a little on the sweet side, even hardened lentil-haters will love Mung.

Are you looking for Mung recipes? Try Mung Sprouts Sundal, Sweet Mung Dal Kitchadi, Mung Dal Sundal, or  Stir Fried Mung Bean Sprouts.

We have other Mung Dal and Soup recipes too. Try Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach, Mung Dal with Ghee, Simple Indian Mung Dal Soup, and Simple and Gentle Mung Soup.

Or simply browse all of our Mung recipes, and our Dal recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring recipes. Continue reading “Mung Dal with Coconut Milk | Sri Lankan Style”

Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach

The marvellous flavours of Mung and Spinach.

Mung is a favourite dal of many people with its sweet, creamy, mushiness. A good mung dal cooked at home is worth a hundred restaurant visits. This recipe features Spinach as well.

Are you looking for mung recipes? There are more here. Or browse our Dals here and here.  We recommend Mung Dal with Ghee, Gentle Golden Mung Dal and ISKON Mung Dal. You might like our Spinach recipes here and here, or browse our Autumn collection here and here.

Continue reading “Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach”

Mugh Ni Dal | Dry Spicy Mung Dal | A Mung Dal Dish from Gujarat

Rice or Mung Dal? A great Gujarati accompaniment to other Indian dishes.

In this Gujarati dish, the grains of the Mung Dal remain separate and look quite like rice, if you squint a little. Serve this with any Indian meal.

You might like to browse our Mung recipes here and here. And the Indian recipes here and here. Be inspired by a range of Autumn dishes here and here.

Continue reading “Mugh Ni Dal | Dry Spicy Mung Dal | A Mung Dal Dish from Gujarat”

Cracked Wheat and Mung Kitchari | Khichuri

A great, different kitchari

Kitchari is generally made with short grained rice and mung dal, cooked until they both collapse into a semi solid dish which is nourishing and tasty. Kitchari has been adopted globally as a healthy, quick dish, easy to digest and compatible with a lot of dietary requirements and fads.

Outside of India, though, recipes vary dramatically from the original. Long grained Basmati is used rather than the more sticky short grain rices like Soma Masouri. This changes the nature of the dish. Soupy and porridge-like consistencies are called Kitchari. And dishes made from other ingredients are labeled Kitchari.

Although the genesis of this dish of cracked wheat and mung dal comes from an approach which was called a Kitchari, it breaks almost every rule for a true, traditional Kitchari. It is more like a savoury gruel, a dal perhaps, or porridge. But as Kitchari literally means “mixture” or “mess”, we will let it pass.

Cook this dish with beautiful, yellow split mung dal – overnight in the slow cooker is ideal, for a warming and nourishing breakfast.

We have a lot of kitchari recipes. You can browse them here. Explore our other rice dishes here and here too. Read our Indian Essentials here, and perhaps browse information on Spices.

Continue reading “Cracked Wheat and Mung Kitchari | Khichuri”

Amritsari Dal from the Punjab

A gentle Punjabi dish from Urad and Channa lentils

If I wasn’t such a fan of South Indian food, culture, arts, music, temples, rituals and everything else that is predominately from Tamil Nadu, I might have fallen in love with the Punjab. Punjabi food is wholesome and full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors can still be found in rural areas even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai (cream), paneer and dahi (yoghurt). And also the dals are a speciality of Punjabi cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram (urad), green gram (mung) and Bengal gram (channa).  They are cooked in covered earthen pots on a slow fire clay oven fueled with dung-cakes, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy, and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with cream and butter for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious. Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor for part of this information.

Urad lentils are favourites in the Punjabi cuisine, and take so well to the long slow cooking. This dish is soothing and gentle, despite the large amounts of garlic and ginger. Their assertiveness is overcome by the long slow cooking time. The dish is generally quite mild in its spiciness.

You might like to explore our Urad Lentil recipes here and here, especially all of the Dal Makhani-style dishes. Browse the Punjabi recipes. Or check out our Slow Cooking dishes.

Continue reading “Amritsari Dal from the Punjab”

Simple Indian Dal Soup

A nourishing soup for a cooler night

“Soups” are an interesting concept in South India. Soups do exist, although I suspect they are a relatively modern concept influenced by the British occupation. Contrasted with this are many soupy South Indian dishes like rasam, sambar, kuzhambu, kootu, dals etc that are not soups as we understand them, yet appear to be soup-like to non-Indian eyes.

Recently in India I was eating at a large canteen. The food was great. One counter in the canteen offered us small bowls of liquid. I asked Rasam? No, he said, Soup. I thought I did not understand his accent. Rasam? I asked again. Soup he said again. Ok, soup.

They were generally thin stocks without vegetables, but perhaps with a little body from undetectable lentils. Not as thin as a broth, not as thick as, say, a creamed soup. Highly delicious, and we often had 2 or 3 small bowls of it at the end of our meal, as we sat outside reviewing the day’s activities. In the cool of the evening, after a hot hot day, it was delicious.

Continue reading “Simple Indian Dal Soup”

Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani | Home Style Dal Makhani

A simple but exceptional Dal Makhani

The story of this Dal Makhani goes like this:

Some time ago in Bangalore, India, I had a Dal Makhani to die for. It was just a hotel room service meal ordered at a very busy at the time, yet it made me sink back into my couch with a wonderful smile on my face – as if I had transitioned and gone to Dal Heaven.

I rang through to the kitchen and asked for the recipe. Oh what hilarity that caused in the kitchen – much laughter and giggles, and simply hours later, I received a typed up recipe from the chef at the Oberoi in Bangalore. It is the most wondrous dish, full of butter and cream and takes some time, so a dish for special occasions. Continue reading “Indian Bazaar Dal Makhani | Home Style Dal Makhani”

Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander

Gentle urad dal is cooked with tomatoes and topped with coconut and coriander. Reminiscent of the sub continent, this is a recipe from Ottolenghi.

We love urad lentils, particularly Urad Dal cooked with tomatoes, so when we found Ottolenghi’s recipe for Urad Dal with Coconut and Coriander in his book Plenty More, it sparked interest. He talks about his inspiration, Aasmah Mir from cookingcurries.com and the Pakistani family recipes on that site.

His recipe treats some ingredients a little differently than my usual South Indian way, so I have modified the recipe to accommodate that.

Are you looking for similar Dal recipes? Try Simple Monk’s Dal, Urad Dal Sundal, Urad Dal Garlic Rice, and Urad Dal with tomatoes.

Explore Urad recipes and our collection of Ottolenghi’s recipes. Or browse our collection of Late Autumn dishes.

This time previous years we were making: Crispy Garlic and Sage, Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange, A Lovely Pumpkin Soup, A Spicy Cucumber Salad with Poppy Seeds, and Japanese Baked Eggplant with Miso and Sesame.

Continue reading “Urad Dal with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander”

Simple and Gentle Mung Soup

Relax, take it easy, feel nourished.

For when you need to feel gentle and nourished, take to Mung soup in its simplest version. Although this soup can be layered with spices, vegetables and herbs, in its simplest form it makes you feel calm, gentle and nourished. Have a good day, and take care.

You might like to browse all of our Mung recipes here and here, and all of our Dal recipes here and here. Perhaps also the Indian Lentil and Bean Curries.

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Neyyum Parippum | Mung Dal with Ghee | A Favourite of Kerala

Mung dal laden with ghee. Delicious, and a dish suitable for Ganesha Chaturthi.

Mung Dal with Ghee is a gentle dal, sweet and delicious, and a particular favourite in this house. It is a dish from Kerala, and I had eaten it often there.

Are you looking for Mung recipes? We recommend Mung Dal with Coconut, Mung Dal with Ghee and Spices, Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach and ISKON Mung Dal.

Are you looking for recipes from Kerala? Try Cooking in Kerala, Olan and Carrot Thoran.

Explore all of our recipes using Mung, and all of our Kerala dishes. Ghee features strongly in these recipe.  You might like to browse our Indian recipes. Be inspired by our Early Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Neyyum Parippum | Mung Dal with Ghee | A Favourite of Kerala”

Ma Ki Dal | Slow Braised Lentils

Ma Ki Dal and Dal Makhani really suit long slow cooking

Urad dal is a lentil that suits long slow cooking and a smoky flavour. With a little work, a covered BBQ will cope with cooking a dish like Slow Braised Lentils slowly for several hours.

This recipe will work in an oven too, no worries. But the joys of cooking outside are enormous so on sunny days, take your lentils outside.

You might also like to try the other Mah ki Dal recipes and some  Dal Makhani recipes. You might also like to try other Vegetarian BBQ Recipes. You can browse them here. Find inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Ma Ki Dal | Slow Braised Lentils”