Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | Poritha Kuzhambu with Chillies and Cumin | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable

The second of three methods suggested by Meenakshi Ammal. A beautiful, flowing-textured dal-based dish perfect over rice.

There are three main methods for making Poritha (Poricha) Kuzhambu. The first uses sambar powder, and this recipe, the second method, uses a paste of chillies, cumin seed and coconut. The third method uses chillies and urad dal ground to a paste.

Poritha Kuzhambu (or Poricha Kuzhambu) is a style of kuzhambu that usually includes coconut in its ground spice mix – this is the most defining characteristic of a Poritha Kuzhambu. This recipe is lentil based which can be made with either Toor Dal as we do here, or Green Gram Dal (Mung Dal). Although some Poritha Kuzhambu recipes can contain tamarind, this one does not.

This dish is not spicy, with very little spice added – just chillies and cumin. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetable.

Sometimes Poritha Kuzhambu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. That is not entirely accurate. There is no real equivalent in our cuisine – perhaps it can be described as a Lentil Based Gravy with a Vegetable, to eat over rice. It flavours the rice and the rice compliments the kuzhambu. I love kuzhambu so much, I will also eat a small bowl of it like a soup.

Are you looking for other Poritha Kuzhambu recipes? Try Brinjal Chidambaram Kothsu, Poritha Kuzhambu with Amaranth, and Pitlai.

Feel free to browse all of our Poritha Kuzhambu recipes, our Kuzhambu recipes, and our Indian recipes. Drumstick recipes are here. You may also like to browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | Poritha Kuzhambu with Chillies and Cumin | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable”

Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable for Over Rice

A beautiful, flowing-textured dal-based dish perfect over rice.

Poritha kuzhambu  or Poricha kuzhambu is a style of kuzhambu that often includes coconut in its ground spice mix – this is the most defining characteristic of a Poritha Kuzhambu. This recipe is lentil based which can be made with either Toor Dal as we do here, or Green Gram Dal (Mung Dal). Although some Poritha Kuzhambu recipes can contain tamarind, this one does not.

This dish is not spicy, with very little spice added. It celebrates the taste and textures of the dal and the vegetable. You will enjoy it. It uses a per-prepared Sambar Powder, which you can purchase at an Indian grocery, or make your own.

Sometimes Poritha Kuzhambu is called a Lentil Vegetable Stew. That is not entirely accurate. There is no real equivalent in our cuisine – perhaps it can be described as a Lentil Based Gravy with a Vegetable, to eat over rice. It flavours the rice and the rice compliments the kuzhambu. I love kuzhambu so much, I will also eat a small bowl of it like a soup.

Are you looking for other Poritha Kuzhambu recipes? Try Poritha Kuzhambu with Tamarind and Amaranth, Pitlai, Poritha Kuzhambu with Chilli and Cumin,  and Chidambaram Brinjal Kothsu.

Or Drumstick recipes? Try Sampangi Pitlai, Race Kuzhambu and Drumstick Kadhi.

Feel free to browse all of our Poritha Kuzhambu recipes, all of our Kuzhambu recipes, and our Indian recipes. Drumstick recipes are here. You may also like to browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Simple Poritha Kuzhambu | A South Indian Lentil Based Gravy with Vegetable for Over Rice”

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”

Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu | Buttermilk & Coconut Gravy with Ground Lentil Balls | Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings

Pulse balls, or lentil dumplings, are added to the moar kuzhambu (spicy yoghurt gravy) to make a delicious South Indian dish.

Moar (or Mor, More or Moru) Kuzhambu is commonly prepared in South India and is extremely easy to make, taking almost no time at all. This one includes the lentil dumplings and so takes a little longer. The base for this dish with the lentil dumplings is Moar Kuzhambu, but rather than add vegetables or vatral, balls of ground lentils and spices are made (pulse balls) and added to the base.

S. Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See set of books has 2 Moar Kuzhambu (Buttermilk/Yoghurt spicy gravy) with Lentil Dumplings made from ground lentils.

This Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu differs from the first version of this dish. The ground lentil balls are simpler and cooked in the buttermilk and coconut gravy rather than steamed. It is very delicious.

You might also like to try Avial – Veggies in a Yoghurt and Coconut Sauce, Yoghurt Curry with Drumstick Vegetables, Moar Sambar, or a host of different lassi drinks.

You can find other Kuzhambu recipes here. If you would like to browse them, all of our Indian recipes are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu | Buttermilk & Coconut Gravy with Ground Lentil Balls | Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings”

Mung Dal Usli | Muga Dali

Mung dal is a perfect dish – an eat anytime dish but also very good for those sensitive times. Here it is roasted then cooked with coconut for a flavoursome breakfast or side dish.

A dry spicy dish of mung dal is very popular with the people of the mid West Coast of India, for example, Goa and further south into Kerala. It is easy to make and brings the beautiful and gentle taste of mung dal to the fore.

Mung dal is very easily digested and so is a favourite ingredient in Ayurveda and also for invalids. But there is no need to wait until you are on an Ayurvedic regime or are unwell, this is a dish that can be eaten any time. Often served for breakfast, it is also used as a side dish at a Konkani meal. It is also very good as a snack with chapathi too.

You might like to browse our other Mung recipes here and here, and our other Goan recipes here and here. Try other Usili dishes, and sample our Indian recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Mung Dal Usli | Muga Dali”

Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal with Mung Dal and Coconut

Poriyals, from Tamil Nadu, and Thorans, from Kerala in India, are quick dishes where vegetables are stirfried with spices and coconut, turning ordinary vegetables into something amazing. They can form part of a meal, or can be eaten alone with roti or chapatti.

Our Thoran and Poriyal recipes are here and here, or try our other Fry recipes here.  Are you looking for Indian recipes? Browse here and here. Or perhaps search our Beans recipes here and here. Autumn recipes can be found here and here.

Continue reading “Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal with Mung Dal and Coconut”

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”

Urad and Red Rice Kitchari | Khichuri

An unusual kitchari, oven cooked, slow cooked, or stove top.

Rediscovering a wonderful ceramic oven dish with lid, it was put to use cooking another kitchari, this time made with red rice. Most Indian and some Asian groceries will stock red rice. Red rice is a very healthy rice – I use Rosa Matta rice from Kerala, but there are several different varieties.

This kitchari originates from Korea, but I have made it more Indian than Korean. It is not a traditional Indian kitchari, but is very tasty, and can be cooked on the stove top, in the oven or in a slow cooker.

Are you looking for Kitchari recipes? Browse them here. Have a look at our rice recipes here and here also. Explore the Urad recipes here and here. And read about Rosa Matta Rice as well.

Continue reading “Urad and Red Rice Kitchari | Khichuri”

A Simple Bean Sprout Stir Fry with Spices | Bean Sprout Sundal

A quick dish, great for when you need to eat healthy but don’t have a lot of time.

Sometimes life throws us curveballs. In such times, it is great to stay intent on what keeps use healthy and focused. Simple and great food that is full of goodness is the best way to go.

Eat well at any time, and lift it to the next level when life is tough.

You might also like to try Sweet Corn Sundal, Adzuki Bean Sundal, Sprouted Green Gram Sundal, and White Pea Sundal. Or you can make a sundal with du Puy Lentils or some mung dal, equally as delicious. Explore all of the Sundal Recipes, they are all quick and gorgeous.

Continue reading “A Simple Bean Sprout Stir Fry with Spices | Bean Sprout Sundal”

Cheela | Pudla | My Style

A thinner Pudla, almost a Cheela, perfect for breakfasts and snacks.

Today, when the world did not seem right, I made pudla, filled with spring onions (aka green onions in the US) and a delish chutney gifted by a friend.

Pudla is a great quick and healthy snack that is endlessly versatile. There are more Pudla recipes here. Also browse our Chickpea Flour recipes here and here. You might be looking for our Snacks here and here.

Continue reading “Cheela | Pudla | My Style”

Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad

Mung Beans shine in this beautiful salad.

There is a thing about your own cooking that embodies your preferences, and they were built from childhood food experiences, your culture, your climate and  your food journey through life.  So, like it or not, cooking is not formulaic. You twist and turn while following a recipe. You massage it here and there. You add and subtract. You compensate and accentuate. And you cook something that is pleasing to you and to those you love.

So it is with Ottolenghi. I love his recipes, but there are some things that don’t suit my preferences – or my climate. Although he does really well internationalising his dishes, unlike Nigel Slater who unashamedly cooks for an English audience, some things jar with me. For example, his over use of feta when it is not needed to enhance the dish is perhaps a fashion thing. Or maybe to enhance the visuals. Or perhaps the feta is betta in London. Or maybe it is just my preference to use only small amounts. Continue reading “Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad”

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 Delicious Chickpea Salad

I love to make this with chickpeas hot from the pan, but can be made with a can of chickpeas too.

There is something very special about chickpeas hot from the pan, drizzled with olive oil, and only then sprinkled with salt and some lemon (not lime) juice squeezed over. The hot chickpeas release their aroma to the olive oil and the olive oil its aroma to the chickpeas. It is quite special.

My favourite way of cooking chickpeas is on the slow cooker setting of my rice cooker. Set it for 9 hours or so, and then let it sit on the Warm setting for several hours. There is no need to be precise with a slow cooker – but be sure it is a “slow” cooker, not just a “bit slower than normal” cooker. I have one of those too, in my cupboard, used occasionally.

You might also like to try Smashed Chickpeas with Broccoli and Dukkah, Chickpea Sundal (Indian Salad), or Dal Makhani. Browse all of the Chickpea recipes here and here. Explore the Bittman Salads or all of the Salad recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Autumn recipes here and here.

Continue reading “Simple Delicious Chickpea Salad”

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”