Puy, Beluga or Horse Gram Lentil Stew with Aubergine

For this divine Wintery lentil stew, an earthy, dark lentil is called for. Puy lentils are a common choice, and the dark Beluga is excellent. I also love to make it with either Horse Gram or Matki lentils – brown, earthy and delicious lentils that you can get from your Indian shop. How good these are.

Despite the very familiar ingredients, the result is a bit magic and unexpected. It is an O. M. G. dish. The texture of the lentils with the silkiness of the eggplant. The pop of the tomato flavour, the way the sour cream enhances the dish, the heat of the chilli and the Greekness of the oregano.

Serve as it is, for a light meal, or bulk it up by spooning on top of rice, on slices of grilled or toasted sourdough. You can serve the stew either as a hearty starter or a side, or as a main served with any grain you like. It can be made up to three days ahead and kept in the fridge–just warm through then add the creme fraiche, oil, chilli flakes and oregano before serving. It’s at its best served warm, but is also very good at room temperature.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe – or at least it was until I, naturally, played with it a little. The key change was in the lentil used, but if you like you can check the original recipe. We always feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area, or to massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

Similar recipes include Beluga Lentil Salad with Pomegranate Molasses, Citrusy Beetroot with Puy Lentils, and Horse Gram Dal.

Browse our Horse Gram, Puy, Beluga and Aubergine recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Moth Bean Kitchari | Matki Khichuri

There are many many versions of Kitchari – I recently saw a list of 90 different kitchari recipes. And that would just be the tip of the iceberg. Today we make kitchari with Moth Beans.

Moth Beans (pronounced Mot-h) are packed with nutrition. Here they are cooked with rice, onions, garlic, spices and tomato, for a delicious any-time meal or snack. Omit the onions and garlic if preferred.

Similar recipes include Bisi Bele Huriyanna, Moth Bean (Matki) Dal, Latka Kitchari, Bengali Vegetable Khichuri, and Cauliflower and Broken Wheat Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari dishes, and all of our Rice recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Sprouts Usal

Sprouts must be one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and so easy to make at home. You can sprout any whole lentil from your Indian shop and most from your supermarket – also some spices like fenugreek which makes lovely sprouts.

The sprouts are added to oil and spices, and are quickly tossed. Then water is added and the sprouts are left to steam until soft. This is quite different to the Chinese/Asian treatment of sprouts, which is to stirfry them. It is a reflection of the different style of sprouts used in the two areas. In India, sprouts are short, barely 1 cm long. Lentils and beans are sprouted until the tiny sprout has shown its face, and then they are cooked. In Chinese cuisines, the sprouts are left to grow until 5 or 6 cm long to add crunchy, fresh, textural elements to a dish.

In India, there is a difference between Usal and Misal dishes – sometimes the two dishes are confused. Usal is a spiced sprouts dish made with one or more sprouted lentils and beans. Traditionally Usal is made with sprouts of moth beans (matki). Usal can be eaten as is, or Misal is made. For Misal, the cooked sprouts are immersed in a spicy thin gravy and topped with farsan, sev, onion, coriander and lemon wedges. Both Misal and Usal can be eaten with Pav – Indian bread buns.

Usually people mix elements of both dishes, according to their taste and preferences – here the Usal is topped with coriander, coconut, onion and lemon.

The book Tiffin by Srinivas is not only a terrific read, it has many recipes are full flavoured and perfectly balanced. This recipe is one for a mix of sprouts, cooked over low heat with spices.Β  Delicious.

Similar recipes include Salad of Sprouts, Masoor Sprouts Rice, Pudla with Mung Sprouts, and Sprouts Sundal.

Browse all of our Sprouts recipes and all of our Usal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Dal with Moth Beans | Dal with Matki Beans

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.

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