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.
Continue reading “Buttery Dal, with Urad and Tomatoes”
We are here, munching some Masala Vadai for afternoon tea. These vadai are chock-a-block full of herbs – coriander and dill. Dill is an uncommon (but not unusual) herb in Indian cuisine, but its use here is wonderful.
The recipe is adapted from one in the book Tiffin by Rukmini Srinivas. We’ve been enjoying reading from it and now want to cook the recipes. The original includes flax seeds which is a very healthy addition, but we have left them out this time.
The recipe is very adaptable. The paste is made from urad, channa and toor dals with the herbs, onions, chilli and ginger added. I can imagine these made with slightly mashed broad beans (the Western type of broad beans), for example, or a coarse mash of peas. Finely chopped capsicums or finely grated carrots would be a variation if you were sick of the herbs.
The Tomato Mint Chutney is delightful and pairs well with the vadai. Sometimes I will use sweet chilli sauce, or a herby yoghurt dip, or an Indian green chutney.
A high speed blender like Vitamix is best for grinding the lentils if you don’t have an Indian grinder. Use one that has a tamper if you can, to minimise the number of times you have to scrape the sides down. One of the modern high speed food processors might also work well. Remember that you want a coarse mix, not a fine paste. Also the mix needs to be shaped into patties, so do not add water unless absolutely necessary.
Similar recipes include Aama Vadai, Broad Bean and Mint Vadai, Falafel, and Tattai Vadai.
Browse all of our Vadai and all of our Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.
Continue reading “Herby Masala Vadai with Tomato Mint Chutney”
Malabar Spinach is freely available in Asian and other shops from Mid Summer, and is a lovely alternative to real spinach and other greens. Today we cook it fairly simply with urad dal for a very earthy dish that has a slight bitterness. It does not use many spices, and is gorgeous with some potatoes with chilli and onion.
Similar dishes include Buttery Urad Dal with Tomatoes, Malabar Spinach Pakora, and Malabar Spinach in Spicy Gravy.
Browse all of our Malabar Spinach recipes and all of our Urad recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Malabar Spinach with Urad Dal”
They say that Dal Bukhara was made famous by the Bukhara Restaurant ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi, but it is definitely a Punjabi style dish. Trying to find the origins of the dish is difficult, with some claiming it was created by the restaurant, some saying it comes from Bukhara in Uzbekistan, and others claiming it is a Punjabi dish from the 1700’s. This article has some interesting insights into the origin of both Dal Makhani and Dal Bukhara. Whatever the origin, the chef at Bukhara most likely adapted an existing recipe to suit the sophistication of the restaurant.
Dal Bukhara is often compared to Dal Makhani, although the dishes are distinctly different with different spicing. It is made with whole urad that is black in colour because it is unhulled. Slow cooked, it makes a deliciously creamy dal, and in this recipe its flavour is heightened with tomatoes, ginger and garlic as well as other spices.
In my recipe I use a slow cooker to cook the lentils, and the deep taste and creamy texture are accentuated this way. In this way the dish does not rely on cream and butter for its texture. However they can be added – see the notes below the recipe for this variation. The lentils can also be cooked on the stove top – cook them until soft and then continue with the recipe.
Similar recipes include Whole Urad and Rajma Dal, Amritsari Dal, and Ma di Dal.
Browse our Urad recipes and our different Dals. Our Punjabi dishes are here, Indian recipes here and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Mid Spring dishes.
Continue reading “Dal Bukhara | Creamy Black Gram 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”
Begun Pora is the Bengali rustic cousin of the Punjabi Baingan Bharta, less well known than Baingan Bharta but no less well loved. This has the tastes of Bengal and is totally different in flavour to its cousin. We have already posted one recipe for Begun Pora – but today’s recipe is a different version of that dish.
The idea for this particular dish came from Bengali Cooking: Seasons and Festivals, a wonderful and highly readable book on the amazing food of that state. The author describes how he uses bori in his Begun Pora. What a great idea! It may not be traditional, but it is full of flavour.
Similar recipes include Eggplant with Coriander, Baingan Tamatar, Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate, Begun Pora, Baingan Bharta and our Wadi recipes.
Are you after Eggplant recipes? Try Algerian Eggplant Salad/Spread, Babaganoush, Saffron and Rose Scented Eggplant, and Japanese Baked Eggplant.
Or perhaps you would like other Bengali dishes. Try Bengali Vegetable Kitchari and Bengali Rice Kheer.
Have a look at all of our Eggplant recipes, and all of our Bengali recipes. Perhaps you want more Indian dishes. Or simply explore our Early Autumn feasts.
Continue reading “Begun Pora with Bori | Bengali Eggplant Puree with Fried Urad Dumpling Crumbles”
Urad Sprouts make a delicious Sundal
Sundals, from Tamil Nadu in South India, are quick, stir-fried lentils or beans with spices and coconut. Not only are they quick, they are delicious and healthy.
Sprouting the lentils adds another layer of nutrition and flavour. In this recipe, whole urad lentils are sprouted and then stirfried.
Similar recipes include Bean Sprout Sundal, Brown Lentil Sprouts Sundal, Sprouted White Pea Sundal, and Urad Dal Sundal.
Check out our other Sundal recipes for quick and easy snacks or side dishes. Sundals can also be used as prasadam and neivedyam for Navaratri or Ganesha Chaturthi and other Hindu Festivals. Click the links for other recipes for these festivals. Or explore our collection of Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here.
Continue reading “Black Gram Sprouts Sundal | Quick Urad Lentil Stirfry with Coconut”
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 Buttery Urad Dal with Tomatoes, Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, 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”
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. There are many varieties from India, Sri Lanka and Bali for example. Red rice is a very healthy rice – I have used Rosa Matta rice from Kerala in this recipe.
Surprisingly, the combination of urad and red rice in a kitchari dish has its origins in 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.
Similar recipes include Bhuna Kitchari with 5 Lentils, and Bengali Vegetable Kitchari.
Are you looking for Kitchari recipes? Browse them here. Have a look at our rice recipes amd eexplore the Urad recipes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Or browse all of our Early Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Urad and Red Rice Kitchari | Khichuri”
Urad sprouts are unusual, and here they are in a yoghurt gravy.
This is a dish from Maharashtra in India. Whole urad or muth beans and sprouts are the traditional favorites, but you can also use sprouted chick peas, aduki or mung beans in this dish. Sprouted beans are bursting with nutrition because they are a living, growing food. When left raw, their flavor may be strange to the newcomer. In this dish, however, flavor is obtained without sacrificing the nutritive value of the sprouts.
Similar dishes include Mixed Sprouts Usal, and Masoor Sprouts Usal.
Check out all of the Urad recipes . Perhaps you are also looking for sprouts recipes. Browse Yamuna Devi’s recipes. OR be inspired by our Mid Autumn dishes . You can also browse our Indian Essentials.
Continue reading “Urad Lentil Sprouts in a Sesame Coconut Yoghurt Sauce | Sabut Urad Usal”