Urad Tamatar Dal | Urad Dal with Tomatoes and Purslane

A favourite of our family

Purslane is abundant in our garden even in Autumn. All season, since early December, it appears in different parts of the garden. We have followed it around, pulling out the plants and using the leaves. A nice way to keep it under control.

Today we have used it in an urad dal, and it turned out to add that beautiful lemony flavour to the dish as well as a little texture against the creamy urad. I hope you like this dish.

Are you looking for similar Dal recipes? Try Ghol Takatli Bhaji, Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, Simple Monk’s Dal, Urad with Tomato, Coconut and Coriander, Urad Dal Sundal, and Urad Dal Garlic Rice. Or try Moolangi Tovve (Daikon Dal).

Also browse How to Use Purslane in Salads.

Browse all of the Urad recipes and our Indian recipes. Check out our Indian Essentials. Our Dal dishes are here. Or explore and be inspired by our easy Late Autumn recipes.

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Daunker Pachadi | Danger Pachadi | Urad Dal

Daunker Pachadi, also known as Dangar, Danger, Daanger, or Urad Dal Pachadi,  is a simple pachadi that is very famous in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. It is not made very often now, one of the forgotten recipes of Tamil Nadu. It is a pity because it has quite a unique flavour from the black gram powder mixed into the pachadi.

This Pachadi is a great accompaniment for Vathal Kuzhambu, Rasam or Sambar with rice or just with a mixed rice dish. There are some variations from other parts of Tamil Nadu and beyond, such as Chettinadu.

In Thajavur, there are couple of different versions of this  – one with unroasted urad flour, and one where the flour is roasted. I have included both recipes below.

These recipes are from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books. 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 recipes include Okra Pachadi, Nethu Kottu Flour Pachadi, Methi Sprouts Tambuli, Boondhi Pachadi, Tri Colour Pachadi, and Sago Kitchari.

Browse all of our Urad recipes and all of our Pachadis. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Super Healthy Urad and Red Rice Kitchari with Spinach

As you know, I am a sucker for a good kitchari. The best known kitchari dishes are made with rice and mung dal, but in fact it can be made with any grains and lentils cooked together. You can see a range of different ones here. Today’s version uses the delicious Urad Dal with some Red Rice.

As an aside, kitchari is often called risotto by some recipe writers/sharers. This is not accurate – kitchari might be closer to a congee even tho that also is not a great analogy. Read here to see the differences between kitchari and risotto – including that risotto is perfectly cooked rice, just a little al dente, and kitchari often over-cooks the rice to form a gorgeous porridge-like texture. This is especially true in the South of India. In the North, it can be closer to a pilau or pilaf – still a long way from a risotto.

Any red rice can be used in this recipe. I am using a Wild Red Rice (labelled Forbidden Rice in the supermarket), but red Basmati can be used or a Keralite or Sri Lankan red rice. I have also made it with an equal ratio of Urad Dal, Pongal Rice and Wild Red Rice. In a pinch, make it with any white rice in place of the red rice.

Keep in mind that urad dal has a great affinity for ghee/butter and cumin seeds. Tomatoes also. Best not to skimp on these ingredients.

Similar recipes include Moth Bean Kitchari, Ghee Pongal, and Sabudana Kitchari.

Browse all of our Kitchari recipes and all of our Urad Dal dishes. Or browse our Late Winter recipes.

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Indian Essentials: Black Gram Powder (Raw and Roasted) | Urad Powder and Flour

Black gram powder/flour is used in a range of South Indian dishes including yummy snacks. It is easy to make and hardly needs a recipe.

If making roasted powder, roast the urad first. Take hulled whole urad and roast in a dry pan until the beans are aromatic and turning red. Watch carefully so it does not burn.

For raw and roasted powder, now grind the urad into a fine powder.

Use in recipes as instructed. Continue reading “Indian Essentials: Black Gram Powder (Raw and Roasted) | Urad Powder and Flour”

Buttery Dal, with Urad and Tomatoes

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.

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Herby Masala Vadai with Tomato Mint Chutney

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.

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Malabar Spinach with Urad Dalvegeyum

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.

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Dal Bukhara | Creamy Black Gram 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.

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Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways

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.

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Begun Pora with Bori | Bengali Eggplant Puree with Fried Urad Dumpling Crumbles

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 Trinidad Style Baigan Choka, Eggplant with Coriander, Baingan Tamatar, Urad Dal with Onions Four Ways, Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate, Begun PoraBaingan Bharta and our Wadi recipes.

Are you after Eggplant recipes? Try Algerian Eggplant Salad/Spread, BabaganoushSaffron 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”