Bachelor-friendly, Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Vegan

Methi Dal – Fenugreek Leaves Dal

Methi DalWhen you are short of time and want to make just one dish, dal with vegetables is a good choice. Wholesome, nutritious, easy, and quick to make; it goes well with both roti and rice. At home, we call dal with vegetables as moloshyam. There are many variations to this recipe and you really don’t need to refer to a recipe to make it. Make it as simple or as elaborate as you want to. On a day that you feel adventurous and have time to experiment with, you can try this dal with more vegetables and spice combinations. On a busy day, you can make it simple by just pressure cooking the dal and add the sauteed greens later.

Ingredients:
Toor dal – 3/4 cup
Chopped fenugreek/methi/uluva leaves – 1-2 cups (packed)
Onion chopped – 1/4 cup
Garlic (chopped – 1 tsp
Green chilies chopped/red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Tomato chopped – 1 /4 cup
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin (jeera) seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Asafetida/hing/kayam powder – a pinch
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 3-4

Method:
Rinse the dal and soak in water for 2-3 hours. Drain the water, add 2 cups of water, and pressure cook until soft.
Heat oil in a pan and allow mustard seeds to crackle. When mustard seeds start crackling, add jeera seeds and asafetida powder. Add chopped garlic and saute. Add chopped onions, green chillies and saute. When the onions turn pink, add tomatoes and cook for 3-4 mins. If instead of green chillies you are using red chilly powder, add that and turmeric powder. Add chopped fenugreek leaves, close with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes. When the methi leaves are cooked, add the cooked dal and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the fire and add lemon juice. Methi dal is ready to be served with warm rotis or rice. Serve along with papad and pickle when serving with rice. Will leave your lips smacking.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Side Dishes, Vegan

Stuffed Brinjal

Another stuffed vegetable that is very similar to the previous one. I have always been a brinjal fan. Isnt it one of the prettiest of vegetables? What a color! When I buy sarees for my mother, I always look for the aubergine or the brinjal flower color because that’s her favorite! Man has not yet mastered the art of replicating the colors of Nature very well, yet we take pride in saying that we came close. Whether it is the purple brinjal or the unique green long brinjal variety, the streaked purple and white ones, or the ivory white one; all taste excellent when cooked with the right ingredients. Who can resist the smell of the smoky bhartha baingan?

Stuffed brinjal is easy to make and makes good accompaniment for rotis or puris. You can go crazy with your imagination and use anything you fancy for the masala of this recipe. Make this one and you will fall in love with brinjal.

Ingredients:
Brinjal (purple small round ones) – 250 gms
Cooking oil (sunflower) – 2 tbsps
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Salt – to taste

For masala:
Onion – 2 (medium sized)
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
Grated coconut / Copra pieces – 2 tbsp
Garlic – 3-4 cloves
Tamarind – 1 lime size
Jaggery – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder – 2 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:

slit brinjalPlease make sure that you use the small purple brinjal variety to make this dish. Wash the brinjal and pat them dry using a cloth. Make slits that cross each other while keeping the stem intact. Ensure that there is no dirt/worms. Keep aside.

Peel and cut the onion. In a pan, dry roast the grated coconut / copra and peanuts. Set aside.
Add one tbsp oil and add chopped onion, garlic, tamarind and saute well. After the onion turns pink, add turmeric power, chilly powder, jaggery, and salt. You may add anything you fancy, like coriander powder, garam masala, or ginger garlic paste instead of garlic. Turn off the flame and let the mixture cool. Grind this to a fine paste in a blender. Add just enough water so that the paste is not too loose. Carefully stuff this paste into the slit brinjal so that the paste of masala coats the insides of the brinjal. If you choose to and have the time and patience, you can keep this aside for half an hour before you start cooking the brinjal. I did not do this and cooked the stuffed brinjal straightaway after stuffing them with the masala.

In a thick bottomed pan, pour 2 tbsp of cooking oil and place the slit brinjal with masala stuffing. Close with a lid. Hold the brinjal stem and turn them over occasionally to cook all sides until the brinjal is tender (about 10-15 minutes on medium fire). If you prefer some gravy for the dish, you can make the masala slightly watery and that will make the dish watery. If you prefer it tangy, you can cook the stuffed brinjal in tomato puree. When the brinjal is tender, remove from fire, and add chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rotis or warm rice.

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Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Side Dishes, Vegan

Stuffed Bhindi/Okra

This is definitely a rich one! Once you try this stuffing, you will give up your other mundane bhindi subzis. It is an excellent combination with roti. I had this dish first when my friend’s aunt packed this along with rotis for our train journey. She had given us fairly big portions, but my friend and I licked it clean in a single sitting. First thing we did after finishing it was call up my friend’s aunt and get the recipe. The unusual ingredients (copra and peanuts) turn the otherwise dull bhindi into an exotic dish. Here is how to make it.

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Ingredients:
Bhindi/okra/lady’s finger – 250 gms
Copra/dried coconut kernel shavings – 1 cup
Peanuts – 1/2 cup
Garlic pod (medium sized) – 1
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – as needed

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves 2

BhindiMethod:
The okra that you choose for this subzi should be of small size. Use only the tender ones. Make sure that you wash them thoroughly and pat dry. Remove both the ends and make a single slit on the okra ensuring that it does not split into two. Okra is a favorite hideout for worms! So make sure that you check for any dirt or worms. Keep aside.

Slice the copra into small, even pieces. In a thick bottomed pan, dry roast the copra pieces until golden brown (for around 5 minutes). Remove from fire. Dry roast the peanuts in medium fire for around 5 minutes. When the peanuts start changing color, remove from fire. Grind the roasted peanuts, copra, garlic pod, and chilly powder in a blender to make a coarsely ground powder.

In a pan, pour one tbsp oil and add the slit okra. Close with a lid and cook for 3 minutes in medium fire. Stir occasionally. When the okra is half cooked, add the the coarsely ground powder. Add the required amount of salt, stir, and close with a lid. Cook for 5 mins in medium fire. Stir occasionally. Stuffed okra is ready. Serve hot with warm rotis. Since this is a dry subzi, you may serve it along with dal.

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