Indian delights: Sweet and sour toor dal

November 3, 2013

Sweet and Sour Toor Dal

Rounding out our Indian meal, we definitely cannot forget to include a dal, or lentil dish, on our plate. Dal is a staple at the South Indian table, bringing a good dose of digestible protein to the vegetarian cuisine. While I’m sure there are millions upon millions of recipes and variations for dal – just the types of lentils alone: toor dal, urid dal, moong dal, masoor dal, and I could go on and on and on, not to mention that every cook has their own unique spice blend – I decided to share this recipe for a sweet and sour toor dal because I found it to be rather unique. When I say sweet and sour, I don’t mean like your local Chinese joint’s chicken; it’s a much more subtle flavor. While I made a special trip to the Indian grocery to pick up kokum, an acidic, dried fruit, upon opening the package it immediately reminded me of pomegranate, which makes a nice substitute in this recipe if you don’t have a local Indian grocer to frequent.

And that’s how this South Indian meal becomes complete. A couple of vegetarian dishes like poriyal, bhindi masala, green bean bhaji, or some masala potatoes, basmati rice, a bit of dal, a little Indian pickle (which you can buy, or I might post my favorite mango pickle here soon) and maybe some raita or yogurt to cool things down, and you have a veritable feast! (more…)

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Kitch-aaaarrrrrrrr-i!

July 3, 2012

Kitchari with Pakora

A while back, I was feeling a bit sniffly and stuffy, so I spent a few days on the couch browsing the web. Apparently I was in the frame of mind to check out Ayurvedic remedies for my stuffy nose, and thus I spent a lot of time reading blogs and articles stuffed to the brim with advice and ways of life from the sub-continent.

Kitchari was apparently the new kid on the block (or, as it is, the newly discovered elder on the block). I read multiple articles about its abilities to help you cleanse, its ease on your digestive system, its nutritional values (apparently it is a complete protein, though I’m thinking that has more to do with the dal, less to do with the rice and spices). While I scoffed at the idea of eating nothing but this moong dal and rice mixture for any amount of time, my stomach started to growl and the craving had set in. I already had some leftover, new-age pakora in my fridge; this could just be a spicy rice addition with a little beans. Plus, it’s healthy, right?

So I consulted the various recipes I had found around the internets (that link being one of them), then I cracked open my favorite Indian cookbook from “the food of” series, and I started devising a recipe. (more…)

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