All posts filed under: Daal/Lentils

Daal Vada

Bullet Banana Daal Vada

Happy 2014! It’s a new year and time to start getting excited about the adventures ahead. This year I get to marry my best friend and biggest supporter in all my work and passions. I have never felt so excited and nervous in my whole life. I thought it would only be right to begin the year with a recipe that’s close to my heart; one which combines my love for Gujarati and East-African food in a beautiful way. Traditional Gujarati Daal Vada are crunchy, spicy and perfect for dipping into yoghurt. My East-African version incorporates bananas to add a hint of sweetness against the intense chilli and lemon heat. The magical thing about adding ripe banana to the batter is that it reacts with the lemon and baking powder, creating a puffy, fluffy-in-the-middle fritters that still have an incredible golden crunch on the outside because of the ground mung daal, urad daal and rice. For me, rice is an important addition to any Daal Vada recipe because it ensures the fritters are crispy on …

Daal Makhani Recipe

Daal Makhani

Comfort food doesn’t get any better than a bowl of piping hot, creamy, spicy lentils topped with crispy onions, fried green chillies and crunchy fried spinach. Urad, or black gram lentils are a staple in Indian homes and are used for making a variety of dishes from simple daals to elaborate Masala Dosa. They’re packed with protein and have a heartier texture than mung beans. Because of their tougher texture, they need to be cooked thoroughly to extract as much of their creamy starchiness as possible. I find the easiest way to do this is to soak the urad daal overnight and cook them using a pressure cooker – something you’ll find in every Indian home, rather than it being just an alien contraption collecting dust in the back of your Nan’s cupboard. Growing up, I was reared on Gujarati Urad Daal rather than the richer Punjabi version of black gram lentils more popular on restaurant menus around the globe. We were taught that eating urad daal every Saturday (the holy day of Hanuman, the …

Mombasa-style Kachori

Mombasa-style Daal Kachori

Spiced Daal and Green Mango in Flaky Pastry Deep fried starters; once you eat one, you’ll always go back for a second. Fact. Kachori are like the forgotten little sister of samosa – the underdog starter that accidently slipped through the fingers of Western restaurateurs. I cannot emphasise enough how good lentils are with sweet, hot and sour flavours. The addition of sour green mango cuts through the richness of the daal and spices and balances the deep heat of the chillies, ginger and cinnamon perfectly. These kachori are inspired by those sold at the famous Bhagwanjis sweet mart in Mombasa, Kenya. My entire family raves about Kenya-style kachori and these, along with Bateta Vada, are guaranteed to put a smile on my dad’s face. And I can vouch that he has great taste. Kachori come in all flavours, shapes and sizes. You can stuff the classic flaky pastry with crushed green peas, urad daal or even potatoes. They can be made into UFO-like patties and topped with yoghurt, chopped onions and tomatoes to make …

Sizzling Chilli Idli (F)

Sizzling Chilli Idli

There’s nothing more OTT than being the table that orders the ‘sizzler’ in a restaurant; the loud crackling noise, the aromatic waft of spices and the annoyingly smug smiles on the diners’ faces. It immediately reminds me of how it feels to be on the receiving end as I sit there with my lacklustre Aloo Chaat, thinking, ‘Sizzlers are so overrated and tacky… but I’ll get one next time. It’s a love/hate thing. Whether it’s crowned with vegetables, paneer, cassava or meat, sizzlers are notorious for their sticky, spicy sauces made with plenty of chilli and garlic. It’s not something you’d order on a first date. I’m not ashamed to admit I own a sizzler (purely for showing-off purposes) and although you know my first love in life is paneer, I’m sizzling up something more unusual this time. Idli or South Indian rice cakes are made with ground rice and split urad daal which have been gently steamed. Because idli are so perfect fresh from the steamer, leftovers are often overlooked (at my house, anyway). …

masala-dosa

Mini Masala Dosa

I’m yet to meet a person who doesn’t love masala dosas. A light, healthy meal full of nutrients and flavour, dosas are widely popular on restaurant menus and in roadside cafés. Ever since I was a little girl I have always associated these crispy rolls of spicy potato with family outings to a nearby vegetarian restaurant which serves ‘monster dosas’. If you hadn’t already guessed, these are gigantic versions of the South Indian speciality. When I say gigantic I’m talking over a ft long. We didn’t always go out to eat moster dosas, sometimes we were treated to the special type of masala dosas – homemade ones. Fresh curry leaves On strained tiptoes, I used to peek over the stove top to watch my mother swirl the thinnest sheet of batter you’ve ever laid eyes on, as glorious mix of anxiety and hunger slowly took over my pot belly. As soon as I saw the faintest tinge of golden brown through the pancake, I’d run to pick up one of our very Indian Pyrex plates …

black-bean-chilli

Black Bean and Chocolate Chilli

Don’t give me that look – I know what you’re thinking. This weekend has been rush, rush, rush. I was panicking all day yesterday wondering what on earth I was going to present to you. I annoyed other people into helping me think of something, which has never really happened before. Shall I let you in on how this whole blogging shebang works for me? I wake up on Monday mornings, droopy-eyed and full of bitterness about how quickly the weekend flew by, why it’s so damn cold and why I’m wearing two coats (yeah I know, what the hell, right?) Around lunchtime I start to wonder what could possibly sweeten up my mood.   Thinking about food usually does it for me. I couldn’t tell you why – although my belly, bingo wings and thunder thighs probably could. Figuring out what to eat by ingredient is much too complex for me, so I usually work out what would hit the spot by cuisine. I do a hi-tech international Matrix-styleè brain scan of what I’d …

mung-dal-paneer-samosa

Little Mung Daal and Paneer Samosas

Isn’t miniature food always better than supersized food? Take cupcakes for instance; tiny morsels of individually iced, fluffy cake is so much more alluring than a massive, calorie-laden, brick-ish cake. Well, for me anyway. In the same way, I would always pick a box of tiny chocolate truffles over a chunky chocolate bar. If you had given me the choice when I was a child I would have definitely supersized every time. Hence the regrettable existence of the unsightly pot-belly that tormented me in my early years.   I consume far too much salt, sugar and fat, which I am told will affect my twentysomething body in a number of gruesome ways before I hit my thirties and forties. This is one of those recipes which will carry most of the blame. Luckily for you, I miniaturised these delicious mung daal and paneer samosas so that you can enjoy them without all of the guilt and fear of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Just don’t eat all of them at once. Having said …

three-lentil-daal

Three-Lentil Daal

Great news. No, not great news. Amazing news. KO Rasoi’s recipe for Melt in the Mouth Paneer Kofta has been selected as one of the top 100 entries for the Foodista Best of Food Blogs competition. The recipe will feature in a full colour cookbook which will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing this October. I’ll give you more details as and when I find out information. How exciting is this for us?! The little veggie blog is taking baby footsteps and I like where it seems to be heading. Cooking, eating, writing; these are the things that I can use to escape in to a world where my passion for food roams freely and relentlessly. Rather like a starving gerbil on Shandy. What I would like to do most is thank you all for such wonderful feedback and supportive comments. You are the people that make KO Rasoi shine, not other things like scrummy cheesecakes (although, those are yummy and almost as attractive than you are). Stop blushing. Moving swiftly on… In order to celebrate this exciting …

matoki-burgers-fi

The KO Rasoi BBQ Season: Matoki (Green Banana) Burgers

Back for more already, huh? During this series, I want to show you that vegetarian barbecues don’t just have to be about veggie sausages and tired-looking veggie burgers. If they were then the barbecue world would be a really, really sad place. Well, for me anyway. Whenever I’m asked to attend barbecues I pray and pray that I won’t be sitting in a corner eating some store-bought meat-free burger. Yawn. To my dismay, unless I bring my own food this is usually the case at such affairs. Is some decent barbecue nosh really too much to ask our carnivorous chums for? Allow me to demonstrate: These burgers are made from green bananas, chickpeas and a load of fresh flavours, and boring they ain’t. No, no, no; the green bananas don’t impart any particularly banana-ish flavour. They have a deliciously rich texture akin to probably the richest, creamiest, firmest sweet potato your taste buds have ever encountered. The taste however, is only slightly sweet and absorbent of any flavours you fancy adding. Why Sanjana, they sound perfect …

urad-daal

Gujarati-Style Urad Daal

This recipe was requested by Max- A reader with an inspiring passion for Gujarati food. Prepare yourselves to be psychologically transported to Gujarat with this hearty daal dish. Urad daal (also known as black gram) are used all over India, in a huge variety of dishes. They make hearty lunch or dinner stews in Northern and Western India, whereas they grace the breakfast tables of South Indian homes in their skinned-split form. These lentils are so versatile; they can be used whole, split or ground to make curries, soups, steamed savoury cakes (idlis) and even those notoriously delicious lentil pancakes (dosa). The earthy, iron-richness of the whole lentils make a traditional and popular meal for peasant workers on Indian farms, and can be served with a variety of breads like naan, chapattis and rotla, and also plain basmati rice. Add plenty of butter or ghee at your will (and mine), although this will not be necessary to add creaminess to the dish. When cooked, urad daal bleed a thick, glutinous liquid which will make your …

mung-bean-curry-slide

Gujarati Dry Mung Bean Curry

As promised, here is a recipe for a traditional, flavour-packed dry curry which pairs brilliantly with Gujarati Kadhi. If you know someone who is notorious for complaining about ‘boring old lentils’- or indeed you are that person, then I very much doubt you will feel the same way about this dish. Traditionally, the predominant flavours are garlic and a little cinnamon. Have I ever told you how amazing cinnamon is with lentils? I have now. The strong flavours of this Dry Mung Bean Curry completes a meal when paired with mellower dishes like Kadhi and plain rice. I really hope you give it a try… It’s one of my favourites! Ingredients (Serves 4) 1 ½ cups mung beans 1 small pinch baking powder 1 tbsp sunflower oil 1 tsp mustard seeds 2 tsp cumin seeds ¼ tsp asafoetida (optional) 5-6 curry leaves 1 tbsp garlic, minced 2 medium hot chillies, minced 1 medium tomato, chopped ½ tsp turmeric 1 tbsp lemon juice or to taste 1 tsp cinnamon powder Salt to taste Sugar to taste ¼ …

Spinach and Mung Bean Soup

Secretly Decadent Spinach and Mung Bean Soup

A little twist on an old Gujarati classic   Iron-rich foods are essential for vegetarians who without it, may feel constantly lethargic, tired and run-down. I speak not from formal education in food nutrition, but from experience. We all need iron in our diets to keep us strong like Popeye (Popeye, if you’re reading this, I have an inkling that you will LOVE it!) Since having iron-deficiency problems, spinach has been my number one best friend. Although I’ve been eating mung bean soup since I was a child, I was never really a fan of it (perhaps because it was a staple in the house and I probably got bored with it). I eat mung beans now because I finally realised how good they are for my health. So here is an iron-packed soup that is both rich in vitamins and flavour, that even I, (a former arch enemy of the cute lil mung bean) enjoy to the max!   Growing up, I never had mung bean soup pureed; the beans were simply served whole in …