Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Fragrant Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar

Fresh Tuvar (Toor Dal, Kandulu)
Fresh Tuvar (pacchi kandulu)

Toor dal is among the most easily digestible of all food, and can serve as central element in a meatfree diet. The nourishing toor dal starts its life as an oval-shaped bean in beautiful green, neatly tucked in a row in a tuvar pod. Each tuvar pod contains about four to six plump tuvar beans. Exquisitely dense and full of spring-flavor, fresh tuvar, like green peas and green garbanzos, is a culinary delight when lightly cooked.

At Nandyala, fresh tuvar pods appear at farmers markets for a few weeks during summer time. Streetside vendors sell boiled tuvar pods in paper packets for as little as your pocket change. At our home, we used to simmer the whole pods in salted water and then shell the pods to snack on the cooked beans. Luckily, in recent years, the local Indian grocery shops in the United States have started importing fresh tuvar from India. Already shelled and in frozen avatar, a pound is usually priced at two to three dollars. It’s a good buy.

If you haven’t tried this protein powerhouse yet, you must now. Lightly cook fresh tuvar beans in salted water for a delicious snack. Or add them whole to vegetable curries or kurmas, and to rice preparations. This lentil lifeline instantly livens up any preparation.

For today’s meal, I made basmati pulao with fresh mint and tuvar. Easy to cook, incredibly fragrant and best of all, it’s so rich in flavor because of fresh mint and tuvar, that it needs little enhancement. Imagine pasta or orzo tossed in flavorful mint pesto ; almost the same taste here, but with basmati rice.

Fresh Coconut, Mint and Tuvar
Fresh Coconut, Mint and Tuvar

Recipe:
(for four to six people)

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup fresh tuvar
¼ cup roasted cashews
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peanut oil

To prepare masala: Take about 2 cups fresh mint leaves in a Sumeet style mixer. Add two tablespoons of fresh, grated coconut, 5 green chillies, 4 cloves and a one-inch cinnamon piece. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and blend them together to fine paste.

To prepare Mint Pulao: Heat the oil in a big pan over medium heat. Add the onion and Tuvar. Saute to tender. Next, add and cook the ground masala paste, over low heat, stirring for about five minutes, until it turns to pale green from bright green color. To the cooked masala, add the basmati rice, salt and about 5 cups of water. Mix. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until water evaporates and rice cooks to tender. At this stage, add the cashews, and fluff the rice gently with a spoon. Let it sit, covered for five minutes and serve hot.

This mint pilaf is definitely delicious enough to eat on its own, but I have prepared aloo kurma and cucumber raita to go with it. Good meal.

Mint Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar
Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Mint and Tuvar ~ for Linda’s Toor Dal Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mint, Basmati Rice, Fresh Tuvar (Kandulu) (Tuesday December 4, 2007 at 9:16 pm- permalink)
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