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

Cranberry Dal

“Jam, jelly, or marmalade?”

“No sugar, please.”

“How about pairing with dal?”

“Hmm… I need change. Ok. Let’s try that” said the cranberry.

Cranberries, toor dal, green chillies and onion - pressure-cooked together, and flavored with tadka seasoning.

“So, how was the experience?”

“I was skeptical about this idea. But change is good. Toor dal is my new dosth. Alvida to the clingy sugar” beamed the cranberry.

Just because cranberries are tart, we tend to suffocate them and us by adding bucket loads of sugar for any cranberry preparation. But cranberries are versatile. I found out by trying out this dal recipe. It’s definitely a different taste but a decent one. Give it a try.

Cranberries and Toordal
Cranberries and Toor Dal

Cranberry Dal:
(For two or four, for two to one meal)

Toor dal - 3/4 cup
Fresh cranberries - 1/2 cup, about 20 to 25 berries
Red onion, cut pieces - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 10 (small, Indian variety), cut to small pieces

Take them all in a pressure cooker. Add a quarter teaspoon of turmeric and three cups of water. Mix. Close the lid and cook until the dal cooks to soft, mushy stage.

Remove the lid. Add about half teaspoon of salt to the cooked dal. With a whisk or masher, mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Heat a teaspoon of oil or ghee in a small pan. Do the tadka and add it to the dal.

Enjoy the cranberry dal with rice, chapati or bread.

Cranberry Dal with Bread
Cranberry Dal with Bread ~ for Lunch Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Cranberries (Tuesday January 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm- permalink)
Comments (28)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Gongura Pappu (Gongura Dal)

Fresh Gongura

These fresh gongura leaves came all the way from Houston, Texas. Lovingly picked and packed from their backyard garden by our dear friends. I have been longing to get such fresh gongura for a while now and I felt like my prayers were answered. Yes, I love the tangy taste of gongura that much.

The following is one of my favorite gongura preparations. Gongura, toor dal and green chilli, my mother’s recipe, pure gongura love.

Gongura Pappu
(for two or four people, for four to two meals)

Toor dal -3/4 cup
Fresh gongura leaves - about 4 cups, tightly packed
Indian variety, small green chillies - 8 to 10
Shallot or red onion - cut to big chunks, about half cup
Turmeric - ½ teaspoon

Rinse toor dal. Take them in a vessel or pressure-cooker. Add gongura, green chilli and shallot. Also turmeric and two cups of water. Close the lid. Cook the dal, until it reaches fall-apart stage. Add about half teaspoon of salt and gently mash the cooked ingredients together to smooth consistency. Now, infuse the dal with tarka or talimpu, where natural ingredients that are good for well-being are added in small quantity. Daily vitamin dose, Indian way.

1-tablespoon ghee
2 sprigs curry leaves, 2 garlic cloves, slivered,
4 dried red chilli pieces, ½ teaspoon chana dal and urad dal each
¼ teaspoon each - cumin and mustard seeds

Heat ghee in a vessel until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Lower the heat to medium. Add the curry leaves, garlic, dried red chilli, chana dal and urad dal, in the order listed. Toast to pale brown. Then add the cumin and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add the gongura dal. Mix. Serve hot. Great on its own, and also with rice or roti for anytime of the day.

Gongura Pappu and Mango
Andhra Love ~ Gongura Pappu and Mango

Gongura is available at Indian grocery shops during summer season.
This dal doesn’t need tamarind or lemon because of gongura’s potent tangy taste.
If you try this recipe, join and share your photos of gongura pappu at Mahanandi Flickr Pool.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Gongura(Sour Greens), Amma & Authentic Andhra (Monday June 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm- permalink)
Comments (29)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Fresh Flavors ~ Pudina Pappuchaaru

Pudina, Tomato and Shallots

N Balaji, a reader of Mahanandi, suggested this combination of ingredients when I asked for new mint recipes to try. This is a toor dal based chaaru, and mint adds a distinctive and appealing flavor, which seems to improve as it stands. Good one to have on a rainy day.

Pudina Pappuchaaru
(for two, for two meals)

Toor dal - half cup
Pudina - 5 branches, about hand-length
Shallots - 2
Tomato - 1, ripe one
Tamarind pulp and crushed jaggery - a tablespoon each
Turmeric - ¼ teaspoon
Red chilli powder and salt - ½ teaspoon each, or to taste
Tadka ingredients

Prep work:

Pressure cook toor dal in two cups of water to soft. Mash the dal to smooth. Keep it aside. While dal is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Pinch pudina leaves and tender stems. Finely chop- about half cup. Peel and thinly slice shallots lengthwise- about half cup. Cut tomato to small pieces. Soak tamarind pulp in about quarter cup of water.

Cooking time:

1. Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a chaaru paatra (saucepan). Add and toast a sprig of curry leaves, then a pinch each- cumin, mustard seeds and asafetida to fragrance.

2. Add shallots and sauté to pale red. Add tomatoes and mint leaves. Sauté for couple of minutes. Add the tamarind juice, jaggery, turmeric, chilli and salt. Also the cooked and mashed toor dal. Add about one to one and half cups of water. Mix, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the chaaru, partially covering the pot, for about 20 minutes.

Serve warm. Good as it is and excellent when eaten with rice. To serve, place a spoonful of steamed rice in a bowl. Pour four to five ladlefuls of chaaru. Mix with a spoon or your right hand. Enjoy.

Pudina pappuchaaru
Pudina Pappuchaaru with Chitrannam ~ Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Mint (Thursday May 22, 2008 at 5:25 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Maroon Carrots

Peeled Maroon Carrots
Maroon Carrots (skins peeled)

Deep earthy maroon on the exterior and a brilliant red in the interior with an orangish-white center. Subdued sweetness, and lots of crunch.

That is how I would describe maroon carrots. In addition to looking unique, maroon carrots also have nutritional benefits - more beta-carotene than their orange counterparts, and they have antioxidants known as anthocyanins, according to Wise Geek.

This old-time variety is popular in north-Indian farmers markets and usually appears during winter and early spring seasons. They have also started to appear locally here in Seattle, thanks to the rejuvenated interest in all things ancient and natural. At Pike Place Market, they were priced at one dollar a bunch, and I bought one bunch. They still have roots attached, so I peeled the skin and cut with mandoline to thin rounds. They looked so pretty and fresh, within minutes half were gone. Crunch, crunch…

With the remaining half, I have prepared pappuchaaru for our meal today. Toor dal protein, maroon carrots and vine-ripe tomato, soured with tamarind, sweetened with jaggery and seasoned with hing tadka, the pappuchaaru had enough flavor to permit omission of rasam powder. Very mild, soothing to the stomach, chaaru tasted delicious.

Pappuchaaru with Maroon Carrots, Garnished with Haldiram’s Boondi

Pappuchaaru with Maroon Carrots:

Half cup - Toor dal (kandi pappu)
Half cup - Carrots, sliced to thin rounds
One - Ripe tomato, finely chopped
One - Onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon each - tamarind pulp and crushed jaggery
½ teaspoon each - Turmeric and salt
¼ teaspoon - Red chilli powder

Hing tadka:
1 teaspoon - peanut oil
6 curry leaves
Pinch each- cumin and mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon- hing (asafoetida/inguva)

Rinse toordal and take them in a pressure-cooker. Add about two cups of water. Cook to soft. With a wood masher, gently mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Once you are ready with the dal, start the chaaru preparation. In a vessel, heat peanut oil. Add and sauté curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds to fragrance. Add hing and toast for couple of seconds. Add onion, tomato and carrot. Sauté for about five minutes. Add the cooked toor dal, also tamarind, jaggery, turmeric, salt and chilli powder. Add about a cup of water. Mix. Partially cover with a lid, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes to wonderful aroma. (The carrots bleed and color the preparation to reddish-brown, but not too much like beetroots.)

To serve, add a spoonful of cooked rice to a cup. Pour about three to four ladlefuls of pappuchaaru. Mix with a spoon or your right hand. For a tasty crunch, add a papad, few chips or boondi. Enjoy.

(NP: Carbohydrates from rice, quality protein from toor dal, vegetable goodness from carrot and tomato, spices like turmeric and hing for well being.)


A question for you, dear readers

I am more likely to prepare this recipe, if it has

Soup in title, because I think of only Soups as healthy.
Chaaru in title, because I value traditional goodness and age-old wisdom.
Good nutritional profile (NP). I pay more attention to the ingredients list than titles.


Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Carrots, Amma & Authentic Andhra (Tuesday May 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (42)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Cookery, Indic (3) ~ by Veena Parrikar

Regional Rustic Recipes
by Manipal Mahila Samaj

Published in 2007 by Manipal Mahila Samaj at Manipal, in Karnataka, India.

The cooking of our mothers and grandmothers is the bedrock of our gastronomical worlds. It feeds our memories and inspires our culinary efforts, particularly if we are separated from it by distance or, more unfortunately, death. “Just like Amma makes” is the gold standard to which most of us aspire. It is understandable, therefore, that we have forgetten a time when easy and daily access had rendered us somewhat blase about the traditional foods they prepared. We were tired of the idli breakfasts, the pumpkin koddel was boring, the maggey with jackfruit seeds was fodder for the resident comedian at family gatherings, and why, why, did we have to eat moong daal paayas on every festive occasion! What excited our palates and fired our appetites in those days were the dishes sent over by the neighboring aunties: we waited eagerly for the biryani from Salma downstairs, the fudge, marzipan, and cakes sent over by Mrs. De Souza, the sambar from Mrs. Ananthraman, the bisi bele bhaath from Mrs. Rao, the kori-rotti from Mrs. Shetty and the khakra-chunda from Mrs. Parekh. Even dishes from their failed experiments were sometimes more welcome than the daily food prepared at home. Eating out at restaurants was a luxury and street food, a surreptitious pleasure from leftover pocket money in those days, so the only way to sate our hunger for something different was the gifts from neighboring kitchens.

I was reminded of those times when I received the Manipal Mahila Samaj’s cookbook, Regional Rustic Recipes, through the good graces of a friend and old-time resident of Manipal. The Manipal Mahila Samaj publishes an annual magazine for its members; last year, they decided to compile a special issue with recipes contributed by the members. The result is a charming little cookbook with all the strengths and foibles of a homegrown production created in the spirit of community and sharing. It is a ticket to the kitchens of the neighborhood ladies of my days in India.

Back cover

The distinguishing feature of this book is the classification of recipes. Most general cookbooks, Indian or otherwise, are organized along the type or timing of the meal - breakfast, snacks, main dishes, sweets, preserves - or ingredients - rice, grains, vegetables, meat, and spices. Regional Rustic Recipes is primarily organized according to the diverse regional, religious, and linguistic backgrounds of its members. There are other cookbooks, of course, which provide recipes according to the geographical states of India. None of them, however, reflects the challenges inherent in categorizing Indian cuisines into neat boxes demarcated by simple lines of geography, religion, language, or sub-community. Thus, the book’s main chapters are organized by:

- Geography: Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Lucknow;
- Geography and language: Punjabi, Tamilian, Sindhi;
- Religion: Muslims;
- Religion and geography: Mangalore Catholics;
- Community: Goud Saraswat Brahmin; Bunt, Billava, Ganiga and Mogaveera; and
- Religious proscriptions: no onions and garlic.

Within the chapter on Goud Saraswat Brahmins, the recipes are Kerala-style, Maharashtrian, North Kanara, and South Kanara (Udupi-Mangaloreans); and within No Onions & Garlic, there are the Gujaratis, North Indian Jains, South Indian Jains, Kannadiga Brahmins and UPites (Uttar Pradesh)! Kannadigas and Gowdas sit in their own chapter, and perhaps as a nod to the mother state, there is an entire chapter on Karnataka rice items.

The recipes themselves are another strength of the book. They are tried-and-tested, authentic, and do not shy away from using exotic ingredients or difficult procedures. Make no mistake, this is a recipe exchange between cooks who have wielded the ladle for decades. Consequently, this is not a book that is intended for beginner cooks or those inexperienced in regional Indian foods. The text and layout are minimalist, and there are no photographs or sketches inside the book. Neither the contributors of the recipes nor the editors are named; I was told that this was a conscious choice because for many of the recipes, there was no way to attribute the source in an unambiguous manner. The style of writing is reminiscent of handwritten recipes with their terse instructions and use of truncated and abbreviated words such as ing, tsp, min, and pwd. Further, the errors (dagad phool and marathi moggu are said to be the same spice) do not irritate me as much as the banalities (Food is very important in Sindhi culture).

For all its minor flaws, the book is a welcome addition to the seemingly bare landscape of not-for-profit cookbooks in India. By not-for-profit, I am referring to books published by local temples or churches, community organizations, and women’s associations or other groups, with the express purpose of raising money for a social cause or spreading awareness about a particular type of diet or cuisine. I cannot explain my fascination for such cookbooks - perhaps it is the community effort, the sincerity of purpose, or the local flavours that are sprinkled in these works. Over the last year, I have managed to collect some such books by scouring used bookstores and old paper marts in India. The pickings, however, have been slim compared to the volumes of such (non-Indian) publications seen at used-book sales and stores in the United States. Granted that these types of books are typically published in single editions on a small scale with limited distribution; hence, they go out of circulation very quickly. Perhaps the U.S. systems just do a better job of retrieving old copies of such books. It is probably not a stretch, though, to say that there is room for much more activity and many more books in this sphere in India.

Recipe: Marsoppu

Adapted from Manipal Mahila Samaj’s Regional Rustic Recipes, Chapter: Kannadigas and Gowdas

Green chillies - 4 to 5
Garlic - 5 to 6 cloves
Onion - 1
Tomatoes - 2
Water - ½ cup
Mixed Greens - 1 cup
Toor daal - ½ cup
Fresh grated coconut - ½ cup
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - ½ teaspoon

Mixed greens: Fenugreek (methi), spinach, dill (shepu), Malabar or Indian red spinach (basaLe)

Clockwise from 12 o’clock: toor daal, tomatoes, garlic, onions, coconut. Centre: green chillies

Cook the toor daal and set aside. Roughly chop the green chillies, garlic, onions, and tomatoes. Place in a saucepan or any other cooking vessel along with a half cup of water. Cook until the vegetables are soft (about 5-10 minutes) and remove from heat. Remove the cooked vegetables with a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid in the saucepan. Once the vegetables are cool, add the coconut and grind to a paste. Add the roughly-chopped greens to the reserved liquid, and cook the greens until wilted. Cool them and run them through a mixie just once. Mix the cooked daal, the coconut-vegetable paste, and the roughly ground greens in the same saucepan, add salt, and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat. Do the tempering as usual: heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add this mixture to the daal-greens mix.

I modified the original recipe by reducing all ingredients, except the greens, by half. While I have encountered several recipes with daal, greens, and vegetables, I like the separate cooking processes adopted here as it accounts for the differing cooking durations required for each ingredient. The complete absence of powdered spices also scored a few more points in my book. The original recipe made no mention of salt, which is probably an oversight.

Marsoppu served with red rice, wild tuber chips, and radish-greens chutney

Text and Photographs: Veena Parrikar

Previously in the Cookery, Indic Series:

Salads for All Occasions - Vijaya Hiremath
Cooking with Green Leafy Vegetables - Shyamala Kallianpur

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Reviews: Cookbooks, Veena Parrikar (Monday April 7, 2008 at 12:05 am- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:


Chari Phutana and Dried Red Chillies
Chillies and Chari Phutana (Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek and Mustard Seeds)

Dalma is a popular Oriya comfort food, and prepared with dal-vegetable combination. In dalma, the demure dal becomes dashing, due to a special spice-mix called chari phutana. You know how sunshine can cure winter blues? The chari phutana is the sunshine for this dal-dalma. While preparing Dalma, I realized the reason for the recent negative outburst on my website. Winter blues! No wonder people are cranky. I can’t wait for the spring and sunshine to get here.

Dalma recipe is courtesy of doctor, food writer and nutritional expert, the lovely Nandita of Saffron Trial. You can find her recipe and my photos in January edition of Men’s Health India magazine. I would like to thank Nandita, and Tithi Sarkar, the sub-editor of Men’s Health India for contacting and giving me this photo opportunity.

Dalma with Ruby Red Grapefruits
Dalma with Rice, and Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice ~ to Ease the Winter Blues

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Toor Dal, Chana Dal, Arati Kaaya (Plantain), Vankaya (Brinjal) (Friday February 8, 2008 at 4:44 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Sorakaya Pappu (Dudhi Dal)

Photo Purchase Keywords: Dal, Bottle Gourd
(It takes money, time, effort and energy for food photography. Please don’t photosteal. Click on the links and purchase the photos legally to digital download and to print. Thanks.)

A good many people seem to have a mental block against bottle gourd (= Sorakaya, Dudhi, Lauki). I too did have some time ago, but lately the availability of fresh looking and young vegetables at nominal price made me revisit the old classics as well as do little experimentation with bottle gourd.

The following recipe is one of many pappu (dal) arrows from my mother’s recipe quiver. If you do not like eating raw vegetables, then cook them with toor dal. That’s the common practice at my home, and also in many homes in Andhra Pradesh. It works perfectly. See, now I’m addicted to vegetable-dal combinations.

In this dal recipe, the slightly sweet bottle gourd is protein powered with toor dal, flavored with tamarind and chilli, and seasoned with tadka. Definitely, this will ease your way in any bottle gourd battle.

Bottle Gourd (Sorakaya, Dudhi, Lauki, Opo Squash) and Toor Dal
Bottle Gourd (Sorakaya, Dudhi, Lauki) and Toor Dal


¾ cup - toor dal (kandi pappu)
1½ to 2 cups - finely cubed bottle gourd (Sorakaya, Dudhi)
¼ cup - coarsely chopped onion
½ teaspoon each (or to taste)- red chilli powder and turmeric
Marble ball sized tamarind

For popu or tadka:
1 tablespoon ghee or peanut oil
6 each - curry leaves, crushed garlic
Pinch each - cumin, mustard seeds and hing (asafoetida)

Take toor dal in a pressure cooker. Rinse the dal with water. Add the bottle gourd cubes, onion, chilli powder, turmeric and tamarind. Add about one to two cups of water. Mix. Close the lid and steam-cook until toor dal reaches the fall-apart stage. Then add salt, and coarsely mash the ingredients together.

The dal benefits greatly from my daily vitamin dose, I call popu or tadka. Let’s heat ghee or oil in a vessel. Add the curry leaves and garlic. Toast them to pale brown, and then add the cumin, mustard seeds and hing. When the seeds start to pop, add the mashed dal to the vessel. Mix and serve the dal with rice or with chapati.

For a true Andhra experience, mix the dal with rice and ghee. Shape into small rounds like shown below. Dip them in pickle or podi. Enjoy.

Sorakaya Pappannam Mudda (Bottle Gourd Dal mixed with Rice and Shaped to a Round)
Sona Masuri Rice mixed with Sorakaya Pappu, and Shaped to a Round ~ A Bharath Experience

- Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Sorakaya(Dudhi,Lauki), Amma & Authentic Andhra (Monday January 21, 2008 at 7:14 pm- permalink)
Comments (31)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Kandula Kura

Kandulu (Whole and Dried Tuvar or Toor Beans
Kandulu (Tuvar or Toor Beans)
Dried Beans, Rehydrated Beans and Cooked Beans
(Clockwise from the bottom. Notice the color change)

Aloo Kurma with Tuvar Beans
Kandula Kura with Potatoes ~ for Jihva

Aloo Kurma is a good thing. Add the earthy, tooth-some tuvar beans, you have something even better. A fantastic Kandula Kura substantial enough to nurture an Olympic trainer.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Pumpkin (Friday December 7, 2007 at 1:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (15)

The New Home of Mahanandi:


Kandulu (Whole Tuvar/Toor Beans - In Dried Form)
Kandulu (Tuvar or Toor Beans, in Dried Form)

Kandulu (Whole and Dried Tuvar/Toor Beans Cooked in Salted water)
Yesterday I feasted, so today I must fast.
Kandulu, Simmered in Salted Water ~ An Andhra Snack for Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jihva For Ingredients, Fresh Tuvar (Kandulu) (Thursday December 6, 2007 at 3:38 pm- permalink)
Comments (10)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Toor dal ~ Fresh, Dry and Split

Toor dal (Tuvar Dal, Kandi Pappu - Fresh, Dry and Split
The Most Beautiful and Flavorful Lentil ~ Toor Dal
Fresh, Dried, and Split ~ For This Week’s Indian Kitchen

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Indian Ingredients, Indian Kitchen (Sunday December 2, 2007 at 5:16 pm- permalink)
Comments (14)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Jihva for Toor Dal ~ Bisi Bele Huli Anna

Bisi Bele Huli Anna

They see each other everyday.

Unassuming and simple, darling daughter of lentil family - the golden Toor Dal.

The upright, some even call almighty - the proud and pristine Rice.

A hill of rice on a banana leaf, and a ladle full of dal next to it. Served and seated next to each other, the attraction between them was instantaneous and electric. It hasn’t escaped the wise hostess notice. The marriage was inevitable. Nourishing vegetables and sensual spices were added for a seductive liveliness. Under the sacred fire, they seized to be toor dal and rice, instead became Bisi Bele Huli Anna. “A match made in heaven, for good times and for hard times”, people praised the joyful union.

Bisi bele huli anna. Yes, all would be all right!

That was the “once upon a time” story for Bisi Bele Huli Anna, the famous south-Indian comfort food. Originated in Karnataka region of India, the rustic and rural Bisi bele huli anna with its uncomplicated, unfettered and fundamental recipe has many fans. From children to very elderly, many Bharatiya find delight in this humble food.

This week’s cold snap made Bisi bele hule anna a prudent choice for us. And, I remembered I had a jarful of Rosematta rice. The plump, terracotta colored rice from Kerala region absorbs flavors very well and I know that toor dal will be swooning in Rosematta company. My preparation started with fresh Bisi bele ground masala and cutting up the vegetables. We can add any number of vegetables and I went with gawar beans, red bell pepper, red onions, peas and carrots. The Bisi bele huli anna turned out to be a delightful meal. Long live Bisi Bele Huli Anna!

Rosematta Rice, Toor Dal, Vegetables and Bisi bele Masala
Rosematta Rice, Toor Dal, Vegetables and Bisi Bele Masala ~ for Bisi Bele Huli Anna


1 cup Rosematta rice
1 cup toor dal (Kandi Pappu)
3 cups cut vegetables (beans, carrots, peas and peppers etc)
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon jaggery
½ teaspoon each - turmeric and salt
2 tablespoons - Bisi bele masala (Homemade or store-bought)
Popu or tadka ingredients:
(12 Curry leaves, pinch each- cumin, mustard seeds and hing)

Take rice and toor dal in a wide pot. Add about 6 cups of water. Cook the dal and rice to very tender. Gently mix and mush them. I resorted to pressure-cooking, but back at home, they cook it for an hour or so on slow heat. Results in superb taste.

While the rice and dal are cooking, in another big vessel, heat a tablespoon ghee or oil. Add and toast the tadka ingredients (curry leaves, cumin, mustard seeds and hing).

To the tadka, add the cut vegetables and saute. When they start to get tender, add the tamarind pulp, jaggery, turmeric and salt. Also the cooked and mashed rosematta rice-toor dal mixture. Stir in the masala along with two cups of water. Combine well. Have a taste and adjust the spices to your liking. Cover the pot and simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes on medium-low heat.

Serve hot with a teaspoon of ghee drizzled and with papads.

Bisi Bele Bhath
Bisi Bele Huli Anna with Papad ~ My Jihva for Toor Dal and Our Meal Today

Recipe Notes:
Rosematta idea from My Chow Chow Bhath. Brown rice or brown basmati also works well for this recipe.
My recipe for Bisi bele masala:
5 dried red chillies, 1 tablespoon each- chana dal & coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon each -cloves, cinnamon, methi seeds and black peppercorn. Dry roast. Cool. Then take them in a Sumeet Mixer or blender. Add 2 tablespoons of freshly grated coconut and pinch of salt. Grind to fine consistency.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Toor Dal, Rosematta Rice (Tuesday November 13, 2007 at 3:35 pm- permalink)
Comments (38)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Dazzling Dals ~ Taro Leaves and Toor dal

Chamakura Pappu (Arvi Daal):

The taro root I planted in May has now grown to a decorative type of plant with beautiful looking leaves. Growing taro at home turned out to be an easy process. I have planted small variety taro similar to what we see around Nandyala region, India (which is different from the elephant or giant type taro). I placed a healthy looking taro root in a container and loosely covered it with soil. Kept the container in patio where the sun shines and watered it daily. In just two months, around July, a young shoot appeared. Now the plant has six healthy looking leaves and thriving.

My taro growing fancy is mainly for taro leaves. The leaves are perfectly edible plus they are nutritious. We use only young leaves for cooking. With unique flavor and great taste, young taro leaves are easily likable. Back at home in Nandyala, my mother prepares two recipes with young taro leaves - a spinach style curry, where the blanched and finely chopped leaves are sautéed with onions and second is a flavorful dal where the taro leaves are steamed with toor dal. Dal has been invariably my favorite taro leaf preparation and is our meal today.

Chama Dumpa Mokka, Arvi Plant
Taro Plant (Chama Dumpa Mokka, Arvi Plant) ~ for Green Blog Project


Toor dal - 1 cup
Young taro leaves - 4 (about the size of ping-pong paddle), finely chopped
1 small onion and 6 green chillies - coarsely chopped
Tamarind pod - about the size of a small finger, seeds removed
¼ teaspoon turmeric

Take them all in a pressure cooker. Add about two cups of water and cook until the dal reaches fall-apart stage. Once the valve pressure is released, remove the lid and add half teaspoon of salt to the cooked contents. Mix, and gently mash the dal to soft consistency with wood masher or immersion blender. Set aside.

Now do the tadka: In a small pot, heat a tablespoon of oil or ghee over a medium-hot burner. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic, a sprig of fresh curry leaves. Toast them to pale brown. Then add a pinch each - cumin, mustard seeds and asafoetida. Stir and wait for the mustard seeds to pop. This process is called tadka.

Add the mashed dal to the tadka contents and mix thoroughly. Serve the dal over rice or chapati with a teaspoon of ghee drizzled in for a scrumptious meal.

Chamakura Pappu (Arvi Dal)
Taro Leaves Dal with Mirchi Bajji and Chickpea Guggullu ~ Meal Today

Recipe Source: Amma, Nandyala

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Indian Vegetables, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Chama Aaku (Taro Leaf) (Tuesday September 25, 2007 at 9:05 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Sambars for Supper~ Beetroot Sambar

Red and Gold Beets
Beets ~ Gold and Ruby

The flavor and the color of beets are unique. Their sweetness is more like saccharine than sugarcane. One thing is for sure, they do brighten up any meal with that bold, ruby-red color. But the new variety, the golden beets that I see at farmers markets in recent years is little bit different. They taste more like carrots than beets and they do not stain or bleed like red beets. I personally feel that golden beets taste much better than red beets. But, they are still in designer, fancy stage and I look forward to the days when they become more affordable.

After the yesterday’s curry, I had three each, red and golden beets left from Sunday’s farmers market purchase. I have added few carrot pieces to the bunch and made a hearty sambar with toor dal. The sweet beets and carrots, creamy rich toor dal and spicy sambar masala, together with rice and papads ~ it was a good supper today.

Red Beets, Gold Beets and Carrots ~ for Sambar
Red Beets, Gold Beets and Carrots ~ for Sambar


Pressure-cook the dal:
Take one cup toor dal and two cups water in a pressure-cooker. Cook the dal to very soft and mash to smooth with an immersion blender or wood masher.

Prepare the vegetables:
Carrots, red and golden beets, 3 each - peel, cut to thin, two-inch length pieces
tomato and onion - one each, finely sliced

Do the Popu and Simmer:
In a heavy pot, heat a teaspoon of oil until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Keep the heat to medium. Add a sprig of curry leaves and toast to pale gold color. Then, add a pinch each cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the onions. Saute to soft. Next goes tomatoes, carrots and beets. Saute for about ten minutes.

Then, stir in half teaspoon each - turmeric, salt, red chilli powder and a tablespoon each -sambar masala powder and tamarind pulp. Also the cooked and mashed toor dal along with three cups of water. Mix everything thoroughly and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Stir frequently and well, as the toor dal tend to sink to the bottom and stick. Garnish with few sprigs of finely chopped coriander leaves if you wish and serve warm. Tastes great mixed with rice.

Beetroot Sambar
Beetroot Sambar ~ Under the Golden Sun Rays

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Beetroot, Amma & Authentic Andhra (Wednesday August 22, 2007 at 11:00 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Dazzling Dals ~ Fresh Amaranth Dal

Thotakura Pappu:

In a cake culture, the main ingredients, flour, sugar and butter remain constant. By changing just one or two ingredients that add special touch to the cakes, they are given different names. Ex: If walnuts are added, the cake is named walnut cake, with bananas - banana cake, and the list goes on. The same thing applies to dals (pappu) as well. The protein part is constant, and the side ingredients that change with the seasons give us abundant varieties of dals. This amaranth flavored dal is one of them, devised by homecooks of Andhra, to make a dent in the mother lode of fresh amaranth that appear during summer time. Not only fresh leaves, tender stalks are also used in cooking. Ideal dal for a waste not, want not cook. Makes a nutritious meal when combined with rice.

Fresh Amaranth Leaf, Toor Dal and Tomato


Take about one cup of toor dal and 4 cups of finely chopped fresh amaranth - leaves and tender stalks together.

Add one each - tomato and onion (cut into chunks). Also stir in about 8 to 10 finely chopped small Indian variety green chillies, quarter teaspoon of turmeric and a tablespoon of tamarind.

Add about 2 cups of water. Mix once and cook covered until the dal reaches fall-apart stage, stirring between. Or simply pressure cook.

Add half teaspoon of salt and mash the dal coarsely.

In a wide vessel, heat about a tablespoon of ghee or oil. Do the popu or tadka = add and toast quarter teaspoon each - minced garlic, curry leaves, urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds in the order mentioned. When mustard seeds start to jump around, add this popu or tadka to the mashed dal. Mix and serve hot with rice or with chapati.

Amaranth Dal (Thotakura Pappu) ~ for JFI: WBB-Greens

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Thotakura (Amaranth) (Tuesday April 24, 2007 at 10:04 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Dazzling Dals ~ Tomato Dal

Dazzling Dals ~ Tomato Dal (Tomato Pappu)

I get lot of questions about the recipes I write at Mahanandi. Some show a mix of disdain and curiosity typical of a museum visitor and some convey a genuine interest. I live in a foreign country, still I cook and write about the food of my home. I guess it is expected to get both types of comments on my recipes.

When people show genuine interest, it feels good and I try to respond to their comments. One such genuinely interested person is Linda of Out of the Garden food blog. From her comments, I had a sense that she is very fond of one particular recipe of mine. So, whenever Linda inquired about the details, I replied her with equal enthusiasm. Guess what! She not only used the recipe to prepare the dish, but she also perfected the process and wrote about it on her blog. The recipe is none other than the dazzling dal, my beloved amma mudda. Linda’s description of amma muddas truly conveys her enthusiasm and a delight to read. I thank Linda for treating the recipe and the feelings associated with it with respect. I will think of her amma mudda post as a great gift to Mahanandi on its second anniversary.

Here is one more dazzling dal recipe - tomato dal. A basic and beginners favorite in Indian cooking, tomato dal is a simple and flavorful main course dish. Can be served with rice or chapatis for a hearty, satisfying meal.


• ½ cup toor dal and 1½ cups of water
• 1 big ripe tomato - cut to chunks
• 1 small onion - cut to chunks
• 6-8 green chillies - finely chopped
• ¼ tsp turmeric and marble-sized tamarind

- Take them all in a pressure cooker and cook until the dal reaches fall apart stage. Usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes in a pressure cooker. Once the valve pressure is released, remove the lid and add about half teaspoon of salt. Mix and mash the dal to soft consistency with a wood masher.

In a separate vessel, do the popu or tadka (toasting cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves etc in oil). Add the mashed tomato dal to the popu. Mix and serve hot with rice or with chapati.

Tomato Dal mixed with Rice and on the side Green Brinjal Curry ~ Our lunch today
and my entry to JFI: Tomato hosted by Lovely RP of My Workshop

Recipe source: Amma

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Tomato, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Jihva For Ingredients (Wednesday March 28, 2007 at 5:22 pm- permalink)
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