December 9, 2005

Bengal-gram dal kootu curry

We eat our dal (pulses) in a myriad number of ways. It is one of our mainstay foods at My Dhaba being cooked either as spicy or bland. We use dal in many different forms of sambhar too. They are the storehouse of proteins to a vegetarian diet or regimen. Did you know that dal is often called as poor man's meat?

Per wiki, there are over 50 different varieties of pulses (dal) in India. We at My Dhaba will be discussing about some of these wonder grains one after another. Meanwhile, Nupur's award-winning dal chart photograph would be of some help to you to identify some of the Indian pulses visually.

Hope you are already aware of Meena's first edition of From My Rasoi event. We at My Dhaba really do not know what she might think of this look-wise bland sauce from us for an event such as this, that too hosted by a spicy girl of Hooked-on-Heat fame :-). I and Adarsh devoured all our servings in just few minutes as a soup itself prior to our lunch :-) So Meena, here is My Dhaba's special bengal-gram dal kootu curry for the event.

Bengal-gram dal kootu curry recipe
Serves - 4
Preparation time - 20 minutes

Bengal-gram dal - 1 cup
Brinjal - 2 cupfuls, fresh, cut into 1/2-inch lengths (to prevent discoloration, cut the brinjals only just before cooking and immerse it in water immediately)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Onion - 2, medium size, finely chopped
Green chillies - 3-4, medium hot, medium size, slit slightly only at the stalk's end
Garlic - 4 beads, finely sliced
Ghee+oil mix - 1+1 teaspoons (or more as you like)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Dried red chilli - 1, small size, broken into halves
Curry leaves - a sprig
Tamarind extract - 2 teaspoons
Coconut - 2 tablespoons, fresh, finely scraped
Salt - 1 teaspoon or adjusted to taste

Method: Boil the dal in 3 cupsful of water alongwith the turmeric powder and half portion of the oil/ghee mix. Cook it covered over moderate heat until it is cooked three-fourths. At this time, add the brinjals, onions, green chillies, garlic beads, and salt. Adjust the thickness of the sauce to semi-thick or as desired at this stage by adding hot water to it or by pouring off the top liquid. When brinjals are tender, add the tamarind juice and subsimmer for 15 minutes and remove from heat. Heat a frying pan and pour in the remaining ghee/oil mix into it. When the oil turns very hot, add mustard seeds to splutter, dried red chilly, and curry leaves. Pour in the cooked brinjal-dal mix into it, stir it once, and remove from heat when the sauce is still liquidy and in semi-thick consistency. Add the coconut scrapings and serve hot with hot plain boiled rice garnishing the dal with a little melted ghee on top of each serving. Enjoy!

PS chef notes:
1. You may also use other vegetables instead of the brinjals such as potatoes, cabbage, french beans, snake gourd, ridge gourd, or any other vegetables that are available to you in your kitchen.
2. The coconut scrapings will make the sauce of a thicker consistency, so ensure to remove the sauce from heat source when it is still liquidy to get the desired semi-thick consistency.
3. You may also add deep-fried pappadams (uppalam) broken into bite-size pieces and add to the cooked dal sauce in stead of the vegetables. Make the sauce is slightly thinner at this time as the pappadams will absorb the sauce as they soak.
4. Do not throw away the excess water if any in the dal sauce; this can be used for making paruppu rasam.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good and perfect for a day where I am. There's plenty of snow and the weather is very cold.

Thanks for tagging me. I've posted my meme.


Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

Its been a long since I made kootu at home VKN. Your recipe is tempting me to make it. I love dal with eggplant :) its yummy.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vkn,I love anything with this dhal-goes well with chappathis!

"You Are What You Eat Meme " is on ---check my post!

Blogger Pandhu said...

oh yes.. pappu is like my fav. with some ghee or neyyi on white rice.
heaven man.
And i had some of the good stuff at my fren Naresh's place, before i left hyd to singapore.
Thanks to his mum, and their hospitality.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tried this recipe with Lauki and it was amazing. Thanks for sharing it!!


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