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     Lentils and pulses

 

 

Lentils do not significantly differ in nutritional content from common beans. Lentils are good source protein, folic acid, and dietary fiber. They also contain many trace minerals. India has over 60 varieties of pulses which provide a primary source of protein for her millions of vegetarian and many health benefits.

While the most common types of lentils in the United States are either green or brown, they also come in black, yellow, red and orange.

The different types of lentils offer varying consistencies, with brown and green varieties retaining their shape better after cooking and the others generally becoming soft and mushy. Though the flavor differs slightly among the varieties, they generally feature a hearty, dense, somewhat nutty flavor.

 

Lentils, when cooked, they can be left whole or pureed, making them extremely versatile as ingredients for curries, stuffing and patties. They can be even roasted or deep-fried for garnishes or snacks.

The larger varieties should be soaked overnight before cooking (at least 10h). If you are in a hurry you can bring them to a boil, continue boiling for a couple minutes and then take the pan off the heat and leave it to stand for 1 h before cooking. Soaked beans are best rinsed to get rid of some of the starch.

They will then need to simmer (with the lid slightly open to let the steam escape) from 15 min to over 1 h (depends on size). Sometimes beans are simmered with a few of the aromatics (ginger and turmeric are favorite flavorings) that will be used in the curry. Asafetida is often added to combat flatulence.

Sprouted pulses are even more nutritious than not-sprouted ones.  Bought in some supermarkets and health food shops they are expensive but it is cheap and easy to sprout your own lentils at home. Spread them out in a shallow dish and sprinkle them with water. As soon as the water is absorbed (after 2 h) spray them again. Keep them moist for 3 day, and once they have sprouted, they will be ready to eat.

 

 

 

 

 

MIXED BEANS CURRY(serves 4)

 

1 lb of beans (2 cups)

(large lima beans, small white beans, red kidney beans, baby lima beans, great northern beans, speckled lima beans, black beans, green baby lima beans, whole green peas, yellow split peas, lentils, green split peas, small red beans, navy beans, blackeye peas)

(16 bean soup mix)

6 - 8 cups water

1 onion

3 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 tbsp ginger finely chopped

1 tomato

2 tsp tomato paste

tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander powder

2 small green chilies

salt to taste

tsp asafetida

tsp garam masala

6 peppercorns

3 green cardamoms

3 bay leaves

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

tsp cumin

tsp coriander powder

5 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp cream

fresh coriander to garnish

 

 

 

 

  • Wash and soak beans over night.

  • Boil the dal in 6 cups of water the over medium heat with salt, turmeric, until the dal is soft (1-2 h). Much less time it takes cooking in pressure cooker.

 

  • To make the baghaar,

  • Heat the oil in a heavy - bottom pan.

  • Add the mustard seeds, after 30 seconds add cumin seeds, peppercorns.

  • Add the garlic, chilies, onion, ginger and fry until golden brown.

  • Add red chili powder, asafetida, garam masala, bay leaves,

  • Add coriander powder, cumin, green cardamoms, and allow simmering for 5-7 minutes.

  • Add the tomato and tomato paste. Cook for about 3 minutes.

  • Turn of the heat, then mix in the baghaar to the beans.

  • If the dal is too runny, cook, uncovered over the medium heat for few minutes.

  • Add the cream.

  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

LEMON DAL               (serves 4)

 

1 cup urid dal

2 tbsp gingerroot finely chopped

3 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander powder

3 green chilies

salt to taste

2 cups of water

1 tsp salt

4 tbsp lemon juice

3 green chilies, chopped

4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves

slices of lemon to garnish

3 tbsp vegetable oil

 

Baghaar

4 tbsp vegetable oil

onion

4 whole garlic cloves

3 red  dried chilies

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

 

 

 

 

  • Wash and soak black dal and red beans over night.

  • Warm the oil in heavy-bottom pan. Add the ginger, garlic, chili powder and turmeric to the dal.

  • Add  the dal and stir in 2 cups of water. Boil over medium, heat with the lid slightly ajar. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the dal is soft.

  • Add the salt, lemon juice and some more water if needed.

  • To make the baghaar,

  • Heat the oil in a pan.

  • Add the garlic, red chilies, onion, cumin seeds and cook for few minutes.

  • Add coriander powder and cumin. Turn of the heat, let cool slightly, then pour the baghaar over the dal.

  • If the dal is too runny, cook, uncovered. over the medium heat for few minutes.

  • Add the green chilies and cilantro leaves.

  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

 LIMA BEANS              (serves 2)

 

225 g (8oz) lima beans (1 can)

1 onion finely chopped

1 green chili

1 red dry chili

1 tbsp ginger finely chopped

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tomato chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

4 cardamoms

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

 

 

 

 

  • Chop the onions, ginger, green chili and tomato.

  • Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan.

  • Add chopped onion and fry until golden brown. Add green and red dry chili, ginger, coriander powder, cumin powder and cardamoms. Fry for 3 minutes.

  • Add lima beans. Stir fry for 3 minutes. Add salt and chopped tomatoes.

  • Add 1 tbsp lemon juice.

  • Allow simmering for 5-7.

  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

DAL CURRY                (serves 2)

 

175 (6oz) toor dal

1 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 onion chopped

2 green chilies

2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

½  tsp turmeric

salt to taste

¼ tsp chili powder

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp olive oil

2-3 tbsp fresh coriander

 

 

 

  • Rinse dal with the water.

  • Bring 850 ml (1½ pt) water to the boil, add the dal and simmer for about 15 min, until you can crush the dal with the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside, covered.

  • Heat he oil, add the mustard seeds. Sizzle for a few seconds until the seeds have popped.

  • Add the cumin seeds, onion, and half coriander leaves and fry, stirring, until the onion is golden.

  • Add the tomato, turmeric, garlic and chili, stirring well and mashing the tomato with the spices to make a paste.

  • Add the dal with a little of its cooking water. Stir well, heat through and add salt to taste. Garnish with the remaining fresh coriander.

 

DAL PAKWAN

 

For dal:

1 cup split bengal gram (chana dal)

1 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 medium onion chopped

2 green chilies

2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

 tsp turmeric

¼ tsp chili powder

tsp garam masala

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 tbsp olive oil

tsp dry mango powder

4-5 green chilies

6-8 curry leaves

3-4 tbsp fresh coriander

salt to taste

 

For Pakwan:

1 cup refined flour (maida)

2 tbsp whole wheat flour (atta)

1 tbsp semolina

tsp cumin seeds

10 black peppercorns, crushed

5 tbsp oil to deep fry

salt to taste

 

 

  • Soak channa dal in the water for 1 h. Drain and boil with 3 cups of water, salt, turmeric powder.

  • Heat a pan and add the boiled dal and half of a cup of water, if the dal is too dry. Stir and add half the red chili powder, half the grama masala, dry mango powder and a little salt.  Stir gently and cook on low heat.

  • Heat oil in another pan and add cumin seeds. When they begin to change color, add green chilies, curry leaves, remaining garam masala powder and the remaining chili powder. Stir and add it to the dal. Mix well and take it off the heat.

To make pakwan:

  • Sift refined flour and wheat flour into a large bowl. Add semolina, cumin seeds, crushed black peppercorns, 4 tbsp of oiland salt.

  • Add sufficient water and knead into a semi-soft dough. Divide the dough into eight portions and roll each portion into a chapati of four -inch diameter.

  • Prick lightly with a fork.

  • Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry pakwan on low heat till golden and crisp.

  • Drain on absorbent paper. Garnish the dal with chopped onion and coriander and serve it hot with pakwan.

  • Rinse dal with the water.

  • Bring 850 ml (1½ pt) water to the boil, add the dal and simmer for about 15 min, until you can crush the dal with the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside, covered.

  • Heat he oil, add the mustard seeds. Sizzle for a few seconds until the seeds have popped.

  • Add the cumin seeds, onion, and half coriander leaves and fry, stirring, until the onion is golden.

  • Add the tomato, turmeric, garlic and chili, stirring well and mashing the tomato with the spices to make a paste.

  • Add the dal with a little of its cooking water. Stir well, heat through and add salt to taste. Garnish with the remaining fresh coriander.

CHANNA MASALA   (serves 2-4)

 

1 can chick or garbanzo beans

1 onion

1 tsp chopped ginger

1 tsp cumin powder

chili powder

tsp turmeric

tsp coriander powder

salt to taste

3 green chilies, finely chopped

2 curry leaves

3 tbsp vegetable oil

 

 

 

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan. Add the chopped onions and fry for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Add ginger, chilies, curry leaves, cumin, chili powder, coriander and salt, and mix together.

  • Stir-fry for 5 minutes.

  • Add chick peas (chana) and cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes.

  • Then transfer to serving plates, garnish with fresh cilantro and ginger - julienne. Serve hot.

 

 

DAL MAKHANI           (serves 4)

 

1 cup black Urad dal (split black lentil

1 cup red kidney beans

cup Chana dal

1 onion

4 garlic cloves

1 tbsp ginger finely chopped

2 tomatoes

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander powder

3 green chilies

salt to taste

½ cup butter
vegetable oil

4 tbsp cream

fresh coriander to garnish

 

  • Wash and soak black dal and red beans over night.

  • Boil the dal and red beans in 6 cups of water with salt, turmeric, until the dal is soft.

  • Chop the onions, ginger, garlic cloves, green chilies and tomatoes.

  • Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add mentioned above chopped ingredients. Add chili powder, coriander powder.

  • Then add the boiled dal and red beans and allow simmering for 5-7 minutes.

  • Finally add cream and butter slowly and mix well.

  • Adjust salt and add water if consistency is too thick.

  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

  • Serve with hot naan or paratha.

 

LOUKI CHANA DAL

 

 

 1 cup chana dal, soaked for 1 hour

tsp. turmeric powder

1 tsp. ginger paste

3 young zucchini peeled and cubed

  tsp. of garam masala

3 Tbsp. ghee or vegetable oil

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1-2 whole red chilies

tsp. asafoetida

2 tsp. ground coriander powder

 

(you can add a tablespoon of sweet coconut - this is optional but it makes this dish just wonderful -)

tbsp fresh lime juice salt to taste

 

3 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

 

  • Pick through the dal and wash it. Drain the water.

  • Add 3 cups of water to a heavy pot and add dal, 1 tbsp of ghee or oil, turmeric, ginger and salt to taste. Boil the dal.

  • Reduce heat. Add zucchini and garam masala (add coconut - optional) and let it simmer.

  • As dal is simmering, heat ghee in a small sauce pan and fry cumin seeds and red chilies till they brown.

  • Add asafoetida, coriander powder and fry the seasonings for 2-3 minutes.

  • Pour the seasonings into dal and let it continue to simmer on low until the zucchini is butter soft. Adjust the water so that the dal has the consistency you like.

  • Add lime juice and garnish with chopped cilantro.

 

 

 

 

NEXT>>

More Vegetarian recipes:

 

CHANNA MASALA >>

DAL CURRY >>

DAL MAKHANI >>

DAL PAKWAN >>

MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH COCONUT MILK

MIXED BEANS CURRY >>

LEMON DAL >>

LIMA BEANS >>

LOUKI CHANA DAL >>

SINDHI CURRY

SWEET POTATOES WITH GINGER AND LEMON 

 

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