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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Menthe Thambuli

Thambuli, a side dish from the state of Karnataka is a yogurt / butter milk based one and can even be loosely called a raita. The word thambuli comes from combining two Kannada words 'thampu' and 'huli'. Thampu literally means cool and this dish is normally preferred in the summer months for it's cooling properties. The dish is usually on a milder side and involves minimal cooking. The thambuli / thambli varieties are mostly prepared using herbs or some seasonal vegetables and adding a few simple, roasted spices. Today's version is a healthy one and uses fenugreek seeds / menthya kaalu. 

1 tsp. ghee
1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds 
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 - 3 byadagi chillies
A fistful of fresh coconut, grated
Salt to taste
1 cup yogurt 
Ingredients for tempering:
1 tsp. ghee / oil
1/2 tsp. split black gram / urad dal
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
Few curry leaves

* Whisk the yogurt well in a bowl.
* Heat ghee in a small pan and add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies. When the fenugreek starts to change color, add the coconut to the pan. Stir well and turn off the stove. Let it cool a bit.
* Grind the above mixture to a fine paste adding salt and little yogurt. Finally add the remaining yogurt and pulse once to combine.
* Heat ghee / oil in a small pan for tempering and add all othe other ingredients mentioned under tempering. When urad dal starts to turn brownish, turn off the stove. Let it cool a bit and add it to the yogurt mixture and mix well to combine.
* Serve it with hot rice.


This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #100 under 'Regional Side Dishes' theme.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Mixed Dal Fry

Dal fry is one of the popular north Indian style dals and is quite commonly served in Indian restaurants and dhabas though the recipe of the latter versions vary. This simple yet delicious dal is usually made with pigeon peas aka toor dal / arhar dal though I made a mixed dal version, inspired by a TV show. Keep the dal to a medium to thick consistency. Replace the coriander and cumin powders in the recipe with garam masala, if you prefer it that way. The dal goes well with rotis / rice / jeera rice or mildly flavored pulao / biryanis. I had made a mixed dal version to serve with my Zafrani pulao, which made an awesome combo.
1/4 cup pigeon peas / toor dal
1/4 cup split yellow peas / chana dal
1/4 cup moong dal
1 tbsp. oil / ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 red chili
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 sliced green chili
A pinch of asafoetida
1 onion, finely minced
1 tomato, chopped
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves
Salt to taste
Lemon juice (optional)
Minced cilantro to garnish

* Soak toor and chana dals for an hour. Rinse all the dals and drain. 
* Pressure cook them adding 1.5 cups of water for 3 whistles. Chana dal should still hold the shape after cooking. 
* Heat ghee / oil in a pot / pan and add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and red chili. When mustard seeds start to splutter, add asafoetida, curry leaves and stir. Add green chili, ginger and garlic and saute until raw smell leaves.
* Next add onion and fry until translucent. Add tomato and fry until mushy.
* Add turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt and saute for seconds. 
* Next add the cooked dals and little water to adjust to desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Lightly crush the kasuri methi between palms and add it to the dal. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn off the stove. Add some lemon juice if desired.
* Garnish with minced cilantro before serving.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #100 under 'Regional Side Dishes' theme.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Brinjal Dalcha

I had made a score of biryani / pulaos and side dishes to go with them, last month for the mega marathon. This dalcha was one of those side dishes that I had made to accompany my Ambur biryani. 'Dalcha' was created in the Hyderabadi Nizams' kitchens and is said to be a modified version of a Persian dried lamb with beans dish. The original dish is of course a non vegetarian version that uses mutton and chana dal / split chickpeas along with the spices to flavor it up. This is a flavorful and simple vegetarian version dalcha made with eggplants / brinjals and pairs well with a biryani / pulao. Eggplants can be replaced with soy chunks or with mixed vegetables.
Recipe source: Here
1/2 cup toor dal / pigeon peas
2 tbsp. chana dal / split chickpeas
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
1 cup water
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. ginger - garlic paste
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 small egg plants, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Salt to taste
Tamarind water to taste
1/2 cup water
Ingredients for tempering:
1 tsp. oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/8 tsp. fenugreek seeds
2 dried red chilies, each broken into 2 or 3 pieces
1 stalk of curry leaves
2 pinches of asafoetida

* Pressure cook toor dal, chana dal and turmeric adding a cup of water for 3 whistles or until the dal is softly cooked. When the valve pressure is gone, mash the dal well and keep it side.
* Heat oil in a pot / pan and add onion. Fry until translucent and add the ginger - garlic paste. Saute until the raw smell of the paste leaves.
* Next add brinjal slices, tamarind water, chili powder, and cumin powder. Mix well, cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
* Add cooked dal and salt to the pan. Stir and add about 1/2 cup or more of water. Cover and cook until the brinjal pieces are done.
* For tempering, heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, red chilies, and fenugreek seeds. When mustard seeds start to sizzle and pop, add curry leaves and asafoetida. Turn off the stove and add the tempering to the dalcha. 
* Serve warm with biryani / pulao.


This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #100 under 'Regional Side Dishes' theme.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Stuffed Dates

Stuffed dates are bite sized appetizers that are quick and easy to prepare and look quite attractive. They can be easily customized according to one's tastes and make a great snack that is not on the sweeter side. The filling can be made sweeter by whipping the cream cheese with a small amount of sugar or honey. I have used salted pistachios though almonds, walnuts, pecan or any other nuts can be substituted. Similarly any variety of cream cheese or mascarpone can be used.

Pitted dates (I used deglet noor variety.)
Cream cheese
Chopped, salted pistachios or any other nut

* Open up the pitted dates without slicing them into two, to create pockets. 
* Fill them with cream cheese.
* Sprinkle chopped nuts over the cheese.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #100 under 'Stuffed Dishes' theme.