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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kobbari Pappu / Coconut Dal for "Delicious Dals from India"

Recipe Source: Late Smt. Nandyala Gnyanamba (M's maternal grandmother)

When it comes to cooking part, our kitchen is a melting pot, a global kadai. :) We cook and enjoy vegetarian meals from around the globe. However, I happen to blog mainly about South Indian style, home cooked meals. Why? There is a reason.
As many of my readers might have already noticed, I am a Southie settled in pardes with her husband & two kids (AND as my husband pointed out recently I seem to do nothing else other than cook and blog.) :) When we moved here, Google was not born yet and blogs were not popular. I was a pampered beti / bahu who knew only basics of cooking and not much. I had to cook and in leisure time, I would search the web for some traditional Andhra recipes. There were some Indian cooking websites that would cater the needs of novice cooks like me but there was a problem. I could rarely find recipes which reminded me the food prepared back at our homes. For instance every koora/curry recipe I look into, there would be addition of coriander/cumin powder and garam masala that in no way would count as authentic Andhra cuisine.
Most of us grow up eating and loving home cooked meals, which are obviously hard to find away from our homes. We get accustomed to the flavors/tastes of food, loving prepared by our mothers / other elders so much that we use it as a standard to compare others' cooking. That's what happened in my case and the recipes I would find on the web would never be up to my standard and I had to keep calling back my mother / mother-in-law for recipes. In the process, I learnt that some recipes are forgotten over the period of time in families.

After certain time when I did gain some expertise in cooking, it struck me why not have my own cooking website where I can maintain recipe log to record my and other family members' recipes. I kept asking M for years to help me in this regard since he has the technical expertise. He kept on procrastinating for about a decade until I happened to notice food blogs 3 years ago. Then my blogging journey started and now here I am.

Usually Indian mothers don't maintain their own food catalogs and when I noticed that M's aunt did that for her daughter, I was surprised and had to go through it. She has painstakingly handwritten all the recipes she knows - North & South Indian style, neatly arranged them in categories ranging from chutneys/raitas to laborious desserts. After going through that, I felt it would be a neat gift to newly weds and told her that. While one of my SILs copied the whole catalog for her daughter, I copied some traditional recipes.
Luckily, I could get some old recipes belonging to / used by M's maternal grandmother and this kobbari pappu is one of them. I  had never heard or seen anyone preparing it, including my MIL and it is somehow a forgotten recipe in our family. When I found some recipes which M frquently mentions and me never seeing his mother making them, that catalog appeared as a 'lost and found' treasure.

This kobbari pappu was one among them. First of all, this recipe doesn't not require any vegetable, which is a staple ingredient in any pappu recipe. Go ahead and prepare it when you run out of vegetables or has to use up that extra coconut you have. Taste wise, it is not your ordinary pappu. Though the ingredients used are slightly different from the regular pappu, this one is on a different note. It takes the flavors of the coconut and coriander and somewhat goes in the majjiga pulusu (stew prepared with sour butter milk) track, flavor wise.

Ingredients to serve 3- 4:
½ cup toordal
¼ cup coconut
3 small green chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
1.5 tsp salt
4 tbsp tamarind puree
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
For tadka: 2 tsp oil,1 tsp mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida powder, curry leaves, 2 red chilies broken into small bits

The cooking part:
Cook the dal with turmeric powder in a pressure cooker adding a cup of water. After the valve pressure is gone, remove the dal container out. Mash the dal lightly with the back of a ladle.
Alternatively, dal can be cooked in a pan on stovetop, adding water as needed.  The dal should turn mushy. Take care that it is not runny and is thicker as in the picture. If it is runny, cook a little longer.
Grind the coconut, green chilies and coriander seeds into a paste adding a little water if needed.
Add this paste, salt, tamarind juice to the dal and cook on slow flame for about 10 minutes so that the raw smell of the paste disappears and the flavors mingle.
Mean while, heat oil in a small sauté pan and add the mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add the red chili pieces, curry leaves and asafetida and turn off the stove after about 10 seconds. Add this tadka to the cooked coconut dal and mix well.
Serve with hot rice and ghee.

Variation: Coconut chili paste can be cooked along with toordal.

This goes to my "Delicious Dals from India".

Post a comment


PranisKitchen said...

looks delicious..very simple recipe..its looks like kerala Parippu curry(using the mung dal)

Kiran said...

This is the first I came across this daal.Thank you for sharing.

SathyaSridhar said...

Suma,, well said dear me too before marriage have food whatever my amma cooks and that time i know to cook only one rice item after marriage i was totally blank in cooking first i tried rava kichdi to my Hubby and to In-laws it came out like grease i felt shame but they were had that rava kichdi saying very tasty and then after i came here with my eat hubby start to call my amma to ask the recipes to cook and after i started to google but i was doing mistake with spice measurement. now am getting right somehow...Suma,,Pappu looks great dear looks different but good traditional recipe sure will taste good.

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Great recipe Suma, a new one for me. I must try one day.

simply.food said...

Dhal looks lovely and delicious.Beautiful click.

Priya said...

Pappu looks fantastic, thick and healthy...would like to have with some rice topped with ghee..yumm!

Swathi said...


Yes mom's do not keep any recipe book and it is difficult get some thing like that. Curry looks similar to parippu curry , however that one is devoid of tamarind.

Yummy Team said...

Simple and delicious dal curry! Lovely click too..

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

Excellent dhal recipe...luks very tempting...will try it soon.

Sonia said...

Hi Suma, I just come across your Dal event. I have posted the 'Tadka Dal' recipe on my blog. I'm not sure whether I can send it or not. Can I?

Leena said...

Pappu is looking delicious....this recipe is similar to dal thovve of karnataka,my mother used to make...thanks for sharing the story behind this dal...

Anuradha Jayaseelan said...

looks so yummy Suma. I havent heard this method and i'm impressed by the picture.

Will surely try. Thanks for the nice receipe :)

Suma Gandlur said...

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments.

Prani & Swathi,
I have no idea about parippu curry and sometimes we cook the same things under different names, especially in South.:) This event is in a way to discover regional cuisines.

Yes, you can send that recipe.

Are thovves not simpler than this?
I had no idea that the ingredients like tamarind /coriander seeds / coconut were used in it.

Usha said...

Simple and delicious dhal ! Lovely picture...

dining room furniture said...

This looks delicious! I have heard that India has lots of delicious food. I want to go there!

Suma said...

Easy and delicious!! Thanks for sharing this!

Kalai said...

a simple yet a rewarding dish! I love it.

R said...

looks so delicious!! u r so right, wish they had written down the recipes in older days, don't know how many treasures went missing.

harini-jaya said...

Did I mention that kobbari pappu is my fav and was often made specially for me until my dad protested saying it causes his allergies to flare up? Now the role of my dad is taken by my dear husband :) Someday I shall make this pappu and feed my family !!