A pressure cooker in an Indian kitchen is as indispensable as any other pot or pan is in other kitchens. No surprise there considering that rice and lentils are cooked on a daily basis in majority of the Indian homes and a pressure cooker cuts down the cooking times drastically. Today's lentil preparation from the south Indian state of Andhra is a classic example of cooking using the said appliance, which can be prepared in about 10 - 15 minutes, with about 2 minutes prep time included. This simple and tasty pappu would make a great side dish for rice / Indian style flat breads. This is how my mother makes all her pappus though I happen to add the tamarind juice at the end since there will be bits of tamarind in the dal, when cooked this way and one needs to pick them out while eating.
1 cup toor dal / lentils
3 - 4 green chillies (I used 3 spicy, Serrano peppers.)
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tbsp. sized ball of tamarind
1.5 tsp. salt
2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Few curry leaves
2 -3 pinches of asafoetida powder
* Wash the toordal in two exchanges of water and drain.
* Chop tomato into cubes and slice the chillies lengthwise.
* Add toordal, 2 cups of water, turmeric, green chillies and tomato to a small sized pressure cooker directly or to a container that fits in a pressure cooker. Add tamarind and 2-3 tbsp. of water in a small cup and place it on the over the lentil mixture in the cooker or the container. (The idea is not to mix the lentils and tamarind together while cooking since the tamarind interferes with the cooking of lentils. The lentils may not cook properly.)
* Pressure cook them and when the valve pressure is gone, remove the cooker lid. Add salt and the cooked tamarind to the cooked lentil-tomato mixture and mash lightly to the desired consistency using the back of a ladle.
* Heat oil in a small pan and cumin and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add asafoetida and curry leaves to the pan and turn off the stove. Add this tadka to the above lentil preparation and mix once with a ladle to combine. Some minced cilantro can be added as garnish, if preferred.
* Serve warm with rice / rotis.
This is going to be a part of Blogging marathon #67 under 'Pick one appliance and Cook 3' (My choice being pressure cooker). Check here to find out what other marathoners are cooking today.