Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lentil Curry without Coconut / Konkani Sar Upkari

This is one of the healthy dishes made with lentils. Coconut is not used to make this curry. I make this dish very often during the weekends when we feel like eating something light. While boiling the vegetables and the beans, add just the required amount of water. The water in which the vegetables and beans are boiled is used to liquidify the curry, so don't throw the water after boiling the vegetables. Here is the recipe.

1 cup lentils (choose from white navy beans or whole toor dal, whole peas, whole dried yellpw peas, whole moong, whole mooth, whole chana, horse gram (kulith), adzuki beans, black eyed beans
1/2 cup cubed vegetables(choose from ash gourd, raw papaya, potato, yam(suran), bottle gourd)
1 teaspoon coconut oil or any oil
2-3 green chilies
salt for taste

3-4 pods of garlic
1 teaspoon mustard
1 pinch of asafoetida

Soak the beans over night. Wash the beans and pressure cook them with slit green chilies and 1/4 teaspoon salt till the beans are soft. Cook the cubed vegetable in water till soft. Add the vegetables to the beans. In a seasoning pan add oil and heat it. Add crushed garlic pods and fry the pods till they are pink in color. Optionally, you can add mustard and asafoetida to the oil instead of garlic. Add the seasoning to the curry and adjust salt. Serve hot with rice and dal.

Preparation time: 25 minutes excluding soaking time
Serves: 3-4

Kolhapuri Vegetable Curry / Rassa Bhaji

This is a very spicy and tangy curry which is perfect to have on a cold, rainy day. Kolhapuri curries or sabzi is spicy and very flavorful. Kolhapuri chicken and mutton curries are very popular in Maharashtra. "Rassa" means gravy, so the curries usually have quite a bit of gravy with the meat or vegetables. I decided to try this rassa curry using vegetables. The red color of the curry is due to the byadgi chili I use in the masala. This chili is mild in pungency and imparts a very red color to the curry. Alternatively, Kashmiri chili can also be used to impart red color.  Byadgi or kashmiri chilies are less pungent in flavor. Other varieties of chilies can be used to impart more pungency. Here is the recipe.

1 capsicum
1 potato
3 cups cauliflower cut into big pieces of 2 inches each
1/2 cup peas
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
3 medium tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
4-5 red chilies (byadgi)
1/2 inch stick of cinnamon
3 tablespoon grated coconut
3 cloves
1/4 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
2 cardamom
6 tablespoon coriander leaves or cilantro
2-3 pepper corn
oil for frying
salt for taste

Cut capsicum into two inch pieces each and fry it for 5-10 minutes till brown on all sides. Fry cauliflower for 4-5 minutes on high flame till crisp. Chop onion into small pieces. In a tablespoon of oil add chopped ginger and onion. Fry onion till brown. Chop tomatoes into small pieces and add it to the onion. Cook tomato till soft.
Soak red chilies in water for 5-10 minutes. Grind red chilies, coconut, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, coriander seeds and cumin seeds into a very fine paste. Add this paste to the tomato-onion mixture. Add tamarind and salt for taste. Add the vegetables in the curry and cook the curry till the vegetables are soft. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with roti or rice

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves: 3-4