Horse-gram Curry

BM #110 : Week 4, Day 2
Theme : A to Z theme – Curries

For today’s post, for the alphabet H, I had initially planned on Hare Matar ka Nimona. Then I came across this recipe for Horse gram masala at Priya’s place and I decided to prepare it. I have some horse gram that needs to be used up and this was perfect for it. There are made some modifications I made to Priya’s recipe, it’s more of Kerala style now.

The base recipe is very simple, it has three steps to it. First is soaking and cooking the horse gram. Priya suggests cooking with a good pinch of baking soda and that’s what I did. Second step is to make a coconut paste. That’s where the differences start. I decided to stick with the regular masala I prepare, which has coconut, dried red chilies and jeera. Now the third and final step is to prepare a tadka with mustard seeds and onions and to cook everything together. An optional way to make the curry thick is to purée half of the cooked (and cooled) horse gram and add it to to the curry or run an immersion blender couple of times.

This curry pairs well with rice and roti. It would be great with puttu or aapam also. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup horsegram , soaked overnight
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon jeera seeds
  • 4-5 almonds/cashews, optional
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 small red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped, optional
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Check the horse gram for stones and once you have removed it all, wash and soak the beans overnight. The next day morning, pressure cook along with water it’s soaked and a good pinch of baking soda until the beans is cooked. I used the Beans setting in Instant Pot for 30 minutes. I also used the delay timer for 8 hours at night so that the beans was cooked by next morning. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the beans and set it aside to cool down.
  2. Grind shredded coconut along with 4 dried red chilies , jeera and almonds/cashews(if using) in a blender. Add about 1/4 cup water to make a smooth paste.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, dried red chilies and curry leaves. Once mustard seeds pop, add the chopped onions and sauté till it turns brown. Add the coconut paste, cooked horse gram along with the water it’s cooked, turmeric powder, chili powder and salt as needed. Mix well.
  4. Make a smooth paste of the reserved 3/4 cups horse gram and add it to the curry. Add water to bring it to a pouring consistency. You can add more water (or less) to suit the consistency you prefer.
  5. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Once the curry comes to a boil, let it cook for about 4-5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Serve with rice or roti.

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Koshari

BM #110 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Middle Eastern recipes

Koshari is the national dish of Egypt. It is a fusion of Indian, Italian and Middle East flavors. It has rice and lentils, originated from khichdi, and it has pasta and tomato sauce, from Italy.

The dish looks complex, but it’s extremely easy to make. It has rice, chickpeas, green lentils, pasta and tomato sauce. Each of these can be cooked ahead to make serving easier. Some recipes online serves the dish in layers where as others mix everything and then top with the tomato sauce. I have tried both ways and I prefer the everything together version.

You might end up having more tomato sauce than you need, but it can be refrigerated or frozen until you can use it again. Some people like to have more sauce, so I prefer to make a little extra than running low.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups cooked Chana /chickpeas
  • 1 cup green/brown lentils (whole masoor dal)
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 cup dried pasta
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (or 8-9 of tomatoes puréed)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or per taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Cook lentils separately until done. I pressure cooked it in Instant Pot for 4 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoon olive oil in a pan. Sauté washed rice for a minute. Add salt as needed and 1.5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, Cover and cook until rice is done. Set aside.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Run in cool water to prevent sticking and set aside.
  4. In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil. Sauté 1 chopped onion and minced garlic until it’s soft. Add a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes ( or 8-9 tomatoes, purées) along with chili powder, cumin powder and salt. Simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, taste testing and adjusting the seasonings if needed. Set aside.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Sauté 2 large chopped onions until it’s brown. Take off the heat.
  6. Now to assemble, add the rice, lentils, cooked chickpeas and pasta in a big bowl. Taste and add salt if needed. In a bowl or plate, serve the rice mix topped with 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce and a little of caramelized onions.

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Moong dal with Dill leaves

BM #106: Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Packed Lunchboxes

My husband’s lunchbox and my son’s lunchbox are completely different. My husband prefers rice and my son doesn’t like rice. I serve rice to my son when he is back from school and pack something light for his lunchbox. Pasta is the only thing they agree on.

Here is a sample of my husband’s lunch. I usually pack a salad or a cooked vegetable on the side, but I was out of time to do so. Dal with dill leaves is a recipe I learnt from my friend and I love it.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: My friend Devi

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 green chilies, roughly chopped
  • 1″ piece ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 cup chopped dill leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Method:

  1. Wash the dal and pressure cook with the diced tomatoes, onions, chilies , ginger, garlic and turmeric powder. Add about 2.5 cups of water or until the dal is completely submerged and water floats about an inch on top. Pressure cook for 6 whistles (6 minutes in Manual setting in Instant Pot) or until the dal is cooked completely. I use pot in pot method. Let the pressure release naturally.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add the cooked dal. Add salt as needed and garam Masala. Roughly chop the dill leaves and add it to the dal. Let everything cook together for a couple of minutes. You can add more water if the dal is dry. Taste test, adjust seasonings. Take off the heat and serve with rice, pickle and chips.

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Coriander Pesto Pulao

BM# 103: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Recreate into a new dish

I had picked up a bunch each of basil, mint and coriander when I did grocery shopping last month. I made pesto with basil leaves and then made another pesto with the coriander and mint leaves with almonds. Since there was so much pesto, I was looking at ways to use it up beyond pesto pasta and sandwiches. Pesto rice came to my mind and it sounded like a good idea.

Since the base for my pesto was already coriander, I decided to make it similar to the coriander pulao I usually prepare. I still have some pesto leftover, I think I will be making this pulao again. This pairs well with plain yogurt and chips.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons rice
  • 1 onion, cut in half and sliced into thin pieces
  • 2 carrots, diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 8-10 beans, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced capsicum
  • Salt

To grind:

  • 1/3 cup mint coriander pesto
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1″ ginger piece

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice in 3 cups of water. Set aside.
  2. In a blender jar, blend everything under the “to grind” list to a smooth paste. You might have to add a tablespoon or two of water to help with grinding. Set aside.
  3. In the Instant Pot, turn the Sauté function on. Add ghee or oil and once it’s hot, add the onions and all the other vegetables. Sauté and cook under the vegetables are almost cooked.
  4. Add the ground pesto coconut paste and cook over low heat for about a minute.
  5. Drain the rice and add it to the pot. Sauté for a minute. Add three cups of water and salt as needed. Cancel the Sauté function and change it to Manual function. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
  6. Serve it hot with an onion Raita or plain yogurt on the side.

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