One thing about Monday that I hate, ok hate is a very strong word, lets say I don’t like is, it comes right after Sunday, my favorite day of the week. But as I have always said weekend go past so quickly and moments are passed just like blinking of an eye, but the euphoria still hangs on our mind .Fighting my Monday blues here I am typing this post. Not sure what made me write this post as there are many other recipes saved in my drafts. This recipe is like a gate-crash recipe well inspired by that Indian girl at the Olympic opening ceremony. And why not it’s the Olympic season that is going on so thought of inspiring me with some extended cooking .Good at least, if extended weekend is a distant dream for the time being, extended cooking is happening here. Some points scored may be. And I wish extended weekend happens soon.
Yesterday we were on a trip to south India. Oh! I mean to say we made south Indian platter for our lunch in comfy of our home. Here comes a surprising element but with a Bengali touch. I mean there was this lauki/ bottle gourd/ bean sprouts Sāmbhar, Chettinad tomato pachadi and dosa on our platter and then there was this Bengali style aloo charchari on one side. What an amalgamation of region,cuisine and flavor, but well worth it.
Now let’s hop on to recipes for this post - (actually it's four of them)
To be honest this is the first time I am using bean sprouts with lentils or dal, and I really find it extremely satisfying. And in future if I make dal I would definitely keep on adding this small pack power house for health benefits.
We all know lauki/ bottle gourd is a frequent in Sāmbhar, so don’t need to add much on that. Now to the recipe -
Lauki/Bottle Gourd Bean Sprouts Sāmbhar
Recipe requirements (Serves 6-7)
2 cups of toor dal/arhar dal/aror dal (I used the oily toor dal)
About 2-3 cups of chopped lauki/ bottle gourd/bitter gourd pieces
2 – 3 cups of bean sprouts
1 large tomato
2 tbs of tamarind paste/ sauce available in bottles
1 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
2-4 tsp of madras hot curry powder/ or Everest Sāmbhar powder
Salt as per taste
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp of ghee
1 tsp of mustard seeds
3 dry red pepper
1 stalk full of curry patta
pinch of hing(asfoetida)
2 tbs of cooking oil
Wash the lentils/ arhar dal/toor dal very well in water.
Put the pressure cooker to heat. Now add in washed toor dal. Add about 2 cups of water, enough to submerge the lentils. Let it come to a boil. Discard the white froth that is formed.
Now add in turmeric powder and salt, put the pressure cooker lid on. Let it whistle once, stop cooking. Take it off and then let it cool off. Once the pressure subsides, open the lid.
You have to add little bit of more water- about 2-3 cups of water.
Add in madras hot curry powder or Sāmbhar powder which ever is available. Add in tamarind pulp.
You may use tamarind syrup/sauce also, available in many superstores now in abroad and most probably in India.
Now prepare the tadka/seasoning
Heat up a saucepan, add cooking oil, let it heat up properly, otherwise mustard seeds wont crackle. If the seeds don’t crackle well, it may turn out bitter.Add them now.Add in hing.
Now add in 3-4 dry red pepper, and curry patta.I didn’t had curry patta this time.
Now add in chopped onions or pearl onion whatever is available. Add in chopped tomato, lauki/ bottle gourd/bottle gourd pieces and bean sprouts. Keep on frying them, add in red pepper powder and adjust salt. After about 6-8 mints of frying. Transfer this tadka to the cooked toor/arhar dal.
If required add in more water depending on the consistency of Sāmbhar you want. If you need a runny/watery or thin one, then add about 3-4 cups of water otherwise about 2 cups (approx) is essential.
Let it simmer slowly; add in ghee at the end. Serve hot with dosa.
-Bean sprouts add the healthy quotient to Sāmbhar and lauki/ bottle gord is always good for stomach.
I was more inclined towards making a hot and fiery sauce that could go along well with dosa.So zeroed down the famous Chettinad Cuisine, as it's known for it's hot and spicy food.Chettinad tomato chutney went very well with the dosa and lauki /bean sprouts sambhar.I had bookmarked Sailaja's recipe way back , but just forgot to make.Any it's better be late than to be sorry oh! I forgot completely.A keeper recipe for us for sure.
Chettinad Tomato Pachadi /Chutney
Inspired and Adapted from (Sailu's Recipe)
2 large tomatoes
2 white onions
2 green chilies
½ cup of cashews or peanuts
6-8 very hot dry red pepper (often the small ones are fiery hot)
1 tsp of mustard seeds
2-3 tbs of chana dal
1 tbs of urad dal
1 tbs of cooking oil
Put a small saucepan to heat, add in cooking oil.
Now add in mustard seeds, dry red pepper .Let it crackle a little bit.
Add in slit green chilies. Add in cashews. (I didn’t had peanuts, cashews come in handy in case you have peanut allergy)
Add in chopped tomato and onion.
Fry them very well for 3-4 mints till they turn little translucent.
Let it cool properly. Now pulse through in mixer.And serve garnishing with curry patta and tempered mustard seeds.
If you don't like mustard tempering in the initial stage then do the tempering part after blending tomato, onion, green chilies and lentils in blender.
Bengali Style Aloo Charchari
Before I start writing it, I would say please make your authentic south Indian version of aloo sabzi or the potato stuffing with dal+ curry pata+mustard seeds tempering if you don’t like Bengali style aloo charchari. However we feel Bengali style aloo-charchari goes very well with dosa.Now that’s Indian fusion food for you.
Recipe requirements ( serves 3-4 )
2-3 white potatoes
3-4 green chilies
½ tsp of turmeric powder
Salt as per taste
1 tsp of kalo jeerey/kalaunji/nigella seeds
1 or 1 and ½ tbs of cooking oil
Peel the skin, keeping some part of skin on.
Now heat up a saucepan, add in cooking oil.
Add in kalo jeerey, green chillies slit in between.
Now add in potatoes.Keep frying for 2-3 mints.
Add in salt and turmeric powder. Keep on frying.
Add in about quarter cup of water, cover it and then cook till potatoes are cooked well.If you wish you may add fresh green peas to it.
Now for the Dosa
Recipe requirements (makes 8-10 dosa)
1 and half large cup of basmati rice/parboiled rice would be better
½ large cup of urad dal
Pinch of methi seeds
Soak dal and rice with methi seeds overnight.Other day pulse through finely in mixer.
Now keep them in direct sun rays to ferment well.
It would be nice to keep it overnight to ferment in cold weather.But back in India 4-5 hrs in strong day light is enough to ferment it.
Prepare the tava /iron skillet for dosa preparation.
Add in bit of more water and salt to work while you would swirl the dosa batter. You may look into this post for more details-Here.
Make dosa- Swirling and frying on hot tava with a ladle full of the dosa batter. Keep on doing it for other 7-8 dosa.
Enjoy this South – Indian Platter with friends and family.
I will be on a week long break from tomorrow.
Happy Cooking Friends