Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dal Bukhara and Bandhakopir Torkari (Cabbage Stir-Fry /Subzi)

I have been watching Music ka mahamukabla recently (yeah I know you already know who the winner is, but we get to see old clippings here after some times later). This way,I feel connected to my roots thro’ watching these shows in a foreign land.

Many a times I don’t understand how the points are given, I mean there are couple of times a good singer on a good performance, gets low points and some bad performance gets high points. That makes me think, are these reality TV programme fixed or fake. These singers seem to have inclination towards some absurd new songs(I am not blaming new age music directors for that matter, couple of them have given some beautiful creations or even created masterpieces) Why cant they pick those beautiful pieces or some good classical songs from past Hindi movies ?Most of the times it is the” noise” that we get to listen. I have always appreciated good musical programmes on TV like the saregama in it’s initial years or the first Indian Idol .
And then the fear factor episodes with scorpions/spider/frogs/cockroaches, what is wrong with them. Why do they tend to glamorize every darn ugly thing in the world? My hubby S says if you were paid some hefty sums like them, then probably you would have also gone to these shows. S ,I beg to differ and I am not ready to take these craps even if I am overpaid and also I am not going to watch them to increase their TRP’s anymore. These days I feel there is serious lack of some quality TV programme although the channels available now is many more as compared to some 5 or 10 years back.
That makes me realize -Are we loosing the interest in these reality TV programmes or watching Cable. Do you like to watch reality TV programme? What is your opinion?

Now to the recipes
Since I am late in posting, so I will share with you two recipes in one go
First one is dal Bukhara or kali dal as is commonly known in UP a northern state in India. I guess this dish started it’s origin from western province in Pakistan. Anyone out there do you know more about it then share it with us.
Cream and tomato is the most used ingredient, in fact forms the base of this dal.Tomato gives the tangy flavor and cream gives the richness that is required in this dal .This dal is very delicious just like it’s ally dal makhni (which has rajma /kidney beans also added in it).I have tried to make it restaurant –style so that we can enjoy it even in comfy of our home. I have pureed half of the cooked dal with fried masala‘s and then added the cream and butter to it. Then we kept it cooking for sometime at low which gives ample time to blend the flavors well. This made that creamy rich thick gravy that we were so looking forward to eat. I am glad at the end we were not disappointed.

Dal Bukhara or Kali dal
Serves -6
¾ cup of whole urad dal or kali dal
For the masala
2 medium size onions
4 garlic pods
1 inch ginger
2 tomatoes
2 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of black pepper powder
½ tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of cumin powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
Salt as per taste
Pinch of sugar
2-3 tbs of cream
1 tbs of butter
2 tbs of cooking oil
Wash the dal for 2-3 times in water. Soak them for 3-4 hrs prior of making the dal or soak the dal in warm water for 2 hrs prior of making dal.
Pressure cook the dal with some turmeric +salt .One whistle at high and put the flame to low and let it cook for 10-12 mints at low. Remove from the stove-top and when the pressure subsides, open the cooker lid.
Now chop onion, garlic and ginger finely. Chop tomatoes also.
Now heat up a pan, add cooking oil, and then chopped garlic/ginger, fry for 1-2 mints till they start to brown, add onions and fry them for 4 mints.
Add the dry masala powder-turmeric+red pepper powder+cumin powder+coriander powder+salt+sugar and little bit of water so that the dry ingredients don’t get burnt.
Now fry this for 5-6 mints more at med-low flame. Add in chopped tomatoes. Keep frying till the oil starts to come from the sides. Stop the flame and let it sit there so that it can be little cool.
Now transfer this fried masala to a food processor (make sure they are little bit cool).Take out half of the cooked urad dal from the pressure cooker and add this with the fried masala in the food processor. Pulses this mixture in a food processor or liquidizer whatever make you have.
Add this mixture to the rest of the cooked dal.Again put the pressure cooker pan over flame and cook for 5-8 mints at med-low till all the flavors gets well blended. Add cream and butter and mix in well.
Serve with hot parathas or naan.

Now if I tried to make a dish from UP (where my growing years were spent), then how can I forget to make something from Bengal .Here comes a torkari which is just delicious and is very much part of every Bengali household during winters when cabbage is in plenty.Bandhakopir torkari or bandhakopir ghonto, whatever you feel you can call it. I like to call “torkari” as I haven’t added fried fish pieces to it or even fried fish head this time.So, this remains numero uno choice for our vegetarian recipes .We kind of like it with porotha with a bowl of yogurt. There is another way I like to eat bandhakopir torkari is with “muri” or puffed rice. That is so heavenly, how do you like eating your bandhakopir torkari?
Every home has its unique way of preparing recipes, this is how my ma and even my ma-in-law like to prepare, from them I have picked it preparing this way. To the recipe now-

Bandhakopir Torkari (Bandhagobhi ki Subzi)
Bandhakopi /cabbage-half cut from a large one
1 medium size potato cut into cubes/dumo-dumo
½ cup of frozen peas or fresh shelled peas
For the flavoring part
1 inch ginger chopped finely
2 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
2 bay leaves
2-3 cloves
1 cardamom
2 tbs of cooking oil +1 tbs of butter
Chop cabbage and wash them well in water.
Now heat up a pan, add oil, and fry the cut potato cubes till they turn nice brown.
In that oil, add little bit of more oil. Temper that oil with bay leaf, cloves, crushed cardamom/elaich and ginger. Fry them well for 2mints, make sure they don’t get charred.
Now add in chopped cabbage-Tip- Sometimes I pre-cook the cabbage with some water and salt prior of making this stir/fry or torkari.You may cook chopped cabbage for 5 mints at low or till they get reduced in volume and start to loose water. This way it takes little less time to cook.
However, there is other way round.
After you have tempered the oil with bay leaf, cloves and cardamom+ginger, add the fried potato cubes. Now add in turmeric+red pepper +cumin+coriander powder. Tip-( dry roast 2 tsp of cumin coriander over iron skillet/tava for few mints and make fresh powder in a coffee grinder, this brings out the best flavor for bandhakopir torakari, however if you don’t have time you can use the store brought masala packets also)Don’t forget to add salt and sugar to it. sprinkle some water approx2-3 tbs also.
Fry this well for 5 mints at med-low till the potato cubes are well coated with spices.
Add in chopped cabbage to it and keep working/mixing in with the fried masala.Cover the pan lid and cook for 10-12 mints at low. Do not hurry the process. Check in between and sprinkle some water over it and gently do stir the ingredients .Meanwhile add in frozen peas also.Cover it again and cook for 5-8 mints.
Take out when you feel that the cabbage is cooked. You may mash some potato cubes or may leave them as it is. Add 1 tbs of butter, and garam masala, mix in well. Serve and enjoy with roti or porotha.

Leaving with you a picture of sunset.This view was pointed out to me by my daughter.Wish I can board that plane and go back to my home.

Happy Cooking Friends


  1. Delicious recipe...awesome pics :)

  2. Chhobita shundor hoechhe...barir jonno mon kemon kore tai na:)
    I liked the Dal Bukhara...looks yummy!Cooking the cabbages I get in the stores here is a tedious and time-consuming process...pressure cook na korlei hotei chayna!Cheye cheye thake!:(

  3. Happy,

    oh! thanks.

    you are right ..cabbage and cauliflower both are tasteless here..back home ki shundor kopi r bandhaopi paba jaye ..randhle khete o bhalo hoye ..hain eyi torkari ta banate ekto samay to lagey , kinto khete mondo hoyena :)..
    hugs and smiles

  4. that cabbage subzi looks yummo. i usually end up making thoran u know..

  5. That drizzle of heavy cream makes it so tempting!

    Apparently Bukhara Restaurant serves the best Dal Makhni.

  6. hi ami kamalika..sharmila r blog theke ekhane elam...eshe khub bhalo laglo...darun shob recipes aar snaps gulo aro bhalo....following u......

  7. Nags,
    yeah I know thoran, thats a nice way to have cabbage..thanks for coming by..

    I have heard about Bukhara restaurant, but we loved the Karim's restaurant chain ..they serve one of the best Awadhi cuisine..

    warm welcome
    bhalo laglo tumaar sathe parichoy hoye ..eyibaar ashte thakbe ..theek to ?

    hugs and smiles

  8. I would love to try this recipe ,looks yummy.My daughter loves this daal with zeera rice.
    I switch on tv only to watch the news now a days ...rest of the time there is always a cartoon running on the tv.


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