This is a recipe that evolved from the daals and khichris I used to cook for the girls when they were babies.
The format was usually the same – a couple of vegetables (one green, the other red or yellow) fried with some onion,garlic, sometimes ginger, and tomato, and then cooked together with one of the yellow daals. For a khichri I added rice to that combination.
Of the various combinations I cooked together then, the one I have continued to make over the years is of red lentils (masoor) cooked with spinach and squash/pumpkin.
This is one the girls eat without demur, and the leftover portion is very useful for making dough for puris and paranthas that are full of taste.
I also like the idea that I don’t have to cook a subzi separately, when I cook this daal for a meal,since there is a decent amount of vegetables in the daal. So yesterday, when I made this daal for dinner, I made only some plain rice and peanut raita to go with it.
Daal with Vegetables
1 cup of masoor (red lentils), washed, and soaked for an hour or two
75-100 gms of very finely chopped fresh or frozen spinach
100-150 gms of finely diced pumpkin/butternut squash (or 2 medium sized carrots)
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of coriander powder
1/2 tsp of garam masala (optional)
salt to taste
3 tbsp of sunflower oil
In a pressure cooker, heat the oil, add the cumin seeds, and fry the onion till it starts to turn a golden color. Add the garlic and the pumkpin, and fry till the onions start to turn brown and pumpkin starts to look quite soft.
Add the tomatoes, and fry till they are soft. Now add the spices, and fry for a couple of seconds.
Add the spinach and the salt, and fry for 3-4 minutes. Now add the daal, 3-4 cups of water, mix everything thoroughly and pressure cook for 7-8 minutes, or till the vegetables are quite soft.
Add a little boiled water to thin the daal, if it seems to thick, and a tsp of ghee for flavor, if you like.
If you plan to make puris or paranthas with the leftover portion, do thicken the daal over heat first, else you’ll end up using too much flour to knead the dough.
let me know if you try/like this, since this recipe is truly my own 🙂