Tag Archives: tamarind

Khatti-Meethi Daal

This afternoon, when I soaked the daal for the evening’s meal, I found myself thinking that I did not want to make varan yet again. As I mulled over the various ways in which arhar can be cooked, I remembered for the first time in a long while of a childhood favorite – a sweet and sour version of this lentil.

My mother sometimes made arhar flavored with tamarind and jaggery. And though the others at home -my father, my brother and my dadi – did not favor this variation, she made it quite often just for me.

I had never made it myself until today, but managed to achieve the same taste as in my mother’s version. And I was quite pleased to see that the girls liked it too.

Khatti-Meethi Daal

1 cup arhar

1 medium sized onion, chopped very finely

1 green chilly, sliced through(optional)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds (methi)

1 clove of garlic, sliced in to thin slivers

5-6 curry leaves

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt to taste

2 tsp of thick tamarind paste

1tbsp of crushed jaggery (you can vary the amount)

Soak the daal with the fenugreek seeds for 2-3 hours, then pressure cook it in 3 cups of water, with the onion, the jaggery and the salt, till the grains are absolutely soft.

When the daal has cooled down a little bit, add the turmeric and the tamarind paste and stir everything together thoroughly with a whisk so that the grains dissolve completely.

In a small frying pan, heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, then when they start to crackle add the curry leaves, the green chilly, and the garlic and stir till the garlic starts to turn a very light brown. Add this tempering to the daal and boil it for 7-8 minutes to allow everything to really come together.

This daal is just great with plain white rice.  Add a little bit of ghee to that, and it’s heaven 🙂

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One of Atto’s – Tangy Coriander & Mint Chutney

Atto – my husband’s bua – is one of the best cooks I know.

What makes her food more special though, is the care and affection with which she feeds people.

I have been saying to her for years that she ought to write a cookbook. In the meanwhile, here is her recipe for just the most delicious green chutney (with a couple of minor variations of my own; like I don’t recall if Atto used onion when I saw her make it, but my mom does in her coriander chutney; so I use it too)

Coriander and Mint Chutney

A big bunch of coriander; another of mint (I tend to use less of the mint and more of the coriander)

One medium sized onion

1 green chilly, stalk removed

salt to taste

2 tbsp of thick tamarind juice (use more or less, as you like)

3 tbsp of a thick solution of jaggery dissolved in water (again, you could use more or less)

Wash the herbs thoroughly, then chop roughly after removing the hard stalks (I always retain the softer stems, and don’t bother about using only the leaves; it seems a waste to let the stems go since they have so much flavor too).

Peel and chop the onion in to 6-10 large-ish parts.

Blend together all the ingredients, using as little water as possible. This will therefore take time, since you will have to stop every once in a while to keep the machine of the food processor from overheating, and to stir the contents of the bowl/jar in which you are making the chutney. But it is worth spending the time rather than using too much water, since that would result in a watery chutney.

Also, you could add the tamarind and jaggery pastes gradually, so that you can control the amount you will use of each, depending on the balance of sweet and sour tastes that appeals to you.

I just love this chutney; I find the use of tamarind instead of lime juice quite a great touch.

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