Indian & Ayurveda

vegetable bath

5th September 2020

We first made this dish with Ganapathi Aarya in the Jivana Yoga Programme, after that I made it once or twice, and then it got tucked away forgotten. It was only when Lior made it one Wednesday after practice that I remembered how delicious it is. Now, it is a dish I make on a weekly basis. I cook the dal and rice separately to keep them fluffy and whole. This does mean you are using three pans for cooking; one for the rice, one for the dal, and then one for the vegetables. If wanting to keep it simple, soak the whole moong dal overnight and cook it with the rice the following day, as in the original recipe.

For serving, grated beetroot and carrot salad with a ginger-lemon-sweet dressing, and raita with dill and a finely sliced cucumber. Use a mandoline for grating the carrot and beetroot and for slicing the cucumber finely. A mandoline is such a useful tool to have in the kitchen, especially for putting together a quick salad. So much so that my son has asked to take one back with him to university!

Vegetable Bath is suitable for all constitutions – it is simple, nourishing and balancing.

Niyamas

“One of the niyamas is santoṣa – “contentment”. Many people are confused when trying to differentiate between contentment and happiness. Contentment is a feeling of satisfaction or completeness. Contentment arises from inside of us. It tends to have a lasting or enduring quality. Happiness is a feeling of pleasure or lightness that tends to be a result of some external reason and is usually fleeting.”

The Sacred Tradition of Yoga by Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois

vegetable bath

Preparation 45 minutes

Serves 3

All spice measurements are heaped unless otherwise stated.

ingredients 

¼ cup/50g whole moong dāl + 2 cups water

¾ cup/150g white basmati rice + 1¾ cups water

½ cup/40g dried shredded coconut

1½ – 2 heaped tsp sambar powder (moderately spiced)

flat tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp ghee

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane

⅓ cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

20 fresh curry leaves

3 cups/350g beans, carrot, capsicum

¾ cup water

½ flat tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1.  In a small saucepan, rinse the dāl, add 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, set aside.

2.  In a large-sized pan, wash the rice, drain, add 1¾ cups water, bring up to boil, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until water evaporates and the rice is cooked, turn off the heat. Cover, set aside for 10 minutes. Add the cooked dāl.

3. Cut vegetables into small uniform pieces and measure remaining ingredients.

voggarane

4.  In a skillet, over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves, fry for a few seconds, add vegetables – mix well.

5.  Add water and ½ tsp salt, simmer uncovered until vegetables soften – 8 minutes, stir once or twice.

6.  To the rice and dal, add the vegetables, coconut, sambar powder, remaining salt, ghee and coriander. Combine well and serve.

serve

Twice a week, as a morning or midday meal, across all seasons.

variation

Using a pressure cooker; combine all ingredients including the vegetables, alongside the separately fried voggarane with 2 cups water. Cook for 3 whistles – set aside until the pressure has subsided.

chuchu palya

8th January 2020

I  planted a chuchu vine 2 years ago, the first year it took off with great enthusiasm climbing up and over anything in its path. By the middle of Autumn, it was covered in small white flowers which sadly fell to the ground. This year, those white flowers turned into little buds, which grew into tiny, then small, then medium, then big chuchu. Lots of them! There are so many hidden amongst the leafage that when I think that I have picked them all, a few days later I come away with another basket full!

~locally known as Chuchu, Seemebadanekaayi in South India, Chayote in Mexico and Choko in Australia~

chuchu palya

Preparation –  25 minutes

Serves 2 – 3

Use heaped spoon measurements unless otherwise stated.

ingredients

2 Tbsp peanut oil

1 medium/360g chuchu

½ cup water

⅓ cup dried shredded coconut

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp channa dal

tsp asafoetida powder

tsp turmeric powder

15 curry leaves

to serve

carrot palya  (Instead of grating, cut the carrot into small uniform cubes. When cooking, add a ¼ cup water and simmer uncovered until the water evaporates.)

yoghurt

spicy amla pickle

round brown rice

preparation

1.  Peel the chuchu and finely chop into small uniform cubes. Set aside.

2.  In a skillet, over medium-high heat, pour in the oil, add the mustard seeds and split channa dal – fry until the mustard seeds pop and channa dal starts to turn golden-brown.

3.  Add the asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric – fry for a few seconds.

4. Add the water and stir in chuchu, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes then cover and simmer, stirring often  – approximately 5 minutes or until the chuchu is cooked and water has eliminated.

5.  Turn off the heat, add the dried coconut, salt, jaggery and coriander. Stir to combine.

variation

  • Towards the end of cooking stir in ½ cup full-fat yoghurt.

easy pomegranate juice

14th September 2019

Looking for a sparkling, refreshing drink? I was heading out to the garden to pick some rhubarb to make the sparkling rose rhubarb, when Donna suggested pomegranate.

Living in Israel, we had the luxury of an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. In the Jerusalem markets, it was wonderful to walk past many stall-holders using a hand squeezer to release the vibrant ruby-coloured liquid. Inspired by this memory, I instinctively reached for the hand squeezer used for lemons and oranges. Two squeezes later and there was a ½ cup of that ruby-coloured liquid…..

Pomegranate is often referred to as the ‘Divine Fruit’.  It is considered as a sattvic fruit, with restorative properties and promotes appetite. Sweet pomegranate is tridhātu sāmyabalancing all three doshas. Sour pomegranate is especially useful in reducing heat in the body.

Pomegranate, if of good quality, is especially beneficial for yogic practice.

~The Sacred Tradition of Yoga – Dr. Shankaranaravana Jois~

easy pomegranate juice

Preparation  – 2 minutes

Serves 2

ingredients

2 pomegranates

2 cup/500ml sparkling water

1 -2 tsp sugar or sweetener of choice (optional)

preparation

1.  Cut the pomegranate in half and use a hand juicer or citrus press to extract the juice. Squeeze out as much juice from the pulp and seeds.

2.  Strain and pour into glasses. Drink as is, or add sparkling water and sweetener.

Enjoy!

puliyogare – tamarind rice

29th August 2019

Puliyogare is a traditional Karnataka style tamarind rice and is made by tempering pre-cooked rice in a spicy tamarind paste. It is very flavourful, slightly spicy, sweet and sour. Puliyogare is also prepared on auspicious days and festivals and offered as prasadam (offerings).

~ sunflower (genus helianthus)~

~ sunflowers are known to being the ‘happy’ flowers. They symbolise adoration, loyalty and longevity.

~ each sunflower is actually thousands of tenny flowers.

~ when sunflowers are young they track the sun throughout the day, this is called heliotropism. It is believed that they do this because they follow a circadian rhythm as we do as humans – they face east at dawn and slowly turn west as the sun moves across the sky before resetting themselves overnight. Mature sunflowers stop tracking the sun and only face east.

puliyogare

Don’t be tempted to go light on the sugar, this dish relies on the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Preparation – 30 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients

1 cup/200g white basmati rice

2 cups water

voggarane

cup peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp heaped black mustard seeds

1 tsp heaped split channa dal

½ tsp heaped split urad dal

1 heaped Tbsp peanuts, chopped

tsp asafoetida powder

12 fresh curry leaves

tsp heaped turmeric powder

2 heaped tsp/25g puliyogare gojju*

½ cup/40g dried shredded coconut

4 heaped tsp/30g jaggery/brown sugar

1 heaped tsp fine rock salt

1 flat tsp rasam powder

*If you don’t have pre-made puliyogare gojju, make your own by mixing 2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate, 1 heaped Tbsp jaggery and 1 flat tsp rasam powder – mix to a paste.

to serve

cucumber slices

yoghurt/curd rice

preparation

1.  In a saucepan, wash the rice until the water runs clear, drain and pour in 2 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, uncovered or until water has evaporated.

2.  Turn off the heat, cover and set aside to cool. Measure out the remaining ingredients.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil, mustard seeds, channa, urad dal and peanuts; when the seeds turn grey and both dals are golden-brown, turn down the heat, add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves – fry for 30 seconds, stirring to allow the spices to fry evenly.

4.  Turn off the heat and stir in the puliyogare gojju, then add coconut, jaggery, salt and rasam powder.

5.  Add the cooked rice, and gently combine, ensuring the rice is mixed well with the spices. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt or jaggery.  Garnish with a handful of coriander leaves and serve with a spoon of ghee.

summer garden palya

2nd July 2019

A palya which I have been making often, very simple, quick and based on what is in the garden at the moment; a handful of beans, small cabbages and a few small zucchinis. Feel free to change the vegetables to suit the season or availability. Great served over rice, with avocado and pickle or accompanied with a simple dal. 

summer garden palya

Preparation 30 minutes

Serves 4 

Use heaped spoon measurements.

ingredients 

2 cups/230g zucchinis

3 cups/170g cabbage

1 cup/150g green beans

¼ cup/60ml water

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 tsp jaggery/sugar

5 Tbsp dried shredded coconut

½ cup chopped coriander/fenugreek leaves

voggarane

4 Tbsp peanut/melted coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split channa dal

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 medium, mild dried red chillies, chopped

⅛ tsp hingu powder (asafoetida)

¼ tsp turmeric powder

20 fresh curry leaves

to serve

ghee

brown rice

sliced avocado

spicy pickle

preparation

1.  Chop the zucchini, cabbage and green beans into small uniformed pieces and measure the spices for the voggarane – set aside.

prepare the voggarane

2.  In a heavy-bottom skillet, over medium heat, pour in oil, add mustard seeds and channa dal; when they turn grey and the dal is golden-brown, turn down the heat, add cumin seeds, chillies, and asafoetida – fry for 30 seconds, then add the turmeric powder and curry leaves – fry for a few seconds longer.

3.  Add the vegetables, water, salt and jaggery – stir to combine, and cook uncovered on medium heat for 3 minutes – stirring regularly, then cover and cook until the vegetables have softened – 3 more minutes. 

4.  Turn off the heat and stir in the dried coconut and coriander. 

5.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes in order to cool slightly and for the flavours to be absorbed. Taste, adding more salt or jaggery, as needed.

Serve with brown rice drizzled with ghee.

beetroot palya

11th April 2019

I prefer to keep this palya simple and the flavours subtle, as it is normally served with other complex dishes. Use fresh, small-medium sized beetroot with lots of flavour and preferably with their greens attached – a reliable sign of freshness. Always give them a squeeze to avoid buying old spongy beetroot that has been stored too long.

~ vegetable garden and blossoms ~

beetroot palya

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 4, as a side dish.

ingredients 

4-5 medium/450g beetroot

voggarane 

2 Tbsp peanut oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

15 small curry leaves

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

3 Tbsp freshly grated coconut – can replace with dried

to serve 

whole moong dal with garden greens

yoghurt

rice

preparation 

1.  Scrub the beetroot and place in a pot of boiling water – simmer for 30 minutes until tender but still firm.

2.  Drain and allow to cool slightly. Using vinyl gloves (this will keep your hands clean while working with beets) slip the skin off. If the skin doesn’t slip off easily, use a knife to scrape the skin away. Finely chop into small uniformed cubes and place in a serving bowl.

prepare the voggarane 

3.  Heat the oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds; when they turn grey and pop, remove from heat, add in the curry leaves, swishing the pan around for the leaves to fry evenly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 1 – 2 minutes, then stir in the salt and jaggery.

4.  Pour the voggarane over the beetroot – toss until well-incorporated.

5.  Add the finely chopped dill and sprinkle over the coconut – stir to combine. Garnish with a handful of small beetroot leaves.  Serve warm, or at room temperature.

variations 

  • Stir through 1  cup full-fat yoghurt.

suggestions 

  • If buying beets with their greens still attached, lightly steam the greens when boiling the beet, double the voggarane and stir through.

whole moong dal with garden greens – two variations

18th March 2019

There are two different ways to prepare this dish. One is more of a soupy, liquid dish and the second is a dry palya of sorts; both use the same ingredients, whilst the main difference being the amount of water used.

Soupy Whole Moong Dal with Garden Greens

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3

ingredients
½ cup/100g whole moong dal (mung beans)
4½ cups water
2 cups/55g loosely packed kale/fenugreek/spinach,cabbage & coriander leaves
2 Tbsp dried shredded coconut
1 tsp fine rock salt
1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar
1 -2 tsp lemon juice
voggarane
1 – 2 Tbsp ghee
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1  heaped Tbsp split channa dal
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 chilli (broken into three pieces)
⅛ tsp asafoetida powder
⅛ tsp turmeric powder
12 curry leaves

to serve
Rice
Yoghurt with cucumber
Beetroot Palya /Shaved Beetroot Salad

preparation
1.  In a medium saucepan wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, then pour in the water, bring to boil, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer, uncovered until tender – about 20-30 minutes or until the dal is cooked. Just keep in mind you may need to add more water when cooking – depending on the quality of your dal.

2. While waiting for the dal to cook, wash the greens and roughly chop. Measure out the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

prepare the voggarane
3.  In a small pan over medium-high heat, heat the ghee, add mustard seeds and channa dal, fry until the mustard seeds turn grey and the dal is golden brown.

4.  Turn down the heat and add the chilli and asafoetida powder – continue to fry for 20 seconds, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly, add the curry leaves and turmeric powder, turn off the heat, then add the voggarane into the dal.

5.  Sprinkle in the dried coconut, salt, jaggery, lemon juice and fold in the green leaves – mix well, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes until the greens have wilted. Taste adding more sweet or sour as needed.

Serve over rice, drizzle with ghee and sprinkle with a few rounds of freshly ground pepper.

suggestions

  • Soak the dal in the morning or evening for quick meal preparation.
  • To keep the green leaves vibrant, add only when ready to serve.

variations

  • Use split yellow moong dal instead of the whole moong dal.
  • Add in finely chopped carrot instead of the garden greens.

Dry moong dal with garden greens

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients
½ cup/100g whole moong dal (mung beans)
3 cups/750ml water
2 cups/55g loosely packed kale/fenugreek/spinach/cabbage & coriander leaves
2 Tbsp dried shredded coconut
1 tsp fine rock salt
1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar
1 – 2 Tbsp lemon juice
voggarane
1 Tbsp ghee
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 heaped Tbsp split channa dal
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 chilli (broken into three pieces)
⅛ tsp asafoetida powder
⅛ tsp turmeric powder
12 curry leaves

to serve

tomato gojju

shaved carrot salad

guacamole

rice

preparation

1.  In a medium saucepan wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, then pour in the water, bring to boil, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer, uncovered until tender – about 20-30 minutes. Just keep in mind you may need to add more water when cooking – depending on the quality of your dal. Keep an eye on them and judge so that you are not left with mush. You want the moong dal firm but cooked.

2. While waiting for the dal to soften, wash the greens and finely chop. Measure out the remaining ingredients – set aside.

3.  When the dal is ready, pour into a strainer to drain off any excess water – leave for a few minutes.

prepare the voggarane
4.  In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add the ghee, once it’s hot, add the mustard seeds and channa dal; fry until the mustard seeds start to pop and the dal is golden-brown.

5.  Turn down the heat and add the chilli and asafoetida powder – continue to fry for 20 seconds, then add the curry leaves and turmeric powder – allow to fry for a few seconds, stirring for the spices to fry evenly.

6.  Turn off the heat and add the greens, mix well (may need to add 2 tablespoons of water if it feels to dry). Cover and allow the greens to wilt.

7.  Stir in the cooked dal, dried coconut, salt and jaggery – mix well, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to come together. Taste adding more sweet or sour – I like to add extra lemon juice.  When serving, garnish with lemon zest and freshly grated coconut.

cabbage carrot palya

23rd February 2019

Growing up as a child, dinner was always six o’clock sharp, no later and no earlier. I grew up on the same weekly menu for as long as I lived with my parents and they still, to this day, eat according to this same menu.

This routine seems to be deep-rooted, as I get older I see a pattern emerging; Sunday is pasta night, Monday mornings pepper rasam and in the evening chapati night, Tuesday morning is a garden inspired rasam and Fridays are becoming sandwich night.

On chapati night, I serve this simple dal, a quick guacamole and this cabbage carrot palya. It is a combination which goes well together and has become a regular on the table for years now.

I prefer to keep this palya simple, as it is normally served with other complex dishes. For a more deeply flavoured dish, add 1 tsp finely grated ginger, roughly chopped toasted cashews and a squeeze of lemon towards the end of cooking.

cabbage carrot palya

Preparation – 20 minutes

Serves 3 – 4, as a side dish

ingredients

2 Tbsp peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split channa dal

1 tsp split urad dal

12 curry leaves

2 – 4 Tbsp water

3 cups/200g cabbage

1 medium/80g carrot

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

to serve 

one pot dal

chapati

preparation 

1.  Finely chop the cabbage – measuring 3 cups, peel and grate the carrot using the larger side of a box grater – measuring 1 cup. Set aside.

2.  In a skillet, on medium-high heat, add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal – fry until both dals are golden-brown, then add the curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.

3.  Turn down the heat, pour in the water and immediately add the cabbage. Cover and simmer the cabbage until cooked but still firm, stirring every few minutes – approximately 4 minutes. If there is any liquid left on the bottom, uncover and increase the heat to high until it has evaporated.

4.  Stir in the grated carrot – cook 1 – 2 minutes more, uncovered, stirring until the carrot is soft.

5.  Season with salt and jaggery, sprinkle in the dried coconut – combine well. If you like, add a small amount of finely chopped fresh coriander.

suggestions 

  • Use a variety of cabbage (Savoy Cabbage) with dark outer leaves for a variation in deep greens. It doesn’t affect the taste but the contrast is lovely.

variations 

  • In spring, add in fresh green sweet peas, when adding the cabbage.
  • Replace the carrot with finely chopped fenugreek leaves.

easy one-pot kichadi

30th December 2018

This is a quick satisfying one-pot meal to prepare. It is easy to digest, nourishing, balancing and a complete protein in one bowl. When eaten together, rice and dal provide all the essential amino acids for a nutritionally sustainable meal. Perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time to cook and need something fast but with enough nutrients to sustain you. It can be eaten in the morning or evening and takes only half an hour to prepare.

When preparing Kichadi, it is important to understand the different types of dal or legumes used and their energetic qualities.  There is one type of dal which is favourable and used most often – whole moong(mung beans) and when husked and split becomes split moong. These two are easy to digest, gentle on the system and cause minimum disturbances to all constitutions.  All other dals or legumes are recommended to use in moderation and small quantities.

When serving Kichadi, drizzle with a spoon of ghee. GHEE is a magical golden substance that has many benefits for the human system including improved digestion as well as making everything taste better.

I recently spent a week with my daughter helping her organise her first apartment in London. She needed a few quick no-fuss meals that she could make while balancing studies and working – this was one of them.

Easy One-Pot Kichadi

Preparation – 35 minutes

Serves 2

ingredients
⅓ cup/60g split moong dal
⅓ cup/60g white basmati rice
3 cups/750ml water

1 Tbsp ghee
¼ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
½ small red chilli (optional)
6 curry leaves
⅛ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup/30g chopped cabbage
½ cup/70g finely chopped carrot

¾ tsp fine rock salt
½ tsp jaggery/brown sugar
1 Tbsp dried shredded coconut
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 – 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
to serve
ghee
Indian spicy pickle

preparation
1.  Place the dal and rice in a bowl, rinse with water until the water runs clear, drain and pour in 3 cups water. Set aside.

2.  In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the mustard seeds turn grey and pop, turn down the heat and add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, and chilli – fry for a few seconds, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly.

3.  Add in the curry leaves and turmeric powder – fry for a few seconds.

4.  Pour the dal, rice and water into the voggarane, bring to boil over high heat, then lower to maintain a rapid simmer.

5.  While waiting for the dal and rice to boil, finely chop the carrot and cabbage and add this to the simmering rice and dal.

6.  After 20 minutes, turn the heat to low and cover. When the dal and rice have softened, add the salt, jaggery, ginger, dried coconut, lemon juice and coriander – turn off the heat, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to meld together.

Taste adding more lemon or salt as needed. Serve drizzled with ghee.

suggestions

  • Soak the dal and rice in the morning for quick evening preparation.

variations

  • Replace the white basmati rice with quinoa. Using ½ cup quinoa and ¼ cup dal.
  • Change the vegetables to suit the seasons.
  • Add ½  – 1 tsp sambar powder, replace the lemon juice with tamarind paste.

favourite rasam recipe – three ways

22nd August 2018

This is a recipe I fall back on as a twice or thrice weekly meal. It is the same recipe, same measurement of spices, using a variety of different dal and vegetables. The first two recipes include grinding the coconut-rasam mixture, while the third does not, making it a quicker dish to prepare. It’s a good example of how one recipe can be used in many variations to give a totally different dish.

In these three recipes, I alternate between using mung beans(whole moong dal)toor dal and split yellow moong dal. The rasam powder can be replaced with sambar powder in all dishes.

whole mung beans with tomatoes & chard

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients 

½ cup/100g mung beans(whole moong dal)

4 cups water/1-litre

1 medium tomato(100g), finely chopped

1 cup/50g tightly packed chard leaves (can use kale/fenugreek)

2 heaped Tbsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

sambar-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane 

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, pour in 4 cups water into the saucepan and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer.

2.  After 10 minutes, add the tomatoes – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes. 

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender, add the dried coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute, until smooth, then add to dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, heat the ghee, add mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly.

5.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, add salt, jaggery and stir in the chopped chard leaves.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to settle, the chard to soften and dal to thicken slightly.  Taste adding more sweet, tamarind or salt.

Serve with rice, yoghurt and drizzle with a spoon of ghee.

split moong dal with charred okra & fenugreek

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

This dish requires frying the vegetables, in this case, the okra, in the voggarane until nicely charred, then stirring it through the cooked dal when ready to serve. I like to keep 1 cup of the okra aside to use as garnish. This method of cooking works very nicely with green beans as well.

ingredients 

½ cup/100g split yellow moong dal

3 cups/750ml water

2 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

rasam-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (moderately spiced)

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane 

3 Tbsp peanut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped Tbsp channa dal

1 heaped tsp urad dal

400g okra

15 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

2 cups fresh fenugreek/kale/ coriander leaves – chopped

preparation

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, pour in 3 cups water and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

2. Top, tail the okra and cut into 1 cm pieces and measure out the remaining ingredients – set aside.

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender, add the rasam powder, tamarind, dried coconut and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute, until smooth, add to the dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal, fry until both dals are golden-brown.

5.  Add the okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges – approximately 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and fold in the chopped fenugreek leaves.

6.  Set aside 1 cup of the cooked okra for garnishing and stir the remaining into the dal.  Taste adding more sweet, sour or salt.

This dish is best served immediately as the okra can become gooey, otherwise, keep the okra and dal separate until ready to serve. Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

toor dal with carrots and green beans

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

This is the same procedure, using a different dal and vegetables, however, the rasam and coconut are added directly into the dish, no grinding required.

ingredients 

½ cup/100g toor dal 

cups /1-litre water

1 medium/100g carrot – finely chopped

1½ cups finely chopped beans (can use cabbage in Winter)

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

1 ½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

2 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane 

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation 

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash dal until the water runs clear, drain, then pour in 4 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. 

2.  After 10 minutes, add the carrot and green beans, simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

3.  Stir in the coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, salt and jaggery, mix to combine well – simmer for 4 -5 minutes.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric, swishing the pan for the spices to fry evenly.

5.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, and stir in the coriander.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes for the flavours to settle and dal to thicken slightly.  Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

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