simple dal

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


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



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.


  • 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.


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

one-pot dal for Yasmin

6th March 2017


A simple dal we make weekly, served with chapati and alongside a cabbage or okra palya.  A recipe my daughter requested that I write-up so that she can refer to when she moves out later this year.  It is also one of her favourite meal combinations.  We are in the process of learning how to make 6 easy meals which she can prepare herself.  This dal is one of them.

If the thought of making chapati sounds a bit overwhelming – it can be served with a bowl of rice and a crispy salad.  When drizzled with ghee it becomes a deeply soothing, warming, nourishing meal.

The tomatoes can be replaced with any vegetable of choice,  I like the process of stewing them in a voggarane pan before adding in the dal, this way they slightly caramelise, deepening the flavour with the spices.

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~ Evening forage at the end of the day in a blanket of mist.  Silent.


one-pot dal

Preparation – 30 mins

Serves 3 – 4

Inspired by Tara O’brady – Everyday Yellow Dal.

In Ayurveda, it is important to understand the different types of dal/legumes used and their energetic qualities. The most favourable and used most often – whole moong (mung beans); 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 are recommended to use in moderation and in small quantities.



1 cup/200g yellow split moong dal

3 cups/750ml water


2 Tbsp ghee

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1½ heaped tsp cumin seeds

1 dried chilli – torn in half

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

12 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

1 heaped tsp finely chopped ginger

2 medium tomato, chopped into small pieces

1 tsp fine rock salt

a small handful coriander leaves

juice from half a lemon

to serve 

cabbage carrot palya



1.   In a bowl, wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain and refill with 3 cups water – set aside.

2.  Finely chop the tomatoes and measure out the spices for the voggarane – set aside.

prepare the voggarane 

3.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, turn down the heat, add cumin seeds,  chilli and asafoetida – fry for a few seconds, then add curry leaves and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly.

4.  Add the tomato and ginger, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally – fry until the tomato starts to break up.

5.  Pour in the bowl of dal and water, bring to a rapid simmer, then simmer until the dal is soft and broken down – 20 minutes. Add more water if the dal becomes too dry.

6.   Add salt, jaggery, lemon juice and garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve with chapati, a cabbage or okra palya.


Goodness shared by Stacey

simple yellow dal with green beans & cabbage

13th February 2010

This dal is soft, gentle and soothing.  Nothing fancy, just simple.  And I love the colours. Cabbage is the one vegetable we have in abundance in the garden at the moment.  Did you know that after you pick the head of the cabbage, if you put a criss-cross in the top of the stem, you will have three more small cabbages growing?  How wonderful is that?


He looks more like a mystical, fairy, green creature visiting my garden. 

a simple yellow dal with green beans & cabbage

Serves 2


½ cup toor dal (yellow lentils)

3 cups water

½ tsp turmeric powder

handful of green beans/snow peas, roughly chopped

handful of cabbage, sliced into chunks

1 Tbsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 whole red chilli, optional

fresh coriander

1 tsp salt


1.  Wash the toor dal in several water changes (remember to keep this for the garden.)

2.  Combine the dal, water and turmeric in a heavy-bottomed pot (or if using a pressure cooker, for 3 whistles), simmer, uncovered until the dal has broken down and is soft.  May need to add more water.

3.  Add the beans and cabbage and simmer for 10 mins, just until they begin to soften but are still quite firm and retain their vibrant colour.

4.  To finish the dish, heat a little ghee/oil, add the cumin seeds and chilli – fry for about 30 seconds, then pour into the dal.

5.  Add salt to taste and finely chopped coriander. For more taste, fresh lemon juice can be added.

Because this dal is very soft and gentle in taste, it perfectly complements the colourful and vibrant taste of this tofu capsicum subzi.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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