mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Express Cooking: Meal #2 (Punjabi)

In Punjab, Under 30 min!, Vegetables on July 30, 2007 at 11:39 pm

Arbi ki subzi

So, we were talking about Express Meals…

After that generic ‘Indian’ pulao, let’s get region specific. Tonight it is going to be Punjabi, a cuisine that is second nature to me since I have been surrounded by the sight, smell, and taste of this cuisine since childhood.

Very early on, my mother adopted roti-subzi as the ideal packed lunch for all of us. You can’t beat the convenience of a roti or parantha with a sookhi (dry) subzi, sometimes perked up with a little pickle, for school tiffin. No spills, no mess, and no spoons or forks needed.

Since my mother learnt roti-making from her Punjabi neighbours, her rotis were the thicker north Indian kind. Punjabis prefer the flour much coarser than do Maharashtrians and Gujaratis, who make very fine rotis. Punjabi roti is at least double that of the latter in weight. And that is how I made roti till I got married…

With the rotis came the Punjabi subzies; Kashmiri preparations being best served with rice. Punjabi cuisine continues to be my favoured way with many north-Indian vegetables.

The simplest way to prepare a vegetable in the Punjabi style is to use a tadka of cumin, hing, turmeric, coriander powder, and red chilli powder (cayenne pepper) in peanut or (preferably) mustard oil; just as rai (mustard)-hing-haldi (turmeric) in peanut oil, make the basic Maharashtrian phodni.

Served at home, the meal will usually be accompanied by dal and/or dahi (or lassi), and a pickle. Salad is usually fresh sliced carrots and radishes in winter, and onions in the summer.

Tonight, I’m serving roti with Arbi (taro tubers) and Naniwali dal. And therein lies a tale!

Some of you are familiar with my mother’s secrecy in the kitchen. Here’s another story…

I’ve already mentioned how different Maharashrian food is from Kashmiri. When I got married my mother had a hard time cooking for TH. She couldn’t spread out the traditional fare for a son-in-law who (a) was vegetarian, (b) didn’t understand what the big deal about paneer was, (c) did not care much for rice, and (d) liked his food pretty mild and simple (bland?). Since I had seen him relish sada varan I told her to stop fussing and just give him what he liked.

So, she cooked sada varan – the Maharashtrian everyday- arhar/tuvar dal with hing and haldi. Or so I thought. Sometimes, she would add a cumin-cayenne tadka in ghee to the dal just before serving. She would also add a couple of green chillies during the cooking. And no mashing the dal; we are Kashmiri.

TH loved it. And asked for it at home too. Okay, I thought, so he likes the texture and the subtle difference of the stronger hing. “No problem, I can do that since mum has given me some of her hing…”

TH, for all his disinterest in entering the kitchen, is a bit of a connoisseur. And he said it was not the same. Okay…On investigation I found that my Mum cooks the dal directly in the pressure cooker, where as I cook it in another container that is placed inside the cooker. I made this change. According to him it still didn’t quite make the cut . I asked him to stop being difficult – it had to be the mineral laden hard water of the IITD tube-wells then, because that was exactly how Mom said she makes it.

It was an interesting situation where after having suggested to mom what to cook, I was not able to cook it her way in my own kitchen. So I asked her to again tell me exactly what she did.

Mom: “I add the dal to the pressure cooker with enough water, salt, turmeric, a little hing, and maybe a couple of green chillies. Cook it for 5 minutes, and that’s it.”

I: “Are you sure there is no secret ingredient? Because I know you are capable of that.”

Mom: “No. Really!”

And so we resigned that it was the magic in her hands, and there was nothing that we could do about it. After another few months curiosity got the better of me and I asked again. Well? She finally let it slip that…well, there was this tiny change she had made to sada varan – she’d thrown a handful of masur dal into it! Lo and behold, there it was, the secret ingredient! Not a tiny speck of some spice, a whole handful of a totally different dal! The magic in her hands!

We’ve always called it Naniwali Dal. Another of my mum’s super recipes revealed. And like most of her cooking, jiffy quick! It truly is magical, equally at home with Punjabi or Kashmiri food.

thali
Menu #2
Arbi ki Subzi, Naniwali Dal, roti and/or rice, and mango pickle, fruit
(this time it was a mango each – Chausa variety)

Cooking Time: 25 min.

Arbi ki subzi

Arbi ki Subzi
(Taro Stir-fry)
(Serves 4)

600gm arbi (taro tubers)
3 t peanut or mustard oil
1 t cumin seeds
a tiny pinch of hing (optional)
½ t turmeric
2 t coriander powder (preferably coarsely ground0
1 t kuti lal mirch (coarsely ground red chilli powder)
salt

nani wali daal
Naniwali Dal
(serves 4)

3/4 C arhar (tuvar) dal
1/3 C masur dal (red lentils)
a tiny speck of pure hing (such as Bandhini brand)
½ t turmeric
2 ½ C water
salt
2 green chillies, broken into two
chopped coriander leaves for garnish

For the tadka (optional): ½ – 1 t ghee, 1 t cumin seeds, 1 t Kashmiri mirch

Pre-soak: Pick over and wash the dals. (Let soak for 20-30 min.)

Clocking 1-4 min:
Wash the arbi. Put it in a steamer and place in the pressure cooker with an inch of water. Once the maximum pressure has been attained, cook under pressure for 2 minutes only.

Take the already kneaded dough out of the fridge. Spread the roti pasara (a nicer word for ‘mess’) – the flour, the rolling pin, the tava, and tongs – whatever you need.

Clocking 5- 10 minutes
Remove arbi from the cooker after the pressure subsides.

To the soaking dal add the rest of the ingredients and cook under full pressure for 7-8 min. [If cooking the soaked dal directly in the cooker, cook only for 5 min.] Let the pressure subside. Soaking reduces the cooking time. (If you were not able to soak the lentils ahead, increase cooking time by 3-5 minutes.)

Peel and slice the arbi into a centimeter thick pieces. Heat oil and add all the ingredients in the order listed. Add the sliced arbi and mix well. Turn the heat down to medium and stir every few minutes. Cook till the arbi pieces have browned a little (about 10-15 minutes). Turn into a serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves.

Clocking 11-22 minutes
Put the rice to cook (if you’d like rice with the meal). To get perfectly cooked basmati, pre-soak rice for 20 minutes; cook, coveredtightly, for10 minutes (after the water starts boiling), and rest 10 minutes.

Start rolling and making roties. If you’ve done this many times, as I have, it takes roughly a minute per roti. You should be able to make 10 roties in 12 minutes or so.

Check on the subzi in between. Turnoff the dal when the time’s up. Wait till pressure subsides which it should definitely by the time you’ve finished with the roties.

Clocking 22-25 minutes:
Make the tadka for the dal if you are intending to. Heat ghee in a small pan (or an iron kadhchi that I have specifically for this purpose), add the cumin seeds and then the Kashmiri mirch powder. Give a stir with a spoon and pour over the dal immediately. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve with a wedge of lime.

The dal is nice even without the tadka – in which case it will also be fat free. In which case you still have time to clear the roti pasara. Roti is such a job, I tell you. Eat rice instead 🙂 and you have 12-15 minutes to watch TV, enjoy a drink. Or that cup of tea that you forgot all about!

As always, ask the rest of the family to lay the table (and to clear it later too). You did good – you can serve them at the table.

Notes:

  • Watch the arbi cooking time: it is very easy to overcook it in the pressure cooker. Overcooking taro can result in slimy tubers which few will like! If unsure, boil covered in a pan of water.
  • The texture of Nani’s dal is critical to its taste. The red lentils cook faster and provide body to the dal. Arhar takes longer to get mushy and is therefore, able to hold its shape. If you overcook the whole mix will become a paste – not what we are looking for here. This is a fundamental difference between cooking dals in the North and South. In the North we like our dals to hold on to their shape – so no mashing. Also, there needs to be enough water initially so that the dal has a flowing consistency – too little water and you will again end up with mush.
  • As always, be sure of the type of hing you are using – a spec of pure hing is more potent than half teaspoon of the diluted hing used in Central and Southern Indian cooking.

This is my second entry to Mallugirl’s Express Cooking challenge.

Dec 7, 2007: Since Linda is open to receiving already blogged recipes, naniwali dal is a perfect recipe to add to the many possibilities with toor (aldo called tuvar, or arhar in North India) dal for the upcoming JFI: Toor Dal at Out of the Garden!

Tags: express cooking, under 30 min, Punjabi food, taro, arbi, dal, tuvar dal, red lentils, masur

  1. After looking at these beautiful pics, I must say I miss Mama!! I wish she wasnt this far! Lovely recipe!

    Like my little boy once said, “America should not have been so far away…”, Assuming you are in the US of A…

  2. Both of them there dishes are lookin’ real good hey Anita! Might be giving one er botha them a whirl right soon.😀

  3. July 2009

    And you are trying to tell me…? …You’ll follow the solar eclipse to India? …It’s bad to have cook-togethers around eclipses?😀

  4. Haha, I know Mom’s always have a secret ingredient! Your story was too good.

    Kanchana
    😀

  5. Anita,

    I have put you on my site as ‘Featured Blog’.

    Check it out at http://www.marriedtoadesi.com

    I love your recipes!
    Kanch

    Thanks, Kanchana. Wow!

  6. Moms always have a trick up their sleeves, don’t they?🙂

    They are the Queens of trick!

  7. And you, Anita, are just so nice to share all your secrets with us! Your generosity is appreciated!

    I’m sure this is giving her a few amused smiles as well! But she’ll thank me for making sure future generations know how to make her simple yet fantastic dal!

  8. Lovely arbi and daal! i personally prefer the solid hing. as a kid it used to be so much fun seeing elders dissolve that in a spoon and splutter it😉 i loved the noice it made😀

    Finally Nani’s daal makes an appearance here🙂

    PS: how about posting a varyamuth recipe and highlighting the fact that its pretty much a desi daal🙂

    Yes, that is exactly how my Mum uses the hing! How else can you assure correct dilution!

    Yes, varyamuth – I was taking an inventory of beans in my pantry the other day – there’s a mind-boggling variety! And I have to finish everything before I can restock – that is what I have told myself, anyway.

  9. Yummy dishes Anita….your blog is now a desi version of Rachael Rays’ 30-minute meals🙂 Surely gonna try both these recipes this week. I absolutely love crisp Arbi

    And let me know how you clocked!

  10. Love the Taro root fry. Mom’s hands Anita, thats it.
    You are having fun cooking up meals in 30 mts aren’t you. If I can’t recreate something blame it on the ingredients that we get here in the US like the Taro root that is atleast 4 times the size of the tiny tasty ones in India.

    Even large taro tubers cook very quick in the pressure cooker – give one more minute, that should do it!

  11. So Naani’s dal finally made an appearance! Imagine that! You did it all by yourself without any grovelling and cajoling from us!

    What a coincidence that you cooked dal directly in the pressure cooker! I did that for the first time when we got back from vacation. At the behest of my Tai. She had made Gujarati dal for us directly in the pressure cooker and it was the very first time that I have ever had whole dal in her home! It’s really the Gujarati side of our family – not so much the Maharashtrian side – that is fussy about mashing the dal. My sis used to blend the dal – that’s how fussy they were!

    Mixing of dals reminded me of the Gujarati trevati dal that I haven’t made for the longest time. Or the panchvati dal. I used to sneak in a fourth dal in my trevati dal.😉

    I was going to make dal tonight anyway so I tossed in some masoor dal in your honor! And I realized that I forgot to add halad. Oh well! Medha has put the rice on and we should be all set for dinner on the patio soon!

    That’s what you think! This is the son’s nani’s dal! What I talked about earlier – the Kashmiri dal – that is my nani’s!! Not so fast, my friend!

    Cooking directly in the cooker does have an impact on the texture of the finished dish – there is a big difference if you make this curry the ‘indirect’ way; and also on the cooking time – moong dal cooks in 2 minutes – without soaking!

    Haldi after the dal is cooked is fine – as long as you cooked it directly in the cooker. Did ya like it?

  12. naniwali dal! amazing, don’t u just love moms for their furtiveness! and i am having so much fun imagining u clocking all ur blog post! if only i had a foto to match the image.

    Photographing gets in the way, believe me! Maybe, I can ask TH…to catch the frenzy? Actually, it’s not frenetic at all.

  13. Yeah! How about a photo!

    Let’s see – but the next menu is already canned…and how many entries do I want to send!

  14. Next menu is canned? What happened to Earth week and all that? Tch!

    Seems like you’re the only one who’s counting. Besides, all of them don’t have to be ‘entries’ – they can just be posts on your blog. Remember those days?😥

    I am quite sure you’re pulling a fast one on me. You just want me to ask you over and over again. Like how mutsch I begged only to have you haak my pleas several moons later. Or should it be solar eclipses later?😆

    Boy, you have me all figured out there! Publicly!

    O, regular posts…most of them qualify for express cooking!

  15. You know, just two more comments from me and all your latest comments will belong to me.😈

    They always have, in a matter of speaking.

  16. Aha! This one and then I can rest on my laurels for the day!

    BTW, I started my gulkand with 25 petals from a single rose bud. I am now eyeing my neighbor’s rose fields and wondering whether he will mind if I ‘borrow’ 2,3 or 6 roses for my gulkand. I don’t want to ask him cos I am a little mad at him. He stuck a “No Parking” note on my van when it was parked on the street, more on the side of my property – but on the street nevertheless, which does not belong to him. And he left a sticky mess on my windshield cos the tape melted in the 99F heat. He likes to park his SUV there so he thinks that he has first dibs on the spot. So what if he moved here a couple years or decades before we did! Bah!

    But why the honey, honey? White sugar is a neutral sweetner that I think is best for preserves, so that the fruit/flower to be preserved dominates with no confounding notes (ahem).

    Get them roses, and share a spoonful of gulkand with the neighbour – it is believed to have a ‘cooling’ effect!😆

    On second thought, maybe I should not cross swords with you…you might get mad?

  17. Since you’re counting…and I obviously don’t know how to (cos this comment will make it all mine – till the next one comes along)…

    just wanted to agree that yes! cooking dal directly in the pressure cooker certainly gives it a different flavor and texture. I was so lazy today that I tossed in a ball of tamarind pulp – took the lone pip out and in it went! And mine was also a one pot dal cos I prepared the tadka in the pressure cooker first.

    And yeah, we lurved it! Even though the order in which I did things was different.😀

    Your personal take on Nani’s dal – but that’s what cooking is all about. Taking inspiration and then expressing it your own way – tamarind/nimboo – the idea is there.

    [Sorry, upstaged already😉 ]

  18. I too use a combo of dals most of the time. I use moong dal for creaminess. Masoor dal is also very tasty. And, BTW, this is one of the best looking arbi i have ever seen!

    Why, thanks! TH will, as usual, disagree. He’s sensitive to the slime factor – and will only eat stir fried arbi that was not pre-cooked! Which takes for ever to peel, slice, and then cook! Not a 30-min deal at all, plus the itching…and the oodles of oil.

  19. Am cooking Arbi tonight, but in a proper Iyengar style. Have my cousin and family visiting. So, its a part konkani, part Iyengar spread. Arbi fry, vangi bhat, rasam, rice, capsicum phodis and a special for the kids: choco-walnut brownies with ice cream.

    Let me know when you’re coming over and I can throw a party for you and yours too🙂

    That spread sounds worthy of a trip to the other end of the NCR…😀 I’ll take you up on it one of these days!

  20. Anita,

    Love your stories. Another oh-so-familiar one. My mother had a hard time too regarding what to special fare to serve “the zaamtur” since he is vegetarian and gujrati. She tried stuffing him with various kinds of paneer for a while till the poor guy finally confessed that paneer is not exactly his favorite.
    Kashmiri mummies think that if a child does not eat nenya, he has to be stuffed with paneer, otherwise they feel guilty about eating nenya themselves🙂
    Now she has learnt that the way to his heart is through simple daal.

    That’s right, it’s that guilt!
    😀

  21. OK, spill! What is nenya?

    He, he…must thank Deepshikha for making Marathi-spewing friends curious…I can understand (most of) your Marathi…

  22. lol! nenya is mutton. The thing most kashmiris cant live without!

  23. Love this new series Anita, I’ll sure need some of these after my mom leaves next month… Your mom sounds like mine, mine actually forgets to tell me key ingredients, not intentionally I’m sure…😀

    They must be sisters! I would think masur dal here falls under the key ingredient! And it never occurred to her to tell me, her own daughter, that that was the major omission!

    But now, everyone knows!😀

  24. Manisha- I guess you like your fiber?😀 I take a half-block of tam pulp and do the extract and keep it in the freezer; I tried the jar’d, pre-done extract once and found it to be so lacking in flavour that using it is out of the question. And that neighbor of yours sounds charming…just charming. I wouldn’t waste good gulkand on ‘im, no… perhaps a raw arbi-leaf salad?🙂

    Anita, I’ve never cooked taro roots (corms)…they make you itch when you peel them raw?! Good idea to cook them whole first… and have the monsoons begun yet?

    Yup, they have the same chemical that you were telling us about, what was it now, oxalic acid, yes. And it can make you itch a long time wherever it touches the skin.

    My fridge and freezer space is too precious (right now, I can’t squeeze in even a lime-sized anything!) – I just pull off a little bit of tamarind, put it in half cup of water, and into the microwave for 20 sec. Mash and pulp when cool.

  25. Mothers and grandmas are like that! They’ll forget to mention key ingredients🙂 I had a laugh at the roti bit….My thin rotis became thick ones after marriage!! Am still struggling with them🙂 But the idea is good, in a Panju family, I can’t be making rotis all day!!🙂
    The arbi is different from the way I make. Maybe I should send a similar meal to Mallugirl, I do it a bit differently.

    Exactly my sentiment, Jyotsana! I even started to mention that the big and burly Punjabi will finish one of these fine roties in one mouthful, but refrained! And those from the pind (village) will also laugh at the ludicrous size of the glasses we drink milk or lassi in! Their’s dwarf even the American large!

    Yes, let’s have your version.

  26. The Thai tamarind fruit pulp works really well for me. It’s soft and easy to pull apart.

    Anita, the method and addition of masoor dal was the only thing that was different tonight. All other ingredients are standard for dalichi amti, including tamarind. We use a lot of tamarind and kokum in our dals.

    As for my neighbor, the guy grows everything from corn to anaheim peppers. He might not miss a few roses! If he had just asked me to move my van, I would have. But he preferred to leave me melted tape instead.😡

    Well, the Maharashtrain sada varan was the inspiration behind this dal, after all!

    Yup, that is a rude neighbour – but there seems to be a nurturing side to him…”everyone is nice once we get to know them!” Maybe you should…?

  27. yummy looking pictures anita…and a great story…all moms have their secret ones right…when I read yours, I remember mine which was on the same lines…even now my hubby says I can’t make certain things like my Amma…nice to read…

    Srivalli
    http://www.cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com

  28. Hi…. have been a ghost lurker for sometime.. but decided finally to write. I love ur site… fantastic writing.. and not to forget the yummy recipes. Have tried quite a few of the recipes and they are just family favs… tks for sharing them.

    Hey there, Annu! Glad you delurked! Feedback is important – you are my recipe testers! Thanks!

  29. Anita, you reminded me of kalipeeli dal (the combination) chana dal and urad chilka… i hardly fancy these dals on their own.. but togethor they are the bomb… another typical punju combo… great story…

    mums are like that…my mum makes the most amazing pakodas… and i can never get it rite… and hubby likes her pakodas only not mine…. grrr, whatever, i dont even bother trying anymore🙂

    I’m kinda relieved that quite a few mothers are like mine…😆

    Watch your mom with an eagle eye…or wait till she has grandchildren, she might be more willing to reveal…praise her, pester her, tease her, finally it will yield results!

  30. Hi there! Came to your blog for the first time today and loved it. A kashmiri married to a maharashtrian..mmm very interesting combo and is definitely leading to great cooking combos. Will be back again and again.

    Interesting combo, yes – as in, charming contrasts!😆

  31. I love the look of Nani’s dal,will make it!:))
    Great entries.

  32. Great post Anita…. so the masoor dal was what added that touch to the sada varan…. interesting…. will try it out…

  33. You are so sweet to share your secrets with us🙂
    Your arbi ki sabzi looks sooooooo good. I just wanna reach out & have some! When I make this it’s all slimy & mushy😦 Will try it out your way now.
    BTW, how many more entries do you have? Keep ’em coming!It’s great for us!😉

  34. Looks absolutely lovely. I used to eat a lot of naniwala dal made with arhar, with cumin seeds and hing int the tarka. WE called it Berry dal, because my mother’s side of the family (Berry’s) ate it all the time.

    And a berry good dal it is – a classic! (it was just begging for it!)😉

  35. Spent a good two hours of my time yesterday going through all the wonderful spread here…on my way back from KL, stopped two days in Madras and inlaws loaded me with a dozen mangoes from the tree in our house – wondering i must must make the jam or eat it as it is…

    Love these 30 minute meals…i generally do it just like you and i rarely take over 30 minutes to cook a meal, thanks to my 2 L Hawkins that is just perfect for two of us. I must tell you about this Arbi tikka that we had in the best Punjabi Restaurant in our side of Bombay called Urban Takda. Each cooked arbi is smashed down whole to make patties, they are seasoned with spices especially ajwain, coarse red chilli powder – served with dahi wala coriander chutney – truly yummy raising the modest level of arbi as a vegetable to a new high!

    Had been wondering where you had disappeared to…

    The 2L pressure cooker is just indispensable to express meals!

    Yup, I do that ‘tikka’ sometimes – very crispy and delicious. Used to fry it once upon a time!😆

  36. forgot to add, will try your dal as soon as DH is back from his tour🙂 When i’m alone i do only one pot meals🙂

    That’s what I’m planning for lunch for the both of us tom – a one-pot meal!

  37. loved every bit of this page! Just a little correction, all people in the central and southern plains do not use diluted hing. Its akin to saying all Southern Indians are Madrasis! There are some of us in the South who do not use diluted hing! We use really potent hing which is not available here in the US at all!

    I hope it is not akin to that at all! And it is not meant as a good-bad thing, more of a regional difference. I’m sure there are exceptions on both sides of the country.

    Try looking for the Bandhini brand, it might be available in an Indian store.

  38. Now how did I miss that?!😉 Khada hing is what we call it. I have a teeny piece of the pure resin, which I bring out from time to time to touch, feel and smell!

    I have the khada hing from Maharashtra – it is the same diluted/mixed-with-other-things (flour) hing, before it is powdered. And, boy, it needs serious muscle to pound it!

    I was out of the potent stuff, and have bought some from Khadi Gramodyog – let’s see how good it is.

  39. whole hing can be ordered here

    I think the LG Hing there might be the potent kind. Or not!😀

  40. Tch! Hemant has spake on hing. LG hing is a sorry excuse for hing, says he.

    That was a very interesting read! He went to great lengths! So, it would seem that the best place to source the ‘pure’ hing would be Delhi/North India!

  41. Hi Anita,

    Was going thro’ your recipes since past 2 months & really have made cooking so simpler & enjoyable. Just a personal question – do you work. Am asking as I wonder how u manage cooking so many different variety’s. My MIL has gone to Jammu on Sat. & your Nani wali dal recipe came right on time. Tried it yesterday (even though w/o Masoor, searched it in all over kitchen, could not locate & could not get out to buy also), but anyhow it was yummy, & my hubby liked it a lot. It gave a good aroma also. Wanted to say thanks to share simple delicious recipes for novice cooks like me.

    I enjoy cooking – no matter how busy I am, I will find the time. In fact, the busier I am the greater the need to take a kitchen break!

  42. That was very interesting; I hate American customs. I’ve gone back and forth across the U.S./Mexican border a few times; the Mexican customs people were so nice, the American customs were terrible, rude and suspect everyone coming across of carrying contraband.

    Have you ever seen hing of this colour before Anita?

    The north Indian hing is usually tan in colour – not white-white, but much lighter than the Maharashtrian kind (the only other kind I am familiar with) which is a dark brown in its ‘khada’ form.

  43. Try Indian customs. They are very nice. You even get to eat with your own hands and put bindi on your forehead.
    😕

  44. Sorry…could not resist. Sad one, that. But…

    You’re very quick on the uptake. Sadly, I’m a ‘tubelight’!😆

  45. Cute, Manisha…:-D

    Tubelights, despite a slow ignition, are more energy-efficient than those quick-start incandescent bulbs!🙂

    And you are so sweet, Pel! I am so efficient!😆 Look at these express meals!

  46. I’m more like an ultra-violet(black)light…

    Dark and deep…

  47. That was super express, juz like the “Rajdhani Express”
    Nice express meal to munch on! and great presentation with that clock ticking!

    😀 Thanks.

  48. This is tremendous. I am going to look up your roti recipe. I’ve always wanted to be able to make them even if they are a pain in the neck. Is there a good way to do dal without a pressure cooker?
    julie

    Roti does take a little time and effort – but fresh ones are an entirely different animal!

    You can cook dal like any other lentil, by bringing to boil in a pan with sufficient water, and simmering (covered) till tender – it just takes longer – with this combination of dals (soaked) it might take 20-30 min.

  49. Julie- my first roti were like crispy crackers- I think the hardest part is judging the final thickness…well, that and trying to make them round, but my last ones were presentable!🙂 Also, use ata(Indian whole wheat flour)- it’s great for bread-making in general; if you can’t locate a bag, use American whole-wheat flour mixed with some white bread flour.

  50. This post sounds very familiar🙂 I always felt my mom did not want to share her recipes with me because she would always forget a key ingredient. Love love love arbi. Your thali looks mouth-watering.

  51. Your conversation with your mother sounded very much like the ones I have with my Aai!
    Y’day I made you Naaniwali daal (now known as Anitawali daal). It was delicious. The itty bitty amount of masoor made a big difference.
    Thanks for sharing.

    I bet everyone got to hear the story behind the dal! The name is bound to change every so often! 😀

  52. I was reading your story of your husband tastes differing so much with your own home & you mom having a difficult time cooking up a meal for dear son-in-law. I face this till date. A North Indian punjabi guy to adjust with pure mallu food. Gosh, I only know what all I have to do, to make the two blend & hold on!!

    Those states are even further apart! You must have interesting meal-time conversations when visiting your parents!😀 But, lucky us – we get to enjoy and know another cuisine intimately!

  53. […] little better and prodded a little more about the kanda-lassun masala. Turns out, she’s a little like my mom – she will not tell you all she knows the first time around. This time she let it slip that some […]

  54. Oh Anita, as soon as I saw the bit about 10 rotis in 12 minutes, I completely forgot I was here on a toor dal mission! I could only hope to make ONE roti in 12 minutes😉

    Thanks so much for sending this family recipe to JFI Toor Dal. It sounds great and I’m looking forward to trying it!🙂

    Linda

    Don’t forget – I have decades of practice behind me!

  55. […] aur aloo ki subzi, nani-wali dal, Pachranga mango pickle, and […]

  56. Hi Anita,

    I made and had Naniwali dal today and it was amazingly delicious (amazing because I didnt expect this simple version of dal to taste so good). Thanks for sharing the recipe…especially the ‘secret’ ingredient😉

    It is so heartening when you can cook tasty food in a jiffy, isn’t it?!
    I must dig out some more gems whence this one came.
    😉

  57. And what is your secret ingredient? The red floater in the dal? Hmmm? No mention of it in the ingredients. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Hee!

    LOL. It’s a ‘green’ chilli which had turned red – I use those in all things yellow! Happens to many in the dabba I refrigerate them in. Looks nice, doesn’t it?

  58. Why do you put hing in every recipe ?

    Not in every recipe, I don’t. But I do in almost all the Indian ones…I must like it, I suppose…

  59. hi there,
    i like ur dal recipe very simple and yet it looks so delicious and perfect with sookhi arvi. i love ur dishs.
    One Q. if i am not wrong u have used dhuli hui masoor dal, right??? Actually i have chilke wali masoor dal right now in my pantry so i cannot make this dal, right becoz those skins are going to show in dal….plz advise…

    How abot adding fresh Garlic and Ginger julian to the dal….u know i cannot think dal with these 2 ing. And how abot adding ghee in tadka instead of peanut and mustard oil since i dont have. Does these oil enhances the flavor….

    Take care, plz do reply me.
    have a great weekned

    Hi Farah.
    Yes, the recipe uses dhuli masur, which cooks very quickly to mush and provides body while the tuvar is likely to still retain some bite. But even if you use whole masur, it would still make a tasty dal!
    This is just the basic recipe, the addition of garlic/ginger/ghee can only be like the cherry on the cake!

    Cheers!!

  60. […] as needed to give you a thick curry. Serve with steamed rice accompanied by a plain dal (such as this one) or dahi (plain […]

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