Bachali Kura Pappu | Andhra Malabar Spinach Dal

I am a great fan of green vegetables and they are used extensively in my home. One of my favourite green vegetables is Bachali Kura. We make loads of dishes with it and today I am writing about Bachali Kura Pappu or a dal made with it.

Bachali Kura Pappu | Malabar Spinach Dal | Mayalu Dal
Bachali Kura Pappu

Bachali Kura grows in abundance and very quickly even in small pots. All you need to do is plant a stem or two in the pot and water it occasionally. As a result, we used to grow a lot of this green vegetable at home and so almost always had it on hand.

Bachali Kura is called Malabar Spinach or Ceylon Spinach in English, Mayalu in Marathi, Pui Shaak in Bengali.

Also try my recipes for  Bachali Kura Pulusu and Kanda Bachali Kura.

Bachali Kura Pappu is a very healthy dish because it combines a great deal of greens with lentils. Also, it needs very little by way of spices and so is not overpowering in taste; this makes it suitable for all palates and age groups.

How to Make Bachali Kura Pappu | Andhra Style Malabar Spinach Dal

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Bachali Kura Pappu is a traditional recipe from Andhra Pradesh. It is a delicious and healthy dish that combines greens with lentils, and tastes great with some rice and ghee. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh, Indian, South Indian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
  • 3 Cups Finely Chopped Bachali Kura Leaves
  • 3/4 Cup Kandi Pappu, Tuvar Dal
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 2.5 Cups Water
  • Salt to Taste
For Tempering
  • 2 tsp Ghee Oil for Vegans
  • 1 tsp Minapa Pappu, Udad Dal
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2 to 3 Red Chillies
  • 2 Large Pinches Asafoetida, Hing, Inguva
Making the Bachali Kura Pappu
  1. Wash the chopped bachali kura well.

  2. Add the washed Bachali Kura and 1.5 Cups water to a vessel.

  3. Wash the dal well.

  4. Add the washed dal and 1.5 Cups water to another vessel.

  5. Pressure cook the greens and dal in two separate vessels for 4 whistles.

  6. Let the pressure cooker cool before opening.

  7. Using a heavy ladle mash the dal well.

  8. Add the cooked bachali kura to the mashed dal.

  9. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt.

  10. Mix well.

  11. Add a little water, if required, to make the dal of pouring consistency.

The Tempering
  1. In a ladle, heat the ghee.

  2. Add the udad dal and stir-fry till light golden brown.

  3. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.

  4. Add split red chillies and stir-fry for a few seconds.

  5. Turn off the heat.

  6. Add the hing.

  7. Add the tempering to the Bachali Kura Pappu.

  8. Mix well.

The Final Stage
  1. Heat the Bachali Kura Pappu till it starts to simmer.

  2. Turn off the heat.

  3. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

Serving the Bachali Kura Pappu
  1. Serve hot with steamed rice and ghee.


Malabar Spinach | Mayalu Dal
Malabar Spinach | Mayalu Dal

Hare Lehsun ki Dal – Winter Special

Hare Lehsun ki Dal, Fresh Green Garlic Dal
Hare Lehsun ki Dal, Fresh Green Garlic Dal

Winter brings with it an assortment of vegetables that are otherwise not available. One of the vegetables I look forward to in this season is Fresh Green Garlic or Hara Lehsun. I use it to flavour every savoury dish I find. I love the aroma that green garlic imparts to dishes; it is garlicky yet not overpoweringly so. During winters you will always find Green Garlic in my refrigerator.

Yesterday, I made my first batch of Hare Lehsun ki Dal for this winter. It was mildly garlicky and a much mellow version of Lasooni Dal.

If you want more winter specials, here are a few recipes:

  • Undhiyu – A wonderful medley of winter vegetables cooked in a coriander-green garlic paste from the western Indian state of Gujarat.
  • Sarson da Saag – The ever popular dish from the north Indian state of Punjab uses a whole lot of greens led by Mustard greens and is traditionally eaten with Makki di Roti.
  • Sweet Potatoes in Jaggery Syrup – For some reason, this simple dish is always associated with winter in my mind.

How to Make Hare Lehsun ki Dal

Hare Lehsun ki Dal (Lentils with Fresh Green Garlic) - Winter Special
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Hara Lehsun or Green Garlic is found in abundance in winter. I love its delicate flavour and aroma. Yesterday, I used it to flavour some dal.
Course: Main, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Aruna
  • 3/4 Cup Tuvar Dal
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Green Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 Red Chillies
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • Salt to Taste
The Preparations for Hare Lehsun ki Dal
  1. Chop the tomato to small pieces.
  2. Chop the hara lehsun or green garlic into fine pieces.
Method to Make Hare Lehsun ki Dal
  1. Wash and soak the tuvar dal in 2 cups water for 10 minutes. In winter, I use lukewarm water.
  2. Pressure cook the tuvar dal till it is well-cooked.
  3. Mash the dal and set aside.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, heat the ghee.
  5. Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry till the cumin just starts to change colour.
  6. Add the split red chillies.
  7. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  8. Add the chopped green garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  9. Add the chopped tomatoes.
  10. Stir-fry till the tomato pieces are well-stewed.
  11. Add the turmeric powder, salt and mashed dal.
  12. Mix well.
  13. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  14. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
  15. Serve hot with rice or rotis.


Chukka Koora Pappu (Khatta Bhaji Dal, Ambat Chukka Dal)

Chukka Kura Pappu - Andhra Pradesh Recipe
Chukka Kura Pappu

I love the tangy taste of Chukka Koora or Ambat Chukka (also known in Mumbai as Khatta Bhaji). This is a green leafy vegetable that is mildly sour in taste and is found very commonly in Mumbai. It is also used in the popular Sindhi Sai Bhaji.

In our home, we make both a dal (Chukka Koora Pappu) and a kadhi (Chukka Koora Majjiga Pulusu) with it, and cannot make up my mind on which I like better. 🙂

Yesterday, I made Chukka Koora Pappu and so here is the recipe. 🙂

While Andhra is very famous for its pickles, podis, and chutneys, we also make a range of dals (pappu) with a whole host of greens and vegetables. Do try out my recipes for:

How to Make Chukka Koora Pappu

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes


  1. Chukka Koora/Khatta Bhaji/Ambat Chukka/Green Sorrel – 1 packed cup of leaves
  2. Moong Dal – 3/4 Cup
  3. Green Chillies – 3 or 4
  4. Ghee – 1/2 tsp (Vegans can use oil)
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  6. Turmeric – A Couple of Pinches
  7. Salt to Taste


  1. Finely chop chukka koora.
  2. Pressure cook slit green chillies, moong dal, and chukka koora with 2 Cups of water till done.
  3. When the dal is cooked, mash it with a heavy ladle or mix well with a heavy spoon.
  4. In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the ghee.
  5. Add mustard seeds and wait till they sputter.
  6. Add the dal, salt, and turmeric.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Add a little water if the dal is too thick.
  9. Bring to a boil and take off the heat.
  10. Serve with hot rice and ghee.
Chukka Koora Pappu
Chukka Koora Pappu

Radhaballavi with Cholar Dal – Guest Post by Jayeeta Chatterjee of Cooking Delight

Radhaballavi with Cholar Dal
Radhaballavi with Cholar Dal

This absolutely delicious guest post comes from Jayeeta Chatterjee of Cooking Delight. While Jayeeta writes about a variety of foods, I am particularly partial to her Bengali food recipes.

I have an inexplicable connection to Bengalis.

Well, honestly, not all of it is inexplicable. My aunt, whom I called Dodda, was married to a Bengali and wholeheartedly adapted herself to the Bengali way of life; so much so that she often lapsed into Bengali with me. 🙂 Jayeeta’s food reminds me of Dodda’s.

One of my closest friends, MD, is a Bengali and a foodie to the boot. A dedicated fish-lover, MD digs out all kinds of vegetarian and eggitarian recipes for me.

Anyway, getting back to the genesis of Jayeeta’s guest post, I saw her post about on of my favourite Bengali foods, Karaisutir Kochuri or Peas Puri and I got chatting with her about how I often buy it at Sweet Bengal. During the course of our chat, she mentioned Radhaballavi and I tripped in my haste to request her to make it as a guest post.

I know I was being a bit presumptive as Radhaballavi is time consuming but Jayeeta being Jayeeta agreed immediately and here I am with an oh-so-delicious post.

Do visit Jayeeta’s blog Cooking Delight at  for more yummilicious goodies!

Thank you, Jayeeta, for this detailed recipe and wonderful pics.

Ingredients for 7 – 8 Radhaballavi :

Ingredients For Stuffing

  1. Skinless urad dal – ½ cup
  2. Green chilli – 1 or 2
  3. Ginger paste – ½ tbspoon
  4. Black cumin seed – ½ teaspoon
  5. Fennel seed – ½ teaspoon
  6. Asafoetida or hing (powder) – ½ teaspoon
  7. Pinch of turmeric powder
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Cooking oil – 2 tbspoon

Ingredients for Dough

  1. Plain flour – 1 cup
  2. Sugar – ½ teaspoon
  3. Asafoetida or hing (powder) – ½ teaspoon
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. Oil – 1 tbspoon
  6. Lukewarm water

Ingredients for Cholar dal or Chana dal

  1. Chana Dal or Cholar dal – 2/3 cup
  2. Chopped tomato (medium) – ½
  3. Ginger paste – ½ tbspoon
  4. Small pieces of coconut – 2 – 3 tbspoon
  5. Lengthwise sliced green chilli – 2
  6. Cumin seed – ½ teaspoon
  7. Whole garam masala (Cinnamon stick – ½ inch, Clove – 2, Cardamom – 2)
  8. Bay leaf – 1
  9. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  10. Salt & sugar to taste
  11. Cooking oil – 1 tbspoon
Cholar Dal in the Making
Cholar Dal in the Making

Method for Making the Filling/Stuffing for the Puris


  1. Wash and soak the urad dal for few hours in water. Then drain the water and grind the dal by adding salt and green chillies. Add little water if needed, the paste should not be watery.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add black cumin seeds, let it splutter and then add the urad dal paste and turmeric powder. Fry the dal until it’s raw flavour goes away.
  3. Now transfer the fried dal in a bowl and mix with ginger paste, asafoetida and fennel seeds using hand. Now your filling is done, let it cool down at room temperature .

Method for Making the Dough

  1. Shift flour, salt, sugar, asafoetida and oil in a big bowl and mix them very well.
  2. Add lukewarm water, little at a time, to combine all the ingredients.
  3. Knead the dough very well to give it a semi-soft texture.
  4. Leave the dough for at least 30 minutes in an air tight container.

Method for Making of Radhaballavi/Puri

  1. Divide the dough into 7 or 8 equal parts and round them between your palms.
    Radhaballavi is bigger in size than puri, so make the balls a bit bigger than puri balls.
  2. Flatten each ball evenly by your fingers to make a hole in the ball.
  3. Put1tbspofthespicyurad dal stuffing, close it from all sides and again roll them between your palms.

    Radhaballavi in the Making
    Radhaballavi in the Making
  4. Now roll the stuffed balls, by a rolling pin, on an oily work surface to make a circular shape, slightly bigger than that of puris.
  5. Now heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the puris in it. I don’t like my puris to be brown in colour, so I don’t fry them for too long. You can fry the puris according to your preference.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Method for Making of Cholar Dal/Chana Dal

  1. Wash the chana dal and pressure cook it, adding water, upto 3 to 4 whistles. Do not throw away the water soon after boiling the dal.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium flame.
  3. Add whole garam masala, cumin seeds and bay leaf, saute them for a while and then add the coconut pieces.
  4. Fry the coconut till light brown in colour and then add ginger paste, chopped tomato, green chillies, turmeric powder and salt.
  5. Cook till tomato gets softened and raw flavour of ginger goes away.
  6. Now add the boiled chana dal with water, season with sugar and salt (if needed), also add extra water if needed.
  7. Now let it boil for few minutes so that the dal gets the flavour of other ingredients.
  8. Put the gas off as the dal thickens to your desired consistency. It should not have a very thin gravy.

    Cholar Dal
    Cholar Dal

Note :

  1. While frying the urad dal paste, don’t fry it for too long, otherwise it will get hard.
  2. The oil should be moderately hot when you are going to fry the puris. If your oil temperature is low, your puri will not rise well. On the other hand, if the oil temperature is too high, your puris may get burnt.
  3. While boiling the chana dal make sure it does not get mushy. It should be cooked still holds it’s structure well.
  4. If you are using solid asafoetida/hing instead of powder, then use a pinch of it as it is more stronger than the powdered one.

Lasooni Dal (Garlicky Lentils)

Lasooni Dal or Garlicky Lentils
Lasooni Dal or Garlicky Lentils

For the past 2 weeks, for some strange reason, I have been under the weather. I say some strange reason because, as a rule, I don’t fall ill, and even when I do, I recover very fast. It is after almost 2 decades that I have been ill for over 10 days.

Anyway, enough of the sad story. The by-product of this was this intense desire to eat dal in all its forms. I made mango dal, thotakura pappu, simple mudda pappu, dal fry…. Today, I wanted something different and made Lasooni Dal.

I first fell in love with Lasooni Dal at Shvatra, the vegetarian restaurant run by the Bhagat Tarachand group.

I will wax eloquent on Bhagat Tarachand in a separate post. 🙂

When I go to Shvatra, my menu is almost always Lasooni Dal, Papad Churi, and Jalebi with Rabdi. Simple and soul-satisfying.

Today, I was craving Lasooni Dal and so made it.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Mins


  1. Tuvar Dal or Pigeon Pea – 1 Cup
  2. Lasoon or Garlic Pods – 8 or 10
  3. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  4. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  7. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  8. Curry Leaves – A Few
  9. Ghee – 1 tsp
  10. Salt to Taste


  1. Pressure cook tuvar dal with 2 cups of water till it is completely mashed.
  2. Add turmeric and red chilli powder.
  3. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Peel the garlic pods and slice into thin slivers or discs.
  5. In a heavy bottom vessel, heat the ghee.
  6. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  7. Add jeera and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
  8. Add the garlic and stir-fry till the garlic is light brown.
  9. Add asafoetida and curry leaves.
  10. Stir-fry for 10 seconds.
  11. Add to the dal.
  12. Add salt.
  13. Mix well.
  14. Bring the dal to a simmer.
  15. Add water if required.
  16. Serve hot with steamed rice, ghee, and papad churi.


  • I must admit I have never seen mustard seeds or curry leaves in Shavtra’s dal. But, my South Indian heart does not accept any tadka that does not have these two.