Moong Dal Palak Khichdi (Cooked in Buttermilk)

Dal Palak Khichdi
Dal Palak Khichdi

What you are seeing is a wonderful Moong Dal Palak Khichdi that is cooked entirely in buttermilk. Over the past month I have been making as many one-pot meals as possible. This is because my father has 9 stitches to the middle finger of his right hand; trophy of a minor accident during home repairs. As a result, he cannot eat with his fingers and uses a spoon.

Also, this past Saturday, the heat finally let up and Mumbai was cloudy heralding the monsoon. It was in my opinion the perfect Khichidi weather. I had a lot of Palak at home and so I decided to make Moong Dal Palak Khichidi. If I did it my way, I would have just added Palak to the regular Khichdi. Then I came across this recipe Hare Moong ki Khichdi with Palak on Chef Sanjeev Kapoor‘s site and decided to try that. I was intrigued by the use of buttermilk as a cooking medium. The way I saw it it was Kadhi-Khichidi in one!

This Moong Dal Palak Khichdi turned out to be a delight with a slightly tangy taste from the buttermilk and is now on its way to being a staple in my home.

How to Make Moong Dal Palak Khichdi

Serves: 4

Soaking Time: 60 Mins

Cooking Time: 45 Mins

Ingredients

  1. Rice – 1.5 Cups
  2. Whole Moong or Split Moong (with Skin) – 3/4 Cup
  3. Finely Chopped Palak or Spinach – 3 Cups
  4. Buttermilk – 5 Cups
  5. Green Chillies – 3
  6. Cloves – 6
  7. Cumin – 1.5 tsp
  8. Ghee – 2-3 tbsp
  9. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  10. Salt to Taste
Moong Dal Palak Khichdi Cooked in Buttermilk
Moong Dal Palak Khichdi Cooked in Buttermilk

Preparations

  1. Soak the Moong Dal in 2 Cups water for 1 hour.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Set aside
  4. Soak the rice in water for about 15 minutes.
  5. Drain the water.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Slit the green chillies.

To Make Moong Dal Palak Khichdi

  1. In a pressure cooker or a heavy bottomed vessel, heat 2 tbsp ghee.
  2. Add the cumin and cloves and stir-fry till the cumin starts to change colour.
  3. Add the drained dal and rice.
  4. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat to low.
  6. Add the spinach, turmeric, green chillies, and salt.
  7. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add the buttermilk and 3/4 tsp salt.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Over medium heat, pressure cook for 4 whistles.
  11. Do not open the pressure cooker for at least 10 minutes.
  12. Open the pressure cooker.
  13. Mix well.
  14. Add salt, if required, and mix well.
  15. Serve hot topped with a generous dollop of ghee!

Tips

  • I had split green moong at home and I used it to make this khichdi.
  • Be sure to turn the heat to low before adding the spinach etc. in step 6. This allows the temperature to come down so that when you add the buttermilk it will not curdle.
  • In my opinion, the Moong Dal Palak Khichdi does not even need papad or achar as a side. I just washed it down with some Masala Chaas.
Moong Dal Palak Khichdi
Moong Dal Palak Khichdi

Pudina Pulao (Minty Rice with Loads of Vegetables)

Mint Pulav | Pudina Pulao | Mint Pilaf
Mint Pulav | Pudina Pulao | Mint Pilaf

I love one-dish meals. The other day, I had loads of winter vegetables at home and was wondering what to make when I thought of Pudina Pulao. It is very easy to make and delicious.

Like Pulaos and Biryanis? You can find many more recipes in this Collection of Pulao and Biryani Recipes.

How to Make Mint Pulav | Pudina Pulao

Time: 45 Minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  1. Rice (preferable Basmati) – 1.5 Cups
  2. Fresh Pudina or Mint Leaves – 1/2 Packed Cup
  3. Coriander Leaves – 1 Packed Cup
  4. Fresh Ginger – 1” piece
  5. Green Chillies – 2 or 3
  6. Oil – 2 Tbsp
  7. Chopped mixed veggies (carrots, french beans, cauliflower, peas, potatoes) – 1.5 Cups
  8. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Pressure cook rice with about 3 cups of water till done. Spread out on a large plate to cool and dry.
  2. Grind Pudina, Coriander Leaves, Green Chillies, and Ginger to a smooth thick paste.
  3. In a kadai, heat oil and add the mixed veggies. Stir fry for 5 mins.
  4. Add a enough water to just cover the vegetables.
  5. Cover the kadai and cook over medium heat till veggies are parboiled.
  6. Add the Mint-Coriander paste and sauté till the water evapourates.
  7. Add rice, turmeric, and salt.
  8. Mix well, but with a light hand.
  9. Cover and let it rest for about 10 mins.
  10. Serve Pudina Pulao warm with papad and/or raita.

Tips

  • I add about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp oil to the basmati rice before cooking it. I find that this prevents the rice from becoming sticky.

 

Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam

Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam with Ghee on Top!
Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam with Ghee on Top!

Kadamba Sadam (popularly called Sambar Rice) is one of my absolute favourite comfort foods. It is so delicious and comforting, and oh-so-easy to make! Serve it with some crispy potato curry and vadiyalu/vadams or appadams/papad, and you have a hands-down winner. 🙂

There is something about the wonderful aroma of sambar masala as it is being fried. The moment you add the coriander seeds, your kitchen and home will be filled with a mouth-watering aroma that makes it difficult to wait for the sambar rice to be ready!

If you do not want to go through the elaborate process of making the masala, grind 1 tbsp Sambar Podi with 3 tbsp Coconut and a little water. Voila! Instant Sambar Sadam Masala is ready.

Also try Bisi Bele Bhat (Bisi Bele Huli Anna) from Karnataka.

How to Make Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam

Time: 60 Minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients for the Rice

  1. Rice – 1 Cup
  2. Tuvar Dal – 3/4 Cup
  3. Drumstick – 1
  4. Small Brinjal – 1
  5. Tomato – 1
  6. Carrot – 1 Small
  7. Red Pumpkin – 100 gms
  8. White Pumpkin/Ash Gourd – 100 gms
  9. French Beans – 50 gms
  10. Shallots/Madras Onions – 10-12
  11. Peanuts – 3 tbsp
  12. Tamarind Pulp – 3 tbsp
  13. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  14. Red Chillies – 2
  15. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  16. Asafoetida/hing – 1/2 tsp
  17. Curry Leaves – A few
  18. Ghee – 1 tsp
  19. Oil – 2 tsp
  20. Salt to taste

Ingredients for Sambar Masala

  1. Chana Dal – 1 tsp
  2. Udad Dal – 1 tsp
  3. Tuvar Dal -1 tsp
  4. Raw Rice – 1/4 tsp
  5. Black Pepper Corns – 1/2 tsp
  6. Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
  7. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/8 tsp
  8. Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  9. Grated Coconut – 3 tbsp
  10. Ghee or Oil – 2 tbsp

To Make the Sambar Masala:

  1. Heat the oil.
  2. Add tur dal, udad and chana dal.
  3. Fry till the dals are golden brown.
  4. Add the raw rice and methi, and fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the pepper corns and split red chillies, and fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the coriander seeds and fry for about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Add the coconut and saute for about a minute.
  9. Let the ingredients cool.
  10. Grind to a smooth paste with a little water.

To Make the Sambar Rice:

  1. Wash the rice and tur dal together. Soak in about 4 cups of water for about 30 mins.
  2. Pressure cook till well done and of mashable consistency.
  3. Cut the drumstick into 2″ pieces.
  4. Dice the tomato and brinjal.
  5. Peel the shallots.
  6. Heat the oil.
  7. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  8. Add the shallots.
  9. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add the split red chillies and fry for a minute.
  11. Add the asafoetida, turmeric, and curry leaves, peanuts, and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add the tomato pieces and fry till the tomato pieces are soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  13. Add the carrot, pumpkin, drumstick and brinjal pieces.
  14. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  15. Add the ground sambar masala and about 1/2 cup water.
  16. Cook covered till the vegetables and peanuts are cooked. Add more water, if required.
  17. Add the tamarind pulp and mix well.
  18. Mash the dal-rice mix, and add to the cooked masala and vegetables.
  19. Mix well.
  20. Add a little water, if required.
  21. Cook for about 6-7 minutes.
  22. Serve Kadamba hot with appadam, vaidyams, and/or fried potato curry.

Tips

  • Do not be intimidated by the number of steps or stages in this recipe. I have just broken the recipe down to bite-sized portions. 🙂
  • I soak the dal and rice for 30 to 60 mins to get a mashable consistency easily.
  • Wait for about an hour before eating.
  • When I make Kadamba Sadam for religious occassions, I leave out the shallots or onions.
Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam
Sambar Rice | Kadamba Sadam

Gongura Pulihora

Gongura Pulihora
Gongura Pulihora

Gongura is a green leafy vegetable that is singularly identified with Andhra Pradesh. And not without reason. The Telugu people revere Gongura and turn it into yummy dishes with Gongura Pachadi leading the charge. Tangy Gongura Pappu is another favourite. Non-vegetarians use Gongura to make Gongura mamsam, Gongura Chicken, and Gongura Royyalu.

Typically, Gongura Pachadi is savoured by mixing a healthy spoonful or two of the pachadi with some rice and seasame oil. However, if you are feeling lazy and the entire family wants to eat Gongura Pachadi Annam, a simpler option might be to make Gongura Pulihora.

And you will soon see why!

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Rice – 1.5 Cups
  2. Gongura Leaves – 2 Packed Cups
  3. Peanuts – 1/4 Cup
  4. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Udad Dal – 1 tsp
  7. Chana Dal – 1 tsp
  8. Red Chillies – 4
  9. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  10. Curry Leaves – 8 to 10
  11. Sesame Oil – 4 tbsp
  12. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Pressure cook the rice with 3 cups of water.
  2. When the rice is cooked, spread it in a large plate to cool.
  3. Over medium heat, dry roast the fenugreek seeds till they start to change colour.
  4. Grind the fenugreek seeds into a fine powder.
  5. In a wok or kadai, heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil.
  6. Add two split red chillies and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  7. Add the gongura leaves and stir-fry till the leaves wilt.
  8. Set aside the gongura leaves to cool.
  9. Once the leaves are cool, grind into a smooth paste.
  10. In a wok or kadai, heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil.
  11. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  12. Add the udad dal and chana dal.
  13. Stir fry till the dals are light golden brown.
  14. Add the peanuts, curry  leaves, and 2 split red chillies.
  15. Stir-fry till the peanuts start to pop.
  16. Add the gongura paste and mix well.
  17. Add the roasted fenugreek powder, turmeric, and salt.
  18. Mix well.
  19. Add the rice and mix well.
  20. Serve with papad and/or curd as accompaniment.
Gongura Pulihora
Gongura Pulihora

 

Methi Tamatar Pulav (Fenugreek and Tomato Spiced Rice)

Methi Tamatar Biryani or Fenugreek and Tomato Spiced Rice
Methi Tamatar Biryani or Fenugreek and Tomato Spiced Rice

By now, you must have realised that I like one-pot dishes; they are lifesavers on weekdays. Here is one more in the series of one dish meals; one which combines fresh fenugreek leaves with tomatoes in a wonderful mix of tastes.

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Basmati Rice – 1.25 Cups
  2. Fresh Fenugreek Leaves – 2 Packed Cups
  3. Tomato – 2 Large
  4. Onion – 1 Large
  5. Cloves – 2
  6. Cinnamon – 1 ” Piece
  7. Star Anise – 1
  8. Black Cardamom – 1
  9. Cumin – 1 tsp
  10. Bay Leaf – 1
  11. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  12. Garam Masala or Kitchen King Masala – 1 tsp
  13. Ghee or Oil – 1 tsp
  14. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Wash the basmati rice and soak in 2 cups water for 10 minutes.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp salt and pressure cook for two releases of pressure (2 whistles).
  3. When the pressure cooker cools, spread the rice on a plate to cool and dry a bit.
  4. Peel and chop the onion into 1/2″ pieces.
  5. Chop the tomato into 1/2″ pieces.
  6. In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the oil or ghee.
  7. Add cumin, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, black cardamom, and bay leaf.
  8. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add onion and sauté till the onion is transparent.
  10. Add the fenugreek leaves and sauté till they wilt.
  11. Add the tomato pieces and sauté till the pieces are well-stewed.
  12. Add turmeric and garam masala/kitchen king masala.
  13. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  14. Add the cooked rice and salt.
  15. Mix with a gentle hand.
  16. Serve hot with boondi raita or kakdi raita, and papad.

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