Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mixed Dal Tadka

I have been so busy plus idle for the past few weeks. I am craving for good home food prepared by Mom. But life as a wife in America is all about food cravings and missing dear ones. Left with no choice I had to prepare some yummy but simple food for myself and DH. What better dish could be comforting than making Dal and Rice. I made this yummy dinner for the both of us and trust me..It was so very relaxing!!


Toor Dal - 1/4 cup
Moong Dal - 1/4 cup
Masoor Dal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
Medium Tomato - 1 - Chopped
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 3-4
Curry leaves - A few
Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - A pinch
Cilantro - To garnish
Oil / Ghee - 1 tbsp
Salt - To taste


  • In a vessel combine the three dals and add a pinch of turmeric powder and salt and pressure cook it for 3 whistles.
  • In a wok, heat oil/ghee. add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.
  • Once they crackle and splutter, add the chopped tomato and cook on medium heat until the tomatoes are cooked well.
  • Add asafoetida, red chilli powder and turmeric powder to the tomato mixture.
  • Mash the cooked dal and add the dal to the tomato mixture. 
  • Mix it all well.Garnish it with cilantro.

  • Serve hot with Rice and Roti.. Enjoy the simple and comfort food that gets ready in no time.

Sending in this entry to Serve It Series - Serve It - Pressure Cooked. This is my first entry for any activity in the blogging world. Hope to participate in many more such entries..


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Its's all about Pressure Cooking!!

We are all familiar about how important pressure cookers are in Indian cooking. It is one of the very important things in our kitchen on which we are completely dependent. In India, the leading pressure cooker brands are Prestige and Hawkins.

This blog post is just a brief review on both the pressure cookers. Prestige pressure cookers have been one of the leading brands in South India. They are outer lid pressure cookers. Recently,they have also introduced inner lid pressure cookers. They have introduced many lines of cookers based on different materials they are manufactured from. The most used model is the prestige popular pressure cooker. A new line called prestige deluxe is equally good. Ideally stainless steel pressure cookers are the best. Hard anodized pressure cookers are in demand today due to its excellent non stick properties and minimal to no wear and tear. One more successful model of prestige pressure cookers is the handi model. It is very useful model and we can use it like the regular handi's to make main gravy dishes. All the models look very nice and are very safe to use.

For all living outside India, make sure you buy enough spare parts of the models you have at home. The important spare parts are the safety valve, weights, steam vent (whole assembly) and gaskets. Handles are also available as spare parts and are very handy to keep.

Hawkins Pressure cookers are also one of the leading brand. Many find it useful but some find that the inner lid locking is a little tricky and cumbersome. They are long lasting and have a very good safety locking mechanism. The hawkins company have quite good models like the classic model, contura and futura model. They also have hard anodized and stainless steel versions. I personally like the contura model a lot. I own one too. Futura model is classy and looks very sleek.

Pressure cooking is very energy efficient and time-saving. It is advisable to invest in a good pressure cooker of your choice. Pressure cooking with separators makes cooking faster and multiple things can be cooked simultaneously. Separator cooking is supposed to be one of the healthier ways to cook food. 

Pressure cooking is a method of cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure. Since the boiling point of water increases as the pressure rises, the pressure built up inside the vessel allows the liquid to rise to a higher temperature before boiling (wikipedia).
So this was a short write up about pressure cookers. We can have a discussion on which pressure cooker models you all use and which one did you find the best. Please do leave all your comments or you can even e-mail me at gayu.kitchen@gmail.com.

Hope to see you all again with a new blog post. Till then, bye and take care..

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dal Tadka - My simple version

Dal is THE comfort food for many people. Like others, we too enjoy a simple dinner of Rice and Dal :). It is just heavenly when you taste home cooked simple dal and rice after a busy and a tiring day at work. DH loves dal /blush and he is the most happiest person at home when the menu for the day has DAL....Its a surprise dinner for him today with his favorite food. Lets take a look at Dal Tadka - My simple version.


  • Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
  • Tomatoes - 2 medium sized (I used grape tomatoes)
  • Salt - To taste
  • Water - 2 cups

For the seasoning:

  • Ghee / oil - 1 tbsp (I used coconut oil)al cooks fast and gets really
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds / jeera - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida - A pinch
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Cilantro - Finely chopped for garnishing
  • Dry Red chillies - 3-4
  • Soak the Toor dal for 15 min. By doing so the dal cooks faster and gets really mushy. 
  • Add salt, tomatoes and pressure cook for about 4-5 whistles.

  • For the seasoning, take a tadka pan and add the ghee/ oil. I used coconut oil to get an authentic south Indian taste.
  • Add the mustard seeds and allow it to pop. Then add cumin seeds, dry red chilies, asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Pour the tadka/seasoning into the cooked dal and mix well.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with basmati rice or phulka rotis. 
  • Enjoy!!
  • You can use ghee or any kind of oil suited to your taste.
  • You can choose to add tomatoes or make a plain dal without any veggies which would taste just as fine.
  • You can even use moong dal or masoor dal/red lentils for this dal tadka.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Onion Sambar

Onion Sambar is one of the favorites in our home. Ideal to be eated with rice, idlis and dosas it is hard to stop drinking the sambar literally. I had cut an onion a day before and preserved half of it. (And I used the remaining half to garnish Pav Bhaji). My Mom and Grandmom make the best arachivitta kuzhambu. I used their recipe to recreate the taste (close to it , but not quite there). The sambar masala is a blend of very simple spices that gives a fresh taste. Tonight we are going to have this tasty sambar with idlis.


For the Sambar masala:

  • Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
  • Chana Dal - 2 tsp
  • Urad Dal - 2tsp
  • Curry leaves -1 sprig (fresh or dry)
  • Grated coconut - 1/4th cup (fresh /dessicated)
  • Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1/4th tsp
  • Black pepper - Few corns
  • Dry red chillies - 3-4
For the Smbar:
  • Red Onion - I medium sized - Cut lengthwise
  • Cooked Toor dal - 1 cup
  • Tamarind Pulp - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - To taste
  • Asafoetida - A pinch
  • Water - As needed
  • Curry leaves - For Garnishing/ tempering
  • Cilantro - For Garnishing
  • Ghee - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/4th tsp 
  • Firstly, cook 1/2 cup of toor dal  in a pressure cooker until soft and mush and keep aside.

  • In a pan, add all the dry spices like coriander, cumin seeds, chana dal, urad dal, black pepper, curry leaves, red chillies and grated coconut in a pan and dry roast them till a nice aroma comes from them.

  • Remove from heat and allow it to cool down. Grind all the spices until it is all crushed. Keep the consistency somewhere between fine and medium coarse (not too fine or not too coarse).
  • In another pan, add ghee, mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds pop up and then add the cut onions.

  • Once the onions have softened and become translucent, add 1 tbsp of tamarind pulp.
  • Add 2 cups of water, salt to taste and asafoetida and allow it to come to a boil.
  • Once it starts boiling and starts frothing from the sides, add the ground sambar masala.

  • Mix it in well and add another 1/2 cup of water and allow this mixture to boil for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Then add the cooked toor dal and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro, curry leaves and add 2 tbsp of ghee over the sambar and serve it hot with rice, dosas or idlis.
  • Enjoy the sambar and I am sure you will love this.

  • You can use any type of onion. Red onions taste the best. Even pearl onions taste very good in this recipe.
  • I used dessicated coconut and dry cilantro as I ran out of fresh ones. Fresh is always the best.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Out of Action

Dear blogger friends,

I am just recovering from an ankle surgery and have a heavy cast on my leg..So its going to be bed-rest fro 4-6 weeks..I totally miss my kitchen and miss cooking the most..Nevertheless, I will try to catch up on all your blogs and try bookmarking new recipes..But please do visit my blogs for any recipes, and try them out..Will catch you all again soon..Take care..