Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dal and Achari bhindi...

This year the summer is showing it's rage to the people of Kolkata. It was officially spring when it started feeling like mid of summer here. I don't remember when was the last time I experienced this kind of terrible heat for such a long stretch of time, without any rain or the usual respite of 'Kalboishakhi' (the nor'wester). Many schools have declared holiday due to this adverse weather.

Due to this weather kitchen is one place I dread to step in. I'm relying  more on fruits, yogurt, juices to avoid working in the kitchen for long duration. For lunch or dinner I am sticking to simple and quick to cook dishes.

It's not only hot and humid weather, but the fact that very few varieties of vegetables fishes are available in the market  in this time of the year  in Kolkata makes your options so limited.You can't but stick to lentils and try to find different ways to cook it. 

Today for lunch I made a simple dal tadka and to go with that was a flavorful achari bhindi, pickle flavored stir fried okra. For the dal I mixed three different kinds of lentils, red lentils (masoor), yellow lentils (toor or arhar) and black lentils (urad dal).

Things needed to make Dal Tadka:

  • Split red lentils (masoor dal): 1/2 cup
  • Split yellow lentils (toor dal): 1/4 cup
  • Split black lentils (urad dal): 1/4 cup
  • Onion (finely chopped): 1
  • Ginger (grated): 1 tsp
  • Tomato (chopped): 1'
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 12-14
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp
  • Dry red chilies: 3-4
  • Asafoetida (hing): 1/8 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee or clarified butter: 1-2 tsp
  • Vegetable oil: 2-3 tbsp
  • Salt and sugar to taste

Steps of making Dal Tadka:

1. Wash the lentils till the water runs clear. Soak the lentils for 30 min.

2. In a pressure cooker heat 2 tablespoons of oil, when the oil is hot add the chopped onion, cook till transparent. Add grated ginger and chopped tomatoes, cook for 4-5 min. Add the soaked lentils, turmeric powder, salt, water and close and pressure cooker and cook the dal. Switch off heat and wait till pressure is released.

3. In a pan heat ghee along with little oil, when the ghee is hot add asafoetida (hing), mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chilies and curry leaves. As the spices splutter, pour this into the cooked dal, mix well. Check seasoning, adjust accordingly. Serve hot.

Things needed to make Achari Bhindi:

  • Bhindi (Okra): 200 gms
  • Onion (sliced): 1
  • Garlic (thinly sliced): 2-3 cloves
  • Ginger (julienned): 1 tsp
  • Tomato (sliced): 1
  • Paanch foron or Bengali five spice mix: 1 tsp
  • Dry red chilies: 2-3
  • Green chilies: 2-3
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Amchur (dry mango) powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • Mustard oil to cook

Steps of making Achari Bhindi:

1. Wash the okra, pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut the okra into long pieces.

2. In a pan heat oil, when oil is hot add the okra with little salt and turmeric powder, cover and cook over low heat for 4-5 min. Cook uncover over high heat for 5-6 min or till okra is cooked. Take out the okra and keep aside.

3. In the same pan, add oil (if needed). when oil is hot add paanch foron or bengali five spice mix, dry red chilies, ginger and garlic, cook till the seeds splutter. Add onion cook till transparent. Add tomato, salt, red chili powder, cumin powder and mix well. Cook till tomatoes and mushy. Add fried okra and green chilies and little sugar. Mix well. Add amchur powder and serve hot.

I serve the dal and bhindi with steamed rice. It goes well with rotis too.

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1 comment:

  1. Achari Bhindi is extremely good and so easy to prepare.