The delicacy that got me interested in cooking years ago was biryani as I was always intrigued by the exotic nature of the recipe. There are too many varieties of biryani that is cooked in India and some recipes in family owned restaurants are a well-kept family secret that has been passing on from generations. We started our handi series with a vegetarian biryani recipe and today we are posting our first non-vegetarian, red meat biryani recipe.
The best benefit we got after starting our blog is that we started to read other people’s blog. One cool blog that we really liked is called OneLifeToEat. The blog writer, Sabera, recently posted a recipe of masoor dal. Just reading her recipe got me salivating. Masoor dal is the mostly eaten dal since our childhood but we never prepared masoor dal anywhere near to her recipe. I saw my grandma cook it everyday, my mom and aunts used to cook it everyday; they still do. We also cook it but not everyday.
So as we read Sabera’s masoor dal recipe, I just got nostalgic as it was part of my everyday meal. The other thing my mom used to cook using masoor dal, though not everyday, was the Masoor Dal Pakodis (fritters). This mostly used to happen on days when the fridge went out of vegetables. Mom used to cook a dal and at least two sides (one vegetable; one fish-being Bengalis) served with rice and rotis. Thats how a standard Indian balanced diet used to be.
Anyways, coming back to the masoor dal, by the time we finished reading Sabera’s recipe I was salivating for not only the Dal but also the Masoor Dal Pakodis as well. So we made both of them yesterday. For the masoor dal recipe, please visit Sabera’s post and for the Masoor Dal Pakodis checkout our video. Serve Masoor dal over hot steamed basmati rice with the pakodis. Add some raita and cucumber on the side and you got yourself another 100% vegetarian yummy meal.
(Whats the difference between pakodas and pakodis?)
Finally, we cooked some vegetarian food. A simple routine Indian meal that cannot be found in any restaurant but only an Indian household. Speaking of restaurants, few staple menu items of Indian restaurants (in India and elsewhere), especially those serving north indian cuisine, are never cooked at home. For example, the naan bread. We do not think any Indian household cooks naan bread at home as part of normal cuisine. They may try making it for putting the new oven to some use but it’s never cooked at home as part of their meals.
At the same time, the food cooked in Indian kitchens as part of routine meals is seldom found in restaurants. The meal we are featuring here is one such meal that cannot be found in restaurants. Its one of those food that a person looks forward to eat upon reaching home after work.
Since we said “meal”, it’s not one recipe we are featuring but two. The first is the “Stir Fried Cabbage” that is cooked in a fusion style of northern and eastern regions of India. From the state of Bengal in east, we used the panch phoron spice mix (Wikipedia has a nice page on it) in the cabbage stir fry. You can also add green peas and diced potatoes in the cabbage stir fry. The peas bring a nice sweetness to the recipe. We though did not add any peas or potatoes in our recipe.
Daal or Lentil is an integral part of Indian meal. So the next feature in our meal is the Mung Dal (yes, the same Mung Daal from Chowder). Mung Daal can be cooked in many ways and we are going to cook them with spinach to get in the added nutrients of a green vegetable.
In both the recipes a little butter or ghee, though optional, can be added in the end to enhance the taste and flavor.
Check out our video for the recipe and to watch us cook them. We are not doing a bad job at all of shooting the videos with a phone camera. Just need a tripod, we guess.
Both the cabbage and mung daal can be served with rotis, parathas or with rice. Side some cucumber and onion salad along with raita (yogurt sauce with a blend of spices) and no restaurant can beat the satisfaction we get after having such a meal.
(In one of our earlier posts we said vegetarian food sucks. It still does but then eating meat everyday also sucks.)
Chana Dahl (or Dal / Daal) is a lentil or pulse which is actually black chickpeas skinned out of its outer hull and split in halves.
India being the highest chickpeas producing country in the world, its natural that Chana Dal is one of the mainstay of Indian vegetarian cooking.
We, however, are going to cook Chana Dal with Chicken Keema (ground meat). Why are we adding chicken in a traditionally vegetarian Dal recipe? Because:
#1. Vegetarian food sucks, at least for us.
#2. Had to use the ground chicken tray lying in the freezer from last 4 days.
#3. Did not want to spend on buying mutton keema (ground goat meat). This tastes even better with goat meat.
Veggie lovers, please skip adding the meat part and it will be as delightful a recipe to savour with Zeera (Cumin) Rice or Pooris. Those who are trying to lose some pounds, cook this in the evening but eat it with Pooris the next morning for breakfast. Somehow it tastes even yummier the next day and you get the entire day to burn up the calories. As for us, it will be just our regular weekday dinner.
Hope people will try this recipe it at home. We really enjoyed cooking and eating it.
1. We added a tsp of sugar also in the recipe. Missed to capture that in the video.
2. Add a whole red chilli along with whole spices. We did not add it to keep it less hot for the kids.