I have been curious about this dal for a few months now, but the couple of times I wanted to make it, I didn’t have the whole urad dal on hand. So a couple of months back, when I had some on hand, I decided it was time to finally make this.
This dal is rustic and comes from the homes of Punjab and is also called Langarwali Dal as it is often served at Sikh Gurudwaras, especially the Harmandir Saheb in Amritsar. Made from two types of dals, urad and chana, this dal does not have too many spices and is usually slow cooked, sometimes overnight to make a creamy, soft dal that just melts in the mouth. But because we don’t have the time these days to slow cook it, it’s made in the pressure cooker.
Amritsari Dal or Langarwali Dal
1 cup whole black urad dal
¼ cup chana dal
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp finely minced ginger
2 tbsp finely mined garlic
2-3 tbsp ghee, oil or butter
1 tsp minced green chillies
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 medium sized tomotoes, finely chopped
½ tsp red chilli powder
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves (optional)
Soak the urad dal and chana dal in water for at least 5-6 hours until the urad dal is soft to touch.
Wash the dal well and put inside the pressure cooker with enough water to cover it, add turmeric powder, 1 tbsp each of ginger and garlic and about 1 tsp salt and cook for about five to six whistles. Open the cooker when the pressure goes away and slightly mash the dals with the back of a spoon or a whisk.
In a separate pan, heat the ghee, oil or butter and when it heats up, add in the finely chopped onion, stir until the onions turn translucent.
Then add in the balance minced ginger and garlic and stir well.
Add the mined green chillies and stir.
Saute until the onions become a nice golden colour.
When the onions turn golden, add In the finely chopped tomatoes. Mix well and let the tomatoes cook until they become mushy
Let the mixture cook until the oil releases from the sides. At this point, add the red chilli powder
Pour the tempering into the dal mixture and mix well
Add salt and water if needed and mix well
Let the dal come to a nice rolling boil.
Lower the flame and let the dal simmer for about 5 minutes. You can simmer for longer if you want, and the results will be better.
Garnish with coriander leaves and mint leaves, if you are using them and serve hot with rice, rotis or nan.
Note that the dal will thicken as it cools, so you may need to thin it a bit before serving if you plan on cooking it ahead of time. Also the dal tastes much better if eaten the next day, so it may be a good idea to cook it ahead of time.
A dish you find in pretty much every Indian restaurant, Matar Paneer, which means Peas and Paneer, is a yummy dish from the state of Punjab which has fresh or frozen green peas and cottage cheese or Paneer in a smooth onion tomato gravy, spiced with garam masala. Usually served with Indian flatbreads like rotis, you can also have it with steamed rice.
One Sunday, bored of making the same old dishes, I decided to make a super easy mater paneer. This version, which may not be the most authentic version, is very easy and doesn’t take much time to make. I used frozen peas, but if you have fresh peas, the dish will be even better.
Ingredients: – 2 cups frozen peas, thawed – 1 cup frozen paneer, soaked in hot water for 20-30 minutes and then drained – 2 medium sized onions, chopped roughly – 4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped roughly – 1 bulb garlic, peeled – 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped – 10-12 almonds – 2 tsp cumin seeds – 1 tsp ajwain or caraway seeds – 1 tbsp coriander seeds – 2 cloves – 2 cardamom pods – ¼ tsp turmeric powder – 1 tsp red chilli powder – 1 tsp cumin powder – 1 tsp coriander powder – 1 tsp garam masala powder – 1 tbsp kasuri methi – Salt to taste – 2 tbsp ghee or oil – Chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Method: – Heat 1 tbsp ghee or oil in a pan and when it is warm, add 1 tsp cumin seeds and let them pop. – Then add the ajwain seeds, coriander seeds, cloves and cardamom pods and stir for a couple of seconds. – Now add the almonds and stir for a minute or two. Then add the garlic and ginger one by one and stir between adding the next ingredient. – When everything is stirred well, add the onions and stir until the onions are translucent. – Then add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt and stir until the tomatoes are completely cooked and mushy. Switch off the flame and let this cool. – When completely cool, blend together into a smooth paste. – In a separate pan, heat the balance ghee or oil and the balance cumin seeds and let the seeds pop – Then add the frozen peas and the turmeric powder and some salt and cover and cook on a low to medium flame until the peas are around 80% cooked. – Add in the blended masala paste and then the powder masalas – red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and let it come to a rolling boil. – At this point, add in the soaked and drained paneer and salt to taste. Add the garam masala powder and crush the kasuri methi in the palms of your hands and sprinkle it over the gravy. – Let everything come to a nice boil and put the flame on a simmer and cook for 10 minutes more. Thin it if needed at this point. – Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with any rotis or rice. I served it with a simple jeera rice made with basmati rice.
A few weeks back, I came across this recipe when I was looking for something to make and for some reason, this recipe stayed with me. I didn’t have one major ingredient needed, so the moment I brought the ingredient, I decided to make this dal. This dal is what is served when Punjabis have religious functions at home as well as is served in the holiest of Sikh places, the Harmandir Saheb or the Golden Temple.
This dal also tastes a bit like Makhni Dal and is even tastier the next day. Do try it and let me know what you think of it.
Dal Amritsari or Langar Wali Dal
1 cup whole black gram
¼ cup chana dal or split Bengal gram dal
4-5 cups of water to pressure cook the dals
3-4 green chillies (less or more as your spice tolerance), chopped
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 medium sized tomato, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp grated or finely chopped ginger
1-2 tbsp grated or finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
Coriander and mint leaves to garnish
Rinse and soak the dals either together or separately in enough water overnight or at least for 5-6 hours
Drain the dals and cook in a pressure cooker with enough water and about 1 tbsp each of the ginger and garlic. Pressure cook for about 5-7 whistles until the dals are soft and get smashed when you press then.
If you are cooking on the stovetop, cook the dals on a slow fire, stirring in-between along with 1 tbsp each of ginger and garlic until the dals are soft and get smashed when you press on them.
For both methods, using a potato smasher, smash some of the dals until it becomes a nice homogenus paste with some whole dal.
Heat the oil and butter in a small pan or skillet. When the oil warms, add the balance garlic and ginger and stir for a few seconds each.
Then add the chilles and stir for about 10-15 seconds.
Now add the chopped onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.
Then add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt and saute till the tomatoes get pulpy and oil starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Pour this tempering over the cooked dal and season with salt to taste.
Pour some hot water to thin it to the consistency you like and simmer on a low heat for another 5-7 minutes.
Garnish with finely chopped coriander and mint leaves and serve hot with rice or Indian flatbread.
Bhindi or Ladies Finger is one of my favourite vegetables. When fried right, it is crisp and super yummy. I remember my grandmother’s telling us to eat this vegetable when we were young saying that eating this vegetable will improve your brain. Though I have no idea if this is true or just an old wives tale, it did ensure that this became one of my favourite vegetables ever.
Okra is scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus, and it might have originated in parts of Western Africa and Asia. It has been cultivated since the 12th century BC. While researching on the benefits of Ladies Finger for this post, I realised that this unassuming vegetable actually has many benefits. Bhindi has one of the richest sources of potassium, folic acid, vitamins B and C, calcium, and fibre. Okra alleviates asthma, lowers cholesterol, protects the heart, manages diabetes, boosts your immune system, improves vision, prevents kidney diseases and is a very good addition for pregnant women to eat.
A note of warning though, this recipe does use more oil than usual, so keep that in mind while making it. If you are on a diet, this recipe is probably not for you. This version of bhindi masala is made using a modified basic Punjabi gravy.
20-25 ladies fingers, washed and completely dried
1 large and 1 medium sized onion
3 medium sized tomatoes
8-10 garlic pods
1 inch piece of ginger
6-8 pieces of cashewnuts
1 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp dry mango powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
3-4 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Make sure the ladies fingers are completely dry. Then top and tail them and cut them into one inch pieces. Keep wiping your knife with a kitchen towel to remove all the slime from the seeds of the okra. Keep aside.
Chop the large onion vertically into long thin slices and keep aside.
In a blender, blend the ginger, garlic, the medium sized onion, tomatoes and cashewnuts into a fio a fine paste. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a pan and when it is hot, add the okra in batches along with a pinch of salt and let it cook. The okra should turn dark green and crisp. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
In the same pan, with the balance oil, add the cumin seeds and when the seeds pop, add the sliced onions. Stir and let the onions become translucent.
When the onions become translucent, add in the blended gravy and let it come to a rolling boil. Add in the spices – salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and raw mango powder and let it simmer for around 5-10 minutes.
Add water to thin the gravy to the consistency you want. Add in the garam masala powder and check for seasoning and add what seems to be missing.
Add in the fried ladies finger and give it a simmer and switch off the flame after garnishing with the finely chopped coriander leaves.
If you don’t have access to dry mango powder, you can substitute it with 1 tsp lemon juice. Add the lemon juice at the very end, just after you switch off the flame.
This goes very well with both Indian flatbreads and even rice.
A very basic recipe, which can be modified to make it slightly richer as well as made with other vegetables and probably even meat, this gravy can also be made in advance and be frozen for when you need to make something in a hurry.
4-5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 medium-sized onions, chopped roughly
3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped roughly
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp Carom seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1-2 tbsp garam masala powder
1-2 tbsp Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
Keep the chopped potatoes in a pan of water so that it does not oxidise while you make the gravy.
In a pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and then add 1 tsp cumin seeds and let it splutter. Then add the fennel and carom seeds and stir for a few seconds each before adding the next spice.
When the spices splutter, add the garlic and ginger and saute it for a few seconds.
Then add the almonds and stir for a minute or so.
Now add the onions and saute till it turns translucent. When the onions turn translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and give it a good stir.
Add around a tsp of salt to let the onion and tomato become mushy. At the same time, add the red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and stir well.
Once the tomatoes are completely cooked and mushy, remove from the flame, let it cool down completely and then blend to a fine paste. You can add water as needed to thin it down while blending.
Drain the potatoes and keep aside.
In the same pan, use the balance oil and when it becomes warm, add the remaining cumin seeds. When the seeds start to splutter, add the turmeric powder and the asafoetida and then quickly add in the drained potatoes. Add a bit of salt, cover and cook on a low to medium flame till the potatoes are almost cooked.
At this point, pour in the prepared gravy and stir well, letting it come to a boil. Check the seasoning at this point and add what is missing.
Add the garam masala and crush the Kasuri Methi in the palms of your hands before sprinkling it over the gravy.
Let the gravy come to a nice rolling boil, reduce the flame and continue to boil for another five minutes.
Remove from the flame, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with any rice or Indian flatbread.
This is a very basic gravy and if you want to make it richer, you can add cashew nuts along with almonds when cooking. Also adding cooking cream while the gravy is boiling (towards the end) will make it more rich and creamy.
I made this with only potatoes, but you can add any combination of vegetables, including paneer (or tofu), cauliflower, peas, carrots etc to make it more wholesome.