Urad Dal Masala

If you go to an  Indian grocery store you will see that urad dal is available in three types:
1) Whole urad dal which is black
2) Split urad dal which is black and white
3) Split and washed urad dal which is white.

In today’s recipe I used the 3rd type also known as ‘white lentil’. In Indian cuisine it is generally used to make a dry dal masala dish, unlike most dal dishes which are quite liquidy in consistency. I was never the biggest fan of this dish as a kid but I’ve got older I’ve oddly grown to love it. The thing that I love about cooking this dal is that it’s so simple to make-you don’t need a pressure cooker. You won’t find this dish at any Indian restaurant but it’s regularly made in the Sawhney household!  Check out the recipe and try out this authentic dal dish for yourself 🙂

Serves 4

What we need:

For dahl:
250g split washed urad dal (white in colour)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
For Masala:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida powder (hing)
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 large fresh tomatoes
1 tsp tomato puree
4 mushrooms, diced (optional)
1/2 green or red chilli, finely diced (optional)
1/2 cup of fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam maslala
Pinch paprika powder

How we do:

  • Soak the dal in water for 2-4 hours.
  • In a pot, add the dal and add water so it is approx 2″ above the dal. Add salt and turmeric powder. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the dal becomes soft. If there is any excess water, drain it.
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and asafoetida powder. When they begin to sizzle, add the onion and fresh chilli. Mix well and cook until golden brown.
  • Add the garlic and ginger. Cook four a couple minutes and add the salt, garam masala and paprika powder. Add the tomatos and puree. Mix and cook for a  few minutes. Now add the mushrooms and stir.
  • Once the oil begins to separate from the masala, add the dal and mix well for 2-3 minutes. Add the coriander.
  • BALLE BALLE! You’re good to go. Best served with hot chappatis.

Sesame Chilli Paneer with Stir Fry Vegetables

I’ve recently had a few readers ask about new paneer recipes. Being a fellow paneer lover,  I jumped on the challenge! So tonight, mamma and I got creative in the kitchen. What we ended up with, as the title clearly spells out for you, is a sesame chilli paneer dish mixed with stir fry vegetables.  When making the sauce, we experimented with diff quantities of each ingredient to make it just right. Try it out, let me know how it goes. As always, the recipe is customizable so you can add whatever vegetables you like.  Also, if you’re not the biggest fan of sesame seeds, leave it out! Cashews/almonds work  really well too 🙂

Serves 4

What we need:
250g cubed paneer
3 tbsp corn flour
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 big onion, sliced
2″ ginger, thinly sliced
1 big green pepper, cut into 1″ squares
10 chestnut mushrooms, quartered
2 cupfuls broccoli, thinly sliced
3 cupfuls cabbage, thinly sliced
5 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp concentarted curry sauce paste
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
pinch of black pepper
5 tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp sesame seeds
handful peanuts

How we do:

  • In a bowl, add the paneer, 1 tbsp corn flour,  1 clove grated garlic, 1 tsp salt, paprika & pepper. Mix well.
  • Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a non stick pan. Add the paneer and scatter them in the pan so they separate. Brown them on one side and turn it over to cook the other side. Remove from pan.
  • In the same pan, on high heat, add the peanuts and dry roast them. Once browned, add the sesame seeds. Remove once golden. Keep your eyes  on the pan. They brown in 30 seconds!
  • In a bowl add the soy sauce, chilli sauce, sweet chilli sauce, curry paste (crumbled), 2 tbsp corn flour, water and 1 tsp salt.  Mix well.
  • In a wok, heat 4 tbsp sesame oil  on high heat. Add the garlic and ginger. Sautee them for 1 minute. Now add all the vegetables. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Now add the paneer.
  • Add 1/2 sauce prepared earlier and stir well. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the remaning sauce  whilst stirring the vegetables constantly over the course of 2-3 minutes.
  • Once the sauce has thickened and glaze all the vegetables, sprinkle the sesame seeds and peanuts on top.
  • Balle Balle! You’re done! Best served with boiled rice.

Baked Vegetables stuffed with Mozzarella and Breadcrumbs

This recipe is every veggy lovers dream! The vegetables are scooped, stuffed and baked. Also, we use the scooped out flesh to make a yummy seasoned vegetable bed which perfectly accompanies the stuffed vegetables. No waste!! Although this is a multi step recipe, it’s pretty easy and the results are worth the effort, I promise you 🙂

Serves 4

What we need:
2 courgettes
2 capsicums
2 carrots
2 potatoes
4 asparagus
6-8 cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
3-4 vine tomatoes
handful chopped coriander
6 slices bread
1 cup of grated mozzarella

Also have to hand:
Olive Oil
Seat Salt
Pepper
Oregano Powder
Cumin Seeds

How we do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F
  • Wash all of the vegetables listed above along with cherry tomatoes. Cut in half lengthways and scoop out half of the flesh of each vegetable. (Except the asparagus and cherry tomatoes). Keep the scooped out flesh in a separate bowl.
  • Line a baking tray (Nb. I always use a non stick teflon sheet for all my baking/grilling-it’s washable and reusable 🙂 ).
  • Place vegetables on tray. Sprinkle some salt & drizzle olive oil over it. Bake for 10 minutes .
  • In the meantime, prepare stuffing by grinding the bread in a processor to form the crumbs. Add the mozzarella to the crumbs & add 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix well.
  • To make the vegetable bed we will be using the flesh of the vegetables we saved earlier. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add 1tsp cumin seeds. Once they begin to sizzle, add the garlic &onions. Cook for 2 minutes & add all the scooped out vegetables. Add the vine tomatoes. Mix well & cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add 1-2 tsp salt (according to taste),  1 tsp pepper, 2 tsp oregano & coriander. Let it cook for another 5 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.
  • Remove the vegetables from the oven.  Spoon the breadcrumb stuffing into the vegetables. Once all are stuffed, drizzle with olive oil.
  • Put it back into the oven for a further 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Spoon out the seasoned vegetable mixture from pan onto a plate, forming  bed. Place the stuffed vegetables on top. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Balle Balle! That’s it, you’re done. Enjoy!