Saturday, August 29, 2009

recipe and procedure for making sattu ka paratha

sattu ka paratha recipe

Sattu ka paratha is truly banaras ka khana. Sattu is a flour of roasted gram and it is available in banaras very easily. Litti chokha might have come to Banaras via Bihar, the neighboring state but litti chokha and sattu ka paratha both are considered as their own by all Banaras walas.

When I don't get sattu it here in Delhi, I just powder some roasted gram in the spice grinder and use accordingly. Sattu can be used in so many healthy ways you know it already if you are looking for sattu ka paratha.

This paratha is a tasty and healthy food when served with tomato salsa or baingan ks bharta , or baingan ka chokha but most of the people like it as it is, may be with a bowl of dahi or some pickle or may be green coriander mint chutney too. Sattu ka paratha is a mundane breakfast for many so they don;t bother to make much accompaniments with these. We we make this paratha occasionally we want the chokha, chutney and dahi etc.

The recipe is simple. In a food processor or chopper it becomes easier but can be done manually too, chopping the onion garlic I mean. Else just chop everything fine so the flavours seep into the sattu powder well.

you need.........
one large onion
4-5 garlic cloves, an inch piece of ginger
and 2-3 green chillies and coriander leaves ( dint use cuz they are out of season) are processed to make a fine mince......
then mixed with 5-6 tbsp of sattu ( to make 4-5 parathas)
a tsp of ajwain seeds
2 tsp of aam ka achar spice mix ( straight from the achar jar)
2 tsp or more of lemon juice
and salt to taste

To make sattu ka paratha...

Mix all these well and sprinkle some water to mix so that the stuffing mixture becomes the same consistency as that of the dough. You have to massage the chopped onion garlic etc with sattu to make the water from the chopped vegetables to mix with the sattu, sprinkle a little more water if required.

This mixture is stuffed into whole wheat dough, rolled to make a flat round paratha and fried on hot tawa with some ghee.

sattu ka paratha recipe

Ready to eat, suitable for a weekend breakfast with lassi or dahi or as a dinner with some...tomato salsa. Having some sattu filling on the side is being greedy for the sattu goodness.

Here we enjoyed it with plan baingan ka chokha and plain Ramturai ka bharta. I fire roasted both baingan and ramturai, peeled them off and saved the pulp. Roasted baingan is mashed it only with salt and mustrad oil and the ramturai is blended in a mixie along with green chilly, little garlic, salt and mustard oil. Both these accompaniments are just too good with this paratha.

Let me know whenever you make sattu ka paratha.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

daal ke pakode hari chutny ke saath

this was our dinner on a weekend when it was raining heavily outside......rain is playing lukka chhippi here in delhi n i saw some of the heaviest rains this season as rain God is quite kanjoos for Delhi whenever our evening tea becomes late , it transforms into a dinner n how it went on that day.......i had soaked a mix of pulses for the pakode and Arvind got late from work n was wet n hungry ......i processed the pulses and made tea while he got fresh and we had a relaxed tea dinner.....

to make these daal ke pakode you need to soak a mix of red lentils , split chick peas or chana daal and mung daal in equal quantity for about two hours.....i used about 2 tbsp of each daal which becomes about 1.5 cup after soaking.

grind the soaked daals with a one inch piece of ginger , 2 garlic cloves and 3 green chillies in a chutny jar of your make a course paste....add a tsp of turmeric powder and salt to taste

chop about half cup of curry leaves and a big onion finely and mix with the paste .

grease a MW safe plate and drop spoonfuls of the mixture on it till all the mixture is consumed , you may need to make another batch for this quantity....microwave for 3 minutes on high or till all the pakode are cooked through ( a tooth pick should come out clean when pricked with it)...

meanwhile heat vegetable oil in a kadhai to fry the pakode ....when the microwaving is done, take out the plate and tip in the microwaved pakode immediately into the hot oil.......this allows the pakode to brown quickly into the oil, reducing the frying time tremendously and very less amount of oil is consumed.....( tell me if you found the tip useful).

drain the pakode when browned and serve with hari chutny......every family has their own version of hari chutny or may be many versions according to availability of ingredients.........i made this using mint leaves and pickled green garlic chives ( recipe coming later)....

rains , masala chai and pakode does something very special to you.......enjoy!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

macaroni with chicken sauages

pasta is such a comfort food........any time meal and honestly sometimes it is a weekend brunch or an evening snack too.....the dinner gets delayed or is replaced by a fruit on such occasions...........

this is something the children like very much husband is no less than a child when it comes to food.......he wants everything which does not look like roti subzi or daal chawal............:):)

i make this quite simple.........

boil the macaroni ( 1 cup) in salted water till al dante' .....and drain n keep aside...

boil a few chicken sausages in water ...........till cooked , drain and keep aside.....

chop 2 cloves of garlic and make a coarse paste of 1 onion and 2 tomatoes in mixie.......

heat a tsp of oil in a pan and tip in the garlic......after a minute throw in the onion and tomato paste , salt to taste and a tsp of red chilly flakes........mix n cook till everything gets mixed up n cooked nicely...........

meanwhile chop the boiled sausages into slanting slices and throw into the cooking mixture....

in goes the boiled macaroni and a few springs of chopped fresh basil......

ready to devour.......sprinkle cheese if you wish.........i skip it when i add chicken or some veggie..

Thursday, August 20, 2009

shahi tukda

i like to surprise my husband with these sweet treats.........he loves shahi tukda and sometimes i make rabri ( condensed milk without sugar) and keep in the fridge to surprise him in the evening........i have told earlier too that he wants something filling and tasty ( mostly sweet) when he comes back from office........when i fry the bread slices in the kitchen and he gets the aroma of bread being fried in ghee.......he comes to the kitchen ( which is rare otherwise) following the aroma and i tease him for that...........he gets the surprise........

this one i make mostly when my milk gets reduced accidentally......among other things i make mishti doi too with it..........yes we are in a habit to boil the milk for around 10 minutes on n then store in the fridge.........n sometimes when i am busy somewhere else , the milk gets reduced n becomes's treat time for the hubby.....he he..

the rabdi is already there.......otherwise you can reduce the milk by boiling it on low heat till a creamy n stringy consistency.......keeps well in the fridge for a fortnight.

now fry bread pieces ( white bread is the usual ingredient but i use brown as i don't purchase the white one)....stale bread is better as it soaks less ghee........yes you need ghee to fry it......loads of that extra mile to burn it....or develop a faster metabolism......................sounds simple na!!!

while frying the breads you need to boil a cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of water to make a syrup ...just like gulabjamun syrup...slightly thick....and keep it on the side..

soak fried pieces in the syrup for a minute........drain and arrange on a plate.......

top with loads of rabdi........and some chopped nuts if you wish...and some saffron if you want it the shahi way........

dig into the bliss that is shahi tukda and skip your next loads of leafy salads instead......he he...

Monday, August 17, 2009

curries and the spices | therapeutic properties of spices | recipes of garam masala, thanda masala and everyday curry powder

Spices have been a part of Indian cuisine since time immemorial. Spice routes passing through Indian subcontinent brought more variety of spices to India and made Indian spices a part of other cuisines around the globe.

Spices and herbs used as medicine in the Ayurvedic system of medicine and home cooking has always followed the Ayurvedic principles because the nourishing and healing properties of food were identified well. The everyday curries, condiments and even the desserts were made according to seasons and the use of spices kept changing through the year. 

The curries of India are as diverse as it's people and it's landscape. The Kashmiri curries, the Awadhi, the Bengali and the curries of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala are very different from each other. All of these curries developed in those particular regions according to the climate and locally available ingredients. Each of these curries are delectable and very different from each other. These curries are considered therapeutic but most people do not know how they benefit our system, although there is much awareness about the medicinal properties of the spices used in the curries, we need to keep reinforcing it into our everyday cooking. Food is medicine they say.  

spices and curries

Most recipes of Indian curries confirm to the procedures and principles of Ayurveda. In Ayurvedic procedures a herb is boiled with water till reduced slightly in quantity and is called a ' kwaath' or decoction. Like if you boil a handful of Tulsi (Indian holy basil) leaves in 500 ml water till it reduces to 400 ml, the liquid extract is called a 'kwaath' which is digestive, antipyretic, mild analgesic, astringent and much more. When you cook a curry with spices, the extracts of spices come to the food. Simple.

Some spice extracts are water soluble and some are fat soluble, so the curry provides a better extraction with a ghee frying (bhunoeing) of spices first and boiling with water later during cooking. Ghee is considered a good vehicle for herb extracts as it nourishes the tissues and cleanses the intestines.

Apart from ghee, mustard oil, coconut oil, sesame oil and sunflower or safflower oil are used for making different curries and cooking in general.

So if you feel like having a curry for your indigestion you may think of using a pinch of asafoetida, some cumin and black pepper and a liberal dose of ginger into a light curry made with a watery (like guards or squashes) vegetable, tamatar wali lauki is an example. In winters you can opt for the hot spices like dry ginger, black pepper, red chilly peppers, nutmeg, cloves, black cardamom and ajwain (bishop's seeds) etc. while fennel seeds, cumin, coriander, fenugreek etc. are cooling spices. Once you make friends with the spices they will tell you how to choose them for your daily cooking and for different moods. 

The motive is to make it more understandable and common knowledge for everyone that the curries can cure, if you choose the spices judiciously.

Apart from all these spices turmeric is an integral part of curry cooking and is considered to prevent cancer, arthritis and even Alzheimer's. It has antiseptic and healing properties.


Making the curry powders at home is a way to ensure freshness, quality and taste. 

Here are the recipes of few of my curry powders which can be used individually for some curries and together in combinations for some more complex curries. Like sometimes I add a dash of the special garam masala in a curry that has been cooked with everyday curry powder, adding the garam masala in later stages of bhunoeing process works better as the aromas are preserved in the curry better that way.

Everyday curry powder

It has only 4 ingredients and I call it everyday curry powder because it is used for everyday curries mostly. For dry stir-fries, as well as for soupy curries which are light.

everyday curry powder

ingredients for everyday curry powder
coriander seeds 250 gm
black pepper corns 100 gm
cumin seeds 100 gm
a handful of scissor cut bay leaves

Sun dry the spices completely or using your oven at low temperature (60-70 degree C) and grind together to make a fine powder. Do not roast the spices as their aromatic oil evaporate and the spices loose some of their taste and properties.  

everyday curry powder

This everyday curry powder can be added to regular everyday subzis, sabut daals, and even rajma and kala chana curries etc.

Aromatic (special) garam masala powder
Aromatic garam masala is in fact the Awadhi version of garam masala. 

aromatic garam masala spices

This is a more complex and aromatic powder which lends a rich feel to the recipe. Use of this powder is occasional in summers but it is used almost daily in winter months and for non vegetarian curries.

ingredients for aromatic garam masala black cardamoms 50 gm
green cardamoms 20 gm
cloves 30 gm
star anise 30 gm

cinnamon 50 gm
one whole nutmeg

mace 4-5 flowers
long peppers (8-10 (optional but recommended during winters)
shahi jeera 10 gm (optional but recommended for meat curries and stews)
kababchini (allspice) 5 gm (optional but recommended for winter curries)
lichen spice (dagad phool) 2-3 shreds (optional but recommended for vegetarian biryani or koftas)

These spices are to be dried like the previous ones and ground in the spice grinder, the color is a deep dark brown which is so aromatic you will fall in love with. You can grind it very fine or a bit coarse. I do not grind it too fine as it looses its aroma very fast once made into fine powder. 

aromatic garam masala recipe

Black cumin or shahi jeera and cubeb or kababchini are two very aromatic spices which are used for making special mughlai curies and biryanis too, I keep them in the kitchen whole and use them as required.

There are many more spice mixes like kashmiri masala and pav bhaji masala which keep well for months in airtight containers and are used for making different curries. I generally make these spice powders as and when required. 

Robust (Punjabi) garam masala  

Punjabi garam masala recipe

Punjabi garam masala includes dry ginger (sonth) and black peppers and cumin as well. Some recipes even include coriander seeds but then it becomes like an all purpose garam masala that can be used for almost all curries being cooked at home. 

Punjabi garam masala recipe

Thanda masala  

Thanda masala recipe

Thanda masala includes only coriander and cumin as a base but adds on fennel, tejpatta and some poppy seeds etc for more depth of flavors. Fenugreek seeds, asafoetida (hing) and chilllies are often used as a tempering whenever thanda masala is used in curries. 

Thanda masala is used mostly for light summer curries and the use of mint or coriander leaf paste is also common in these curries. 

More exotic spices like Nagkeshar, Paan ki jad (Betel root), Rose petal powder, Abhrak powder, khas ki jad (Vetiver) are used for recipes recommended by Viadyas and Haqeems, some of these spices make the secret spice mixes that some old khansamas never share with anyone. There is immense lure attached to spices and curries. 

Various varieties of chillies are used in Indian cuisine. Capsaicin found in the chillies is considered therapeutic. Chillies are high in vitamin C (about twice that of citrus fruits), dried chillies are very high in vitamin A, and red chillies are a great source of b-carotene. Chillies have antibacterial qualities, and contain bioflavinoids, anti-oxidants most common in apple juice. (source

So when your doctor says not to eat chillies and spices he doesn't know about food and ingredients. It is a common practice in India to advice going off spices and chillies when one is under treatment for any ailment. Modern medicine follows symptomatic treatments and never considers ethnic ways of treatment and prevention of diseases.

Spices show us a better way thankfully as we have grown up on tulsi adrak ka kadha, adrak wali chai and fennel tea.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mishti Doi recipe: a caramel flavoured sweetened yogurt from Bengal

Mishto Doi means meethi dahi or sweetened yogurt and is a famous Bengali delicacy. Once you taste a good Mishti Doi you will forget any frozen yogurt or ice cream, this is such a rich and creamy caramel flavoured yogurt.

We actually tasted Mishti Doi for the first time when my younger sister got married (this was a month before my own wedding) in a Calcutta based family and her mother in law sent a huge handi of Mishti Doi to our home as it is considered auspicious. We licked the handi clean within a matter of minutes once it was opened and tasted.

Later I asked a few Bengali friends from Calcutta an they would say Bengali shops in Calcutta use a lot of additives to make this special yogurt rich and creamy. Apparently few of them add trans fats and even corn starch to make the yogurt well set and rich in taste.

I happened to taste the bad, the good and one of the best Mishti Doi in Calcutta later, we even tasted Mishti Doi and other sweets from Bankura as a Mishtiwala used to ferry these to our Dhanbad campus.

The traditional way of making Mishti Doi is simpler but time consuming and the cost of making it becomes higher for commercial establishments. Full fat milk is reduced till the milk sugars (Lactose) caramelizes and the reduced milk starts looking brownish and gets thick. Then sugar is added and the milk is cooled down to lukewarm temperature, yogurt starter is added and the Mishto Doi is kept to set in earthen pots. Once set, it can easily be scooped out just like ice cream.

The total fat content of the reduced milk also becomes quite high and that helps the yogurt to set beautifully and smoothly.

If you make this Mishti Doi at home you can control the fat content if you wish.

You know I am a homemade freak and made this many times to recreate the taste of the best Mishti Doi I had back then. I succeeded and found that it was always better at home. The fresh ingredients, no added fat or color and sweetness just as much you want.

Initially I used to make this using condensed milk as the perfect dark color of Mishti Doi came from it but then it used to get too sweet. Later I tried reducing the milk at home and found the best results.

Whenever I forget the milk on the gas stove for a couple of hours (Yes it happens when I am busy with something or a phone call comes and I forget) and the milk reduces and becomes brownish, I don't feel bad as Mishti Doi is just a few hours away.

(4-5 servings or as greedy as you feel)

Milk version..
Full fat milk 2 liters
yogurt starter (or fresh yogurt) 2 tbsp
sugar 3 tbsp or more to taste OR equal amount of palm sugar

The condensed milk version (this will be quite sweet) 
full fat milk 500 ml
condensed milk 200 ml
yogurt 2 tbsp


If using the first set of ingredients for milk version reduce the milk so much that it becomes 700 ml. Cool down till lukewarm to touch.

Caramelize the sugar (if using) in a shallow pan by heating it with a tbsp of water while rotating the pan gently over high heat. The sugar melts and then starts browning, wait till it becomes like honey and then pour into the cooling reduced milk.

If using palm sugar no need to caramelise, add the sugar and whisk to dissolve.

Once the milk is lukewarm, add the yogurt starter and whisk nicely till the mixture froths. Cover and keep in a warm place till set.

If making the condensed milk version, just heat the milk, mix with condensed milk and wait till the mix becomes lukewarm. Ad the yogurt, whisk well and keep in a warm place to set.

Serve chilled with chopped nuts as a topping .

This Mishti Doi keeps well in the fridge for a week if you make larger quantities though it is difficult to save it for that long..

Monday, August 10, 2009

samose....VT waale

what do you like in a samosa??
the outer pastry or the inner aaloo stuffing.....or both....

i remember the college days when i actually started having samosas.....we were not allowed any outside food in our childhood and samosas were a rare sight in our house........the college canteen served the yummiest samosas i had tasted till then.........and then when i joined the Department of Botany in BHU , i was introduced to the samosas made by the VT guys ( anybody from Banaras would know what i am talking about....VT is the Vishvanath temple inside the university campus and there are many snacks shops there....bihari ka samosa is phenomenal).....

whenever we got there for tea....samosas were a natural accompaniment....though sometimes we settled for the crispy patties, idlis or vadas or even dosas....but samosa was an all time favorite........while the guys ( n most gals too) were busy gossiping or may be preening themselves, i used to watch how the samosa wala guys rolled the samosa pastry, made the masala, stuffed it n fried it........they used to sprinkle black salt over the samosas as soon as the samosas were out of oil.......i am drooling right now.......i got my samosa lessons from after almost 7 yrs......yes i did my PG and research and learn samosas on the side....lolz.......

but.......i had never tried making samosas at home till i got married....( though i used to cook earlier)........i knew that Arvind is also brought up on those yummy samosas ( he is born n brought up in the same campus) and he'd like it....made it for the first time n it turned out perfect.........after that , whenever we wanted to have samosas i made them at home n we were never able to appreciate any other samosa..

as time passed ( now after 10 yrs)...we started avoiding fried food but i still make this samosa ....the pastry is a little less crispy cuz i use less ghee for shortening now.....but the taste remains the both of us like the inner aaloo stuffing if you like the outer pastry more know what you need to do...add more shortening to the pastry dough n you'll get crispy shell which breaks as you hold it to your mouth.....aaah....

so the i watched all those years ..are.......

for the outer shell (pastry)
maida or all purpose flour 200 gm( i make thin shell of the samosa, if you like a thicker shell, you may need more maida)
salt to taste
ajwain seeds 1/2 tsp
ghee 1 tbsp or more if you like crisp shell
water to make a stiff dough

for the stuffing
potatoes boiled , peeled and cubed ..about 1 1/2 cup
mustard oil 1 tsp
asafoetida 1 pinch
methi seeds ( fenugreek seeds) 1 can omit this if you don't like bitter
cumin seeds 1 tsp
red chilly powder 1 tsp or more
turmeric powder 1 tsp
coriander powder 1 tsp
black pepper powder 1/2 tsp
cumin powder 1 tsp
amchoor powder 1 tsp
salt to taste

oil to fry


heat oil in a pan and throw in asafoetida , methi n cumin seeds in that order...let them splutter and then throw in the powder masalas quickly n stir with a tbsp of water to prevent burning.....add the cubed potatoes and mix well while mashing the potatoes....add salt and amchoor powder n it's ready within 2-3 minutes.

now take out lemon sized balls from the dough....i make smaller samosas so that they need less oil in the kadhai to be fried...( i avoid reused oil so it's better to use minimal oil while frying every time).......roll it into a circle...cut to make 2 semicircles.....make cone from each semicircle and fill the cooled aaloo filling in each cone and seal with a moist hand.........make all the samosas like this .......the filling may be more or little you like it....i like more filling in each samosa.......

fry the samosas in medium hot oil for the first 3-4 minutes...turning them now n then............and finally on very low flame till they get takes about 15 minutes on low flame n this is the secret of crisp samosas even if you use less shortening in the pastry dough........( tip of the day)..

drain.....and don't wait......

and don't forget to sprinkle kaala namak n a green chutny....or no chutny...doesn't matter.

enjoy with garam chai.........masale wali....

wanna have it now.......

Saturday, August 8, 2009

meetha cheela with laal rabdi

this is a very old traditional pancake of Uttar Pradesh, served as a quick and healthy breakfast.....the use of whole wheat flour, ghee and sugar or jaggery makes it healthy and tasty too.....generally it is served with a mixture of jaggery and ghee , sweet n sour mango pickle called khattmittha or has been a favorite childhood breakfast for me and my husband alike....he is born and brought up in banaras , has a mojor sweet tooth, so this breakfast is his favorite...

sometimes i serve it with some jams or khoya rabdi etc also and he likes it that way( for me plain curds is a good accompaniment as i don't like a sweet breakfast and curd makes it almost bland).
this time i served it with a bowl of melted 'laal peda' ( a famous sweet of banaras) which had come all the way from banaras long back and was lying in the fridge neglected, i made a good use of it, finger licking husband is a good sight in the morning.....:D.

ingredients and procedure
it is the simplest one.....i have posted a similar cheela with mango chhunda and the procedure is almost same.......take a cup of whole wheat flour, 2 tbsp ( or more if desired) of sugar or jaggery , 1 tbsp of whole fennel seeds and make a batter by mixing in enough milk ....around 1.5 cups....a little suji or semolina can be added to make it thicker .....i add 2 tbsp of semolina too.....

now spread 1 tbsp of ghee in a flat bottom pan or tawa or griddle .....heat on medium flame , pour a ladle full of batter on the tawa and spread evenly like a a thin layer( thickness is optional)......when the pore appear on top of the pancake ...flip it and cook on the other side too....fold and serve hot with a preferred accompaniment.......

to make the laal rabdi I crushed 5 laal pedas , mixed with 1/4 cup of milk and microwave for 2 minutes...till bubbling......any rabdi or condensed milk can be a good substitute....or any khoya mithai can be melted like laal peda.....

Monday, August 3, 2009

kaali daal makhni and chapatis...

Kaali dal, roti, some tomato onion salad and a seasonal subzi is a typical punjabi lunch, especially in winter days. Kaali dal is actually black lentils and the spicy dal made with whole black lentils is called kaali daal itself.

kaali dal recipe

The kaali dal 'makhni' represents the way it is made, that is, with butter and hence the name makhni as makkhan is butter in Hindi and Punjabi. There is another version called daal makhni which is made using a mix of different kinds of whole and split lentils and that is different from this recipe.

Brad from naughty tastebud had posted a tortilla and blackbean pie some time back and since I like black beans in any form I was curious as there were a few north Indian elements in this recipe reminding me of kaali daal makhni. I promised him that I will share the recipe.

This daal is a traditional Punjabi recipe and you can get it at many highway dhabas (rustic budget eateries) topped with lots of butter. Also in the traditional cooking method the daal is cooked on a very low heat (in a wood fired oven) for almost 6-8 hours or overnight.

Of course the dal is cooked in large quantities and the various spices and condiments are added during cooking, and unlike other punjabi daal recipes there is no tadka
(final step of spice tempering) in kaali dal.

Slow cooking gives this daal a different and earthy flavor.

In a modern kitchen slow cooking is not possible, so the cooking is done in phases. In the first step, when you soak the lentils, give them a gentle boil and leave it for 3-4 hours, then add the salt and a boil again lightly and let it rest on the gas stove itself, after it comes to room temperature again it can be cooked till done on low flame.

ingredients .....

black lentils whole 250 gm
ginger garlic paste freshly made 1.5 tbsp
red chilly powder 1 tbsp or less if you want less heat
tejpatta 2 nos.
salt to taste

spices to be lightly roasted and powdered freshly
black cardamon 1 no.
green cardamom 2 nos.
cloves 5 nos.
cinnamon stick 1 inch
black pepper corns 20 nos.
cumin seeds 2 tsp

finishing ingredients
amchoor powder ( dried mango powder) 2 tsp (can be substituted with tomato puree 1/2 cup)
a dash of grated nutmeg
fresh cream 2 tbsp or more
a handful of crushed kasoori methi (optional)

to proceed

As we make it for a lunch, I just soaked and boiled the lentils once when I got up in the morning. Add 3 cups of water to the lentils in a pressure cooker pan and give it gentle boil or simmer and put the flame off.

Let it rest on the gas stove itself so that it is warm till longer time. After may be 3 hrs I boiled it again adding salt this time and put off the flame again for a while, though you can proceed the cooking this time too. I started cooking after an hour or so as this way the lentils disintegrate partially.

Now throw in the tejpatta, ginger garlic paste, red chilly powder and simmer on low heat till the lentils get mushy. It takes about an hour and half when cooked without the lid so I quickened the process by covering the pressure cooker with whistle on, but cooked it on low heat. This way less pressure is built and there is no whistle while cooking, needs to be cooked for 20 minutes or till the daal gets mushy but doesn't disintegrate.

kaali dal recipe

Open the cooker n transfer the daal to a wide pan like kadhai, and add the powdered masalas and cook covered on low flame for 15 minutes, add the amchoor powder and keep stirring in between and mashing the daal with the spatula.

kaali dal recipe

Finish with grated nutmeg, cream and some crushed kasoori methi if you like.

kaali dal recipe

Mix well and it's ready to serve. Usually it is served with a dollop of butter but I have skipped it. Please do add butter if you like.

Alternatively, the daal can be cooked in one single step. Pressure cook everything togethe, except the finishing masala and then proceed to finish and enjoy.

There is a slight difference but the quick version is delicious too, if not authentic. I make it mostly the quick way but wanted to give this semi authentic version for you. Most authentic version of kaali dal will be wood fire cooked and smoky in taste. 

The smoke can be recreated by placing a burning piece of coal in the dal for some time but the original is a different level.

I served it with roti, tomato salsa, and a potato and lobiya stir fry (stir fried with just salt, turmeric powder and garlic and green chilly paste).

kaali dal recipe

Kaal dal can be directly spread on roti along with salad and rolled up to eat. This is soul food.

how to make roti

Just folded for convenience.

how to make roti

And now a quick tutorial on making the roti. I like the roto to be a little thicker with kaali daal. The thinner version of a roti can be called a phulka or chapati, it's the same anyway.

You just need whole wheat flour and make a dough by adding just enough water and kneading with your fingers or use a food processor.

I have mixed a little soy paste so the edges of the rotis are not very smooth, with just the whole wheat flour it's smooth.

You have to take a ping pong ball sized portion of the dough and make a smooth ball of it. Roll it with a rolling pin on a floured surface, lift on your palm and spread it gently over a hot tawa or griddle.

how to make roti

Wait till the color of the roti changes a bit and small bubbles appear like the picture, then flip over the roti, in the mean time we can roll the next roti, you can actually learn it with a little practice.

how to make roti

Now wait till the roti gets brown specks on the other side, takes about 30 secs.

Pull the tawa or griddle away from flame and with the help of tongs, hold the roti and place it over the gas flame, take care to keep the less specked side down, it will fluff up like this.

how to make roti

Remove from flame and keep covered inside the folds of a cloth napkin to keep it soft, serve hot or warm. Hope the roti tutorial is helpful.