Masoor Dal Ki Tikki| Indian Savoury Lentil Patties

How about a protein-packed recipe today? Sounds good? Here’s presenting to you – Masoor Dal Ki Tikki or patties made using red lentils. I’ve added in paneer (cottage cheese) to make them healthier, and a couple of potatoes to make them all the more delicious. And, let me tell you, these tikkis are indeed finger-lickingly delicious!

The weather is getting cooler now, and we are fast approaching winter. Friends and family in the USA tell us this is the beginning of fall season – a time for rejoicing and rejuvenation. Typically from September to November, it is officially ‘fall’, when seasonal produce is abundant and appetites are big. That translates into fall parties, where foods with pumpkin, pomegranate, pears, apples, broccoli, fennel, potatoes and other root vegetables, various types of lentils and legumes star. With the leaves on trees turning red and yellow and golden this time of the year, in most parts of the USA and UK, the atmosphere is almost magical, too. I dream of witnessing the colours of fall – not to forget the seasonal foods – some day. Till then, let me rejoice in the fall-special recipes that the members of the Foodie Monday Blog Hop are sharing this week. The Masoor Dal Ki Tikki is my entry for the #LetsCelebrateFall theme in the group this week, suggested by Poonam of Annapurna.

Like I was saying earlier, these Masoor Dal Ki Tikkis are packed with protein. The whole red lentils or sabut masoor I have used here are rich source of protein, as is the cottage cheese or paneer that goes into them. I have spiced these tikkis the Indian way, the dollop of Vallombrosa’s burrata cheese I have topped them with hiking up their flavour quotient quite a few notches. The dash of mustard sauce and tomato sauce drizzled on top make these tikkis all the more irresistible – the way my family devoured them is proof! 🙂

These Masoor Dal Ki Tikkis are just the perfect snack for chilly evenings, especially when had straight off the pan. They make for great appetisers for dinner parties, wholesome and hearty as they are. There’s a bit of effort involved in making these, but the end result is definitely worth it, I tell you.

Now, without further ado, let me tell you how to make these tikkis. I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #293.

Ingredients (makes about 15):

  1. 1/2 cup whole masoor dal (sabut masoor)
  2. 1 medium-sized carrot
  3. 1 medium-sized onion
  4. 100 grams paneer
  5. 2 medium-sized potatoes
  6. 2 tablespoons bread crumbs or as needed
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. Red chilli powder to taste
  10. 1/2 tablespoon chana masala or to taste
  11. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander + a little more for serving
  12. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  13. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
  14. 1/2 tablespoon oil + more to make the tikkis
  15. Burrata cheese, as needed for serving
  16. Tomato ketchup, as needed for serving
  17. Mustard sauce, as needed for serving

Method:

1. Soak the whole masoor, in just enough water to cover it, for about 20 minutes. Then, drain out the water from it and discard. Take the soaked masoor in a wide vessel, add just enough fresh water to cover it, and place it in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook the masoor for about 4 whistles on high flame or till it is well cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.

2. Cut the potatoes into halves. Pressure cook them on high flame for 4 whistles, using enough water to cover them. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. Now, we will do some prep work needed to make the Masoor Dal Ki Tikki. Peel the onion and chop finely. Crumble the paneer. Peel the carrot and grate it medium-thick. Keep aside.

4. When the pressure from the cooker has gone down fully, get the cooked masoor dal out. Drain out all the water from it – do not discard this; it can be used in soups and gravy-based sabzis. Keep the cooked and drained masoor dal aside.

5. Similarly, get the cooked potatoes out of the cooker. Drain out the water from them and discard. Let the potatoes cool down a bit, then peel and mash them. Keep aside.

6. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add in the chopped onion and grated carrot. Saute on medium flame for about 2 minutes or till they are cooked.

7. Keeping the flame medium, add the cooked masoor dal to the pan. Also add in the mashed potatoes, crumbled paneer, salt and red chilli powder to taste, turmeric powder, chana masala and jaggery. Mix well. Cook everything together for about 2 minutes, till all the ingredients are well combined together. Switch off gas.

8. Mix in the bread crumbs, finely chopped coriander and lemon juice. Allow the mixture to cool down fully.

9. Now, we will start making the Masoor Dal Ki Tikki. Place a thick dosa pan on high flame and let it get nice and hot. Now, reduce the flame to medium.

10. Taking little portions of the cooked mixture, shape 3-4 patties. Place them on the hot pan and drizzle some oil around them. Cook on medium flame till the patties get brown and slightly crisp on the bottom. Then, flip over and cook till the patties get brown and slightly crisp on the other side too. Transfer the cooked patties to a serving plate.

11. Serve the patties hot, topped with a little burrata cheese, mustard sauce and tomato sauce, with a bit of finely chopped coriander drizzled over it.

12. Prepare patties from the rest of the mixture similarly. Serve hot, in a similar fashion.

Notes:

1. I have used Milky Mist paneer here. You can use home-made paneer instead, too.

2. Make sure the paneer is at room temperature before using it in making the tikkis.

3. You can use any vegetables of your choice to the Masoor Dal Ki Tikki. Here, I have used only onion and carrot.

4. Ginger-garlic paste can also be added in. Here, I haven’t.

5. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan while cooking the patties. Cook about 2-3 at a time.

6. I have used Heinz tomato ketchup and Fab India’s Mustard Sauce/Dressing here. Both are made without any artificial flavouring or colouring agents and preservatives.

7. I have used Vallombrosa burrata cheese to top these Masoor Dal Ki Tikki. It is super fresh and fabulous in taste.

8. If you don’t have burrata cheese, you can top these Masoor Dal Ki Tikki with regular cheese (grated), too. Alternatively, you can serve them with any sauce/dip/chutney of your preference.

9. Make sure you don’t overcook the red lentils and potatoes. Cook them until done, but not overly mushy.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Mathulai Kosumalli| Pomegranate Salad, The South Indian Version

Who says salads have to be boring affairs, suited only to the ailing and to those who want to lose weight? Not at all! Salads can be beautiful too, both in looks and taste. In the course of my journey as a food blogger, I have had the good fortune of coming face to face with some very creative salads that have been wonderfully executed, a burst of flavours in the mouth. Those are just the kind of salads I love, the kind I strive to create at home. As faaaaaaar from ‘boring’ as I can get! The recipe I present to you today – Mathulai Kosumalli or a South Indian version of pomegranate salad – is exactly that.

This Mathulai Kosumalli is a fun thing to have, super delicious, a medley of flavours. It is a filling salad made using good, healthy ingredients – no fancy, processed or canned stuff in there. It is a pretty salad, that is easy-peasy to whip up too! What else do you need from a salad, eh?

Completely vegetarian and vegan, this salad can easily be made gluten-free by omitting the asafoetida used in the tempering. It makes for a lovely accompaniment to a full-fledged thali meal (or plantain-leaf saapadu). I like having it as a snack in between meals.

The theme at the Foodie Monday Blog Hop this week is #SaladStories, where all of us are sharing recipes for different types of salads from around the globe. I’m linking my recipe for Mathulai Kosumalli for the blog hop. Narmadha of Nams Corner was the one who suggested this very interesting theme. Btw, you must check out Narmadha’s blog – it’s a vast treasure trove of Indian recipes. I especially love the innovative dishes she has written about in the ‘Babies’ & Kids’ Food’ section of her blog.

Now, let me take you through the procedure for Mathulai Kosumalli or South Indian-style Pomegranate Salad. I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #292. The co-host this week is Ai @ Ai Made It For You.

Ingredients (serves 1-2):

  1. 1 heaped cup pomegranate arils
  2. Salt to taste
  3. A dash of lemon juice
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
  5. 1 green chilli, very finely chopped
  6. 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  7. 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  8. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  9. 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  10. 2 pinches of asafoetida

Method:

1. Take the pomegranate arils in a large mixing bowl. Add in the salt to taste, lemon juice, coconut and green chilli.

2. Heat the oil in a small pan. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add in the curry leaves and asafoetida, and allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Switch off the gas. Add this tempering to the mixing bowl.

3. Add the coriander to the mixing bowl. Now, mix all the ingredients well, using a spoon. Your Pomegranate Salad is ready. Serve immediately.

Notes:

1. Use ripe, sweet pomegranate for best results.

2. You may skip the lemon juice, if you so prefer.

3. Grated carrot can be added to this salad too. I haven’t.

4. You may add a dash of honey to the Pomegranate Salad too. I didn’t.

5. I have used coconut oil for tempering, here. You may use any other oil of your preference, too.

6. Adjust the quantity of coconut you use as per personal taste preferences.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Kovakkai Thogayal| Ivy Gourd Chutney

Ivy gourd or coccinea – ‘tendli‘ in Hindi and ‘kovakkai‘ in Tamil – is one of my most favourite vegetables. I love using it to make a Gujarati-style, masaledaar sabzi or in Maharashtrian Tendli Bhat. Did you know that this versatile veggie lends itself beautifully to a chutney too? Yes, Kovakkai Thogayal or Ivy Gourd Chutney is an absolutely, delightfully delicious thing to have! I’m here today to tell you how to go about making this chutney, the way I learnt it from Amma.

Left: Tender ivy gourd; Right: Ivy gourd, cut into rounds

I’ve come across quite a few Tamilian households where ivy gourd is not consumed, because of a belief that it dulls the brain. Exactly how this belief came about or how true it is, I’m not sure. The Internet did not give me satisfactory answers to this either. 😐 What I do know is that ivy gourd is a rich source of iron, among many other health benefits. It has always been a much-loved vegetable in our family, and I’ve grown up eating various dishes made using it. My mom started making chutney with ivy gourd when I was a little girl, as I would refuse to eat my veggies any other way. This chutney would be so delicious that everyone else in the family – dad, my grandparents, friends and cousins – started demanding for it. Amma began making it in large batches, all of which would be licked clean soon enough. 🙂

Kovakkai Thogayal or Ivy Gourd Chutney, the way Amma makes it

Kovakkai Thogayal or Ivy Gourd Chutney is quite easy to make. It makes for a wonderful accompaniment to hot steamed rice, mixed with a little ghee. I love it as a side dish with rotis, parathas, idlis and dosas alike. The best thing is – even people who don’t like ivy gourd love this chutney, I’ve seen. 🙂 You’ve got to try this out!

I’m sharing this recipe with the A-Z Recipe Challenge group that I am part of on Facebook. Every alternate month, the members of this group showcase recipes made from ingredients in alphabetical order. It feels like just yesterday that joined this group – when we were doing the letter B – and I can’t believe we have reached I already! I chose ‘ivy gourd’ as my star ingredient for the letter I.

I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #292. The co-host this week is Ai @ Ai Made It For You.

Now, let me take you through the procedure for making Kovakkai Thogayal or Ivy Gourd Chutney, a la Amma. This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation. You can make it gluten-free by omitting the asafoetida used in the tempering here.

Ingredients (yields about 1 cup):

  1. 1 heaped cup tender ivy gourd, chopped into thin rounds
  2. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  3. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  7. A small piece of tamarind
  8. 3 dry red chillies or as per taste
  9. 1 tablespoon urad daal
  10. 1 tablespoons chana daal
  11. 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon oil

For the tempering:

  1. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  4. 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves
  5. 2 dry red chillies

Method:

1. Soak the tamarind in a little warm water for at least 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, peel the ginger and chop roughly. Peel the garlic cloves as well. Keep aside.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the dry red chillies, urad daal and chana daal. Fry on medium heat till the daals turn brown and begin to emit a lovely fragrance. Ensure that the ingredients do not burn. When done, transfer the fried ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

4. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the same pan. Add in the chopped ivy gourd, ginger and garlic cloves. Fry on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or till they are cooked and the raw smell from them has gone away. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool down completely.

5. Take the fried ivy gourd, ginger and garlic cloves in a small mixer jar, and add in the tamarind, salt to taste and jaggery. Add in very little water. Pulse for a couple of seconds. Then, scrape down the sides and add in the fried dry red chillies, urad daal and chana daal. Pulse a couple more times, scraping down the sides. Transfer to a serving bowl.

6. Heat the oil for tempering in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add the asafoetida, dry red chillies and curry leaves, and let them stay in for a couple of seconds. Take care not to burn the ingredients. Switch off gas. Add this tempering to the chutney in the serving bowl. Mix well.

7. Serve this chutney with piping hot steamed rice and ghee or dosas/idlis.

Notes:

1. You may omit the ginger and garlic cloves, if you so wish. Personally, I love the beautiful flavour they add to the chutney.

2. Make sure all the fried ingredients have completely cooled down, before proceeding to grind the chutney.

3. The jaggery powder can be omitted if you do not prefer a sweetish tinge to the chutney. We love it!

4. Make sure all the seeds and impurities have been removed from the tamarind, before adding it to the pan.

5. I grind the ivy gourd a bit first and then add in the fried daals. This helps keep the daals from a becoming a fine, mushy paste.

6. Add just a little water to the mixer jar, while grinding the chutney. Do not add too much.

7. You can use tender ivy gourd or ripened ones (which are reddish on the inside) to make this chutney. The ripe ones add a slight tang to the chutney. I prefer using fresh, tender ivy gourd that don’t have too many seeds.

8. You may cut the ivy gourd length-wise or into rounds. I prefer cutting them into thin rounds as they cook faster that way.

9. When refrigerated and stored hygienically, this chutney stays well for 4-5 days.

10. Gingelly oil aka sesame seed oil tastes best in this chutney. However, if you don’t have it, you may use any other oil of your preference.

12. I have used the small, fat and hot Salem Gundu chillies to make the chutney, as well as in the tempering. The three chillies I have added in the chutney make it medium-range spicy. Add more chillies for more spiciness. Using a mix of the long, crinkly Bydagi chillies and the Salem Gundu chillies will give the chutney a nice reddish colour. Please note that Bydagi chillies are relatively less spicy.

13. You can add in some fresh coconut, mint leaves, coriander and/or curry leaves to the chutney too. I haven’t.

14. Adjust the quantity of tamarind you use as per personal taste preferences.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Kesar Badam Lassi| Saffron-Scented Sweetened Curd With Almonds

Best wishes to everyone on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi! Hope all of you had a lovely time celebrating today, complete with loads of festive food and drink, memorable experiences and conversations. I take this opportunity to present to you a recipe for a festival-special drink that will surely win over your family and friends – Kesar Badam Lassi. It is a favourite at our place!

No artificial colours or artificial flavouring agents are used in this Kesar Badam Lassi. I use the gorgeous saffron (kesar) I bought in Kashmir to add a pretty light yellow colour – and a lovely taste – to the drink. The saffron, together with the almonds that go into it, make this lassi a rich confection. It is perfect for serving alongside meals on special occasions or when you have guests over.

This week on Foodie Monday Blog Hop, all of us are sharing #NaturallyColourful recipes, foods coloured entirely using only natural ingredients. This Kesar Badam Lassi is my contribution to the theme. The theme suggestion was made by Mayuri, who has a wonderful repository of Gujarati dishes and vegetarian global cuisine at Mayuri’s Jikoni. Apart from this, I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #292. The co-host this week is Ai @ Ai Made It For You.

Let’s now go through the proceedure for making this naturally coloured and flavoured Kesar Badam Lassi. This is a very simple thing to make, one that takes just a few minutes to put together, but is extremely delicious and hearty. The lassi is completely vegetarian and gluten-free.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 1-1/2 cups chilled thick curd
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
  3. 2 tablespoons full fat milk
  4. A generous pinch of saffron
  5. 6-7 almonds

Method:

1. Heat the milk well in a small vessel. Switch off gas. Add in the saffron strands. Allow the saffron to soak in the hot milk for 15-20 minutes, by which time they would have coloured the milk yellow. Keep aside.

2. Chop up the almonds roughly. Keep aside.

3. Take the curd in a mixer jar. Add in the sugar and the coloured milk, along with the saffron strands in it. Give everything a quick whirr in the mixer, making sure all the ingredients are well integrated with each other.

4. Pour the mixture into 2 serving glasses. Add in the chopped almonds equally in both glasses, using a few slivers for garnishing. Use a few strands of saffron in the garnishing too, if you so wish. Serve immediately.

Notes:

1. Use curd that is thick, for best results. Watery curd doesn’t help make good lassi. Here, I have used Milky Mist curd, which is quite thick.

2. The curd should be only slightly sour. Overly sour curd does not give best results.

3. You may use glace cherries and/or cashewnuts to garnish the lassi too.

4. I have used curd that was chilling in the refrigerator for a few hours, to make this Kesar Badam Lassi. I therefore served it immediately after making, as there was no need to chill it further. If you have curd that isn’t chilled, you can a) chill the curd before using it in making the lassi or b) make the lassi and then chill it before adding in the almonds, garnishing and serving.

5. This Kesar Badam Lassi is rich and delicious, but not as thick as the versions you get in restaurants. If you want to achieve that, add in some store-bought fresh cream or cream collected from milk at home (malai) – make sure you add this after whirring in the mixer, just before serving.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!