Paruppu Thogayal| Tamilnadu Style Lentil Chutney

#KhaaliFridge? What’ll you cook?

What do you do when you need to serve a meal to your family (or guests), but realise that you have run out of vegetables completely? Eat out, Swiggy or Zomato food, use some ready-to-cook mixes, or cook something simple that doesn’t call for any vegetables (or meat, in case of non-vegetarians)?

The first three options are palatable in today’s age, but that wasn’t always the case. In the lives and times of our grandparents, I’m sure there were often times when there would be no vegetables at hand, and a tasty meal still had to be cooked and served. Sun-dried fruits and vegetables, lentils and legumes of different types would take centre stage at such times.

Tamilnadu’s heritage ‘budget’ recipes

Tamilnadu has a whole host of such traditional dishes which can be made without any veggies – I call them ‘budget recipes’, as they were often resorted to when finances were tight, often towards the end of the month – and one could not afford to splurge on fresh vegetables. Mananthakali Vattalkozhambu (a tangy dish made using dried nightshade berries and tamarind), Paruppu Thogayal (a chutney made using lentils), Puli Pongal (a sort of rice dish soured with tamarind), Milagu Kozhambu (a tangy-spicy gravy made using black peppercorns) and Vepampoo Rasam (rasam made with dried neem flowers) are some examples of such dishes. These might be dishes typically cooked with a budget constraint, but they are far from bland or boring. In fact, they are outright delicious!

Introducing Paruppu Thogayal, Tamilnadu style lentil chutney

Today, I present to you our family recipe for Paruppu Thogayal, lentil chutney made Tam-Brahm style. Toor dal forms the base for this chutney, dried red chillies providing the spice factor, with a bit of tamarind added in for sourness. Sometimes – I think when there was a coconut tree in the backyard 😛 – there would be some fresh grated coconut added to the thogayal for flavour. This is such an easy thing to make, one requiring minimal ingredients, but very delicious, like I was saying earlier.

The simple thing that it is, Paruppu Thogayal is a hugely comforting dish. When served with some steamed rice and Milagu Kozhambu or Vattalkozhambu, drizzled with some sesame oil, it makes for a complete, fulfilling meal, all of it made using only ingredients from one’s pantry, with zero fresh vegetables in the picture. Quite innovative our ancestors were! This is actually a detox meal, light on the tummy, a refreshing change from the usual.

This Paruppu Thogayal is completely gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan too. It is packed with protein too, considering it is made using toor dal. You could call this a Sattvik dish too, as it is made (usually) without any onion or garlic, and is a simplistic thing using the most basic of ingredients.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop group explores #KhaaliFridge

I’m sharing this recipe with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop group that I’m part of, on Facebook. Renu of Cook With Renu suggested an interesting theme for the group this week – #KhaaliFridge. On her blog, Renu has a fantastic collection of healthy dishes and baked goodies from around the world. You must check it out! I so want to try her Sprouted Horsegram Salad, Sweet Mango Chilli Sauce and Tandoori Paneer Biryani!

This week, all of us in the Foodie Monday Blog Hop group will be showcasing recipes made using only ingredients from one’s pantry, food that one would make when they are face-to-face with a refrigerator that is completely empty. I loved the theme; it made me revisit so many traditional Tamilnadu ‘budget’ recipes. Allow me the liberty of saying this again – our ancestors were definitely very wise, and very creative to have come up with so many delicious, beautiful dishes when their circumstances were, probably, not all that great!

Traditional Paruppu Thogayal recipe

Here’s how we make the Paruppu Thogayal at home.

Ingredients (serves 5-6):

  1. 1/2 cup toor dal
  2. 2 Salem Gundu dry red chillies
  3. 1 Bydagi dry red chilli
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
  5. 1 teaspoon oil
  6. Salt to taste
  7. A small piece of tamarind

Method:

1. Soak the tamarind in a little hot water, for at least 10 minutes. This will make the tamarind softer.

2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add in the toor dal, the Bydagi chilli and the Salem Gundu chillies. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute till the toor dal begins to turn brown, taking care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn.

3. Add the grated coconut to the pan. Saute all the ingredients together for about a minute, on medium flame. Switch off gas. Transfer the sauteed ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down fully.

4. When the sauteed ingredients have cooled down entirely, transfer them to a small mixer jar. Add in salt to taste and the softened tamarind, along with the little water it was soaked in.

5. Grind the ingredients in the mixer jar together, to a smooth chutney. You may keep the chutney a little coarse, if you prefer it that way. Your Paruppu Thogayal is ready – serve it with hot steamed rice with a dollop of ghee, or as an accompaniment to rice and Vattalkozhambu or Milagu Kozhambu.

Notes:

1. In some families, a mix of chana dal and toor dal is used to make this Paruppu Thogayal. We use only toor dal.

2. Some people add in black peppercorns while making this chutney. We don’t.

3. Garlic cloves are also added in by some, while making this Paruppu Thogayal. We don’t use them.

4. Adjust the quantity of dry red chillies as per personal taste preferences. We typically use a mix of the spicy Salem Gundu dry red chillies and the less hot Bydagi dry red chillies.

5. Some families completely omit the tamarind in Paruppu Thogayal or add a very minimal amount. This is because the thogayal is traditionally served as an accompaniment to Vattalkozhambu or Milagu Kozhambu, which are spicy and sour already. I add tamarind to taste, because we consume this thogayal with idlis, dosas and plain steamed rice too.

6. If the tamarind you are using has seeds or impurities, make sure you remove them before using them in making the thogayal.

7. Sesame oil aka nalla ennai works best in this Paruppu Thogayal.

8. Do not add much water while grinding the chutney. The Paruppu Thogayal is supposed to be quite thick, unlike other regular chutneys. It is typically made into a ball and then served, as in the picture above. If you find it hard to grind the chutney using just the water from soaking the tamarind, you can add in a couple of spoons of water – remember not to add too much.

9. Some families omit the coconut, while making Paruppu Thogayal. We do use it.

10. Traditional Paruppu Thogayal does not have any mustard seed-curry leaf tempering added in.

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

Lemon Coriander Soup With Vegetables

Look at that lemon!

I found the most fragrant of lemons at my vegetable vendor’s, recently. You know, those big lemons that are zested and used in desserts on cookery shows? They look imported – American? Italian? My vendor has no idea. I bought one to try out, and then I had to go back and pick up a few more, because they were so very aromatic and juicy! These lemons are a far cry from the dried-up, wrapped-in-plastic imported ones that we frequently come across in the supermarkets of Bangalore. They provided me with the perfect foil to prepare Lemon Coriander Soup, something I had always wanted to do.

I absolutely adore Lemon Coriander Soup, the citrus-y tang, the fragrance of coriander, the almost clear texture. I’m a sucker for anything with citrus in it, and this soup has my heart. It is my first preference of soup while we are eating out. I never ventured to make it at home, though. So, I was thrilled when I came across this recipe for Lemon Coriander Soup with vegetables on Sasmita’s blog First Timer Cook. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect – it is soup season in Bangalore now, and I had all the ingredients for it ready, gorgeous lemons included. I made the soup over the weekend, with some little variations to the original recipe, and was it lovely or what?! It turned out to be utterly delicious, beautifully scented with lemon and coriander, just like the ones we have at restaurants. It was so very simple to prepare too!

This post is brought to you in association with the Recipe Swap group that I am part of, on Facebook. Every alternate month, the members of this group pair up, and cook from each other’s blogs. I was paired with Sasmita for this month’s challenge, and was asked to prepare any recipe from her blog. While Sasmita’s blog has loads of traditional Oriya recipes and several beautiful bakes, this Lemon Coriander Soup was the obvious choice for me!

Here’s how I made the Lemon Coriander Soup with vegetables. Do try it out too, and share your feedback.

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 4 cups + 2 tablespoons water
  2. 2 handfuls fresh coriander leaves, with stalks
  3. 1 green chilli
  4. 4-5 strands of lemongrass
  5. 1 teaspoon oil
  6. A 2-inch piece of carrot
  7. 4 garlic cloves
  8. 1 big piece of babycorn or 1 tablespoon sweet corn kernels
  9. A small piece of cabbage
  10. Salt to taste
  11. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder or to taste (optional)
  12. 1/2 tablespoon cornflour
  13. Juice of 1 lemon or to taste
  14. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander or as needed, for garnishing

Method:

1. Chop up the 2 handfuls of coriander leaves, along with their stalks, roughly. Chop the green chilli and the lemongrass stalks roughly too.

2. Take the 4 cups of water in a heavy-bottomed pan, and place it on high flame. Add in the roughly chopped coriander leaves and stalks, green chilli and lemongrass strands. Let the water come to a boil, then turn the flame down to medium. Allow to cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes. Switch off gas. This will form the stock for the Lemon Coriander Soup.

3. Now, we will prepare the vegetables needed for the soup. Peel the garlic cloves and carrot, and chop finely. Chop the babycorn and cabbage finely.

4. Take the cornflour in a small cup. Add in the 2 tablespoons of water. Make a slurry, without any lumps.

5. Strain the stock we prepared earlier, using a colander. Discard the chilli, coriander and lemongrass. Reserve the stock.

6. Heat the oil in a pan. Add in the finely chopped garlic, carrot, babycorn or sweetcorn kernels and cabbage. Drizzle some salt. Saute on medium flame till the veggies are cooked through but are not overly mushy. They should retain a bit of a crunch. Sprinkle a little water over the veggies if they get too dry.

7. When the vegetables are cooked, pour the strained stock into the pan. Add in salt to taste, black pepper powder (if using), and the cornflour slurry we prepared earlier. Mix well. Cook on medium flame till the soup thickens a little, about 2 minutes.

8. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings. Add more water if required. Switch off gas.

9. Mix in the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander. Serve the Lemon Coriander Soup immediately.

Notes:

1. You may skip the vegetables, if you so prefer. In that case, just prepare the coriander-chilli-lemongrass stock, add the cornflour slurry, allow to thicken, then switch off gas and add lemon juice and finely chopped fresh coriander.

2. Use a neutral oil like olive oil or refined oil to make the Lemon Coriander Soup.

3. If you feel the heat from the green chilli is enough, you can skip the black pepper powder entirely.

4. Wheat flour can be used to thicken the soup, instead of corn flour. However, I have used corn flour here to retain the clear texture of the soup.

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

Home-Made Red Chilli Sauce| How To Make Hot Sauce At Home

I discovered beautiful red Fresno chillies at a Namdhari’s Fresh outlet near my house, recently, and life hasn’t been the same ever since. I haven’t stopped admiring these beauties, and have bought them over and over again. The best part? These chillies have inspired me to start making sauces at home. I have made several batches of different types already and, in the process, discovered the yummiest of home-made red chilli sauce!

Red Fresno chillies. Ain’t they super pretty?!

The beginnings of my home-made sauce story

Growing up, I used to love adding tomato ketchup to just about everything. Roti, adai, dosa, pulav, sandwiches, parathas, bhel, pizza, chips – just about everything would undergo a generous dousing of tomato ketchup, store-bought. One of those weird phases that teenagers go through. Dad loved ketchup too – he still does – and, in between the two of us, we would manage to empty a considerable number of bottles every month. Then, one day, my mom got alarmed by just how many bottles of ketchup we were going through, just how much sodium, sugar, preservatives and what not we were downloading into our systems. So, the hunt started for a good home-made tomato ketchup recipe, which she ended up finding on some cookery show on TV, I think. Amma began making vats of ketchup at home using real ingredients – pretty good stuff, you know? It was an eye-opener of sorts for the entire family. We continued making ketchup and different types of sauces through the course of my school life, but then gave up due to the sheer convenience of store-bought versions. I grew out of my ‘ketchup monster’ phase, and then we began buying the few bottles we would consume. However, I remained, always, in awe of the process of making sauce at home. When I spotted these chillies at Namdhari’s, I just had to go ahead and pick them up and do something with them, and sauce it had to be!

Home-made sauce vs. store-bought versions

I believe it is possible to make at least a few basic sauces at home very easily. Most of them don’t need many ingredients or call for complicated cooking techniques. They do require effort, yes, more effort than that required to pop a bottle of ready-made sauce into your supermarket cart or ordering one online. That said, they are still not all that difficult to prepare. It is incredibly satiating to make home-made sauces too, to use real ingredients to fill up those bottles, to know exactly what is going into them. The only downside is that these sauces need to be used up within a short timeframe, considering they are made without any preservatives. Having experienced the high of home-made red chilli sauce, I can only say you need to try out this amazing, enriching, enlightening experience for yourself.

I have used white vinegar in the hot sauce I made, but no artificial colours or preservatives other than that. I have used way less salt and sugar than most store-bought bottles contain, and it still tastes absolutely, mind-blowingly delicious. The gorgeous red colour of the sauce is all natural – from the chillies!

The chillies cost me just INR 32 per box of 250 grams, and that was enough to make one batch of sauce, with the rest of the ingredients coming from my pantry. I didn’t calculate the exact cost for each of the batches of sauce I made, but I do know that it was soooo much less than what a similar quantity would have cost me had I picked it up off a departmental store shelf.

Home-made red chilli sauce or hot sauce. Just look at that gorgeous red, will you?

What are Fresno chillies?

Fresno chillies look similar to fresh jalapenos, but have thinner walls. They are moderately spicy chillies, which possess a slight fruity taste. This makes Fresno chillies perfect for making hot sauce. When pickled, these chillies go beautifully in pizza, sandwiches and burgers.

I have used red Fresno chillies to make this hot sauce, but you can easily substitute them with jalapenos or Serrano peppers.

How to make hot sauce at home

Here is how I went about making the hot sauce or red chilli sauce at home.

Ingredients (yields about 1 cup):

  1. 250 grams red Fresno chillies, about 1 heaped cup when chopped roughly
  2. 1 medium-sized onion, roughly
  3. 6-8 cloves of garlic
  4. 1 teaspoon oil
  5. Salt to taste, about 1/2 tablespoon
  6. Sugar to taste, 2 tablespoons
  7. 1/8 cup white vinegar or to taste

Method:

1. Wash the Fresno chillies well under running water. Pat dry, using a cotton cloth. Remove the green tops from the Fresno chillies. Chop them up roughly, seeds, membrane, et al. Keep aside.

2. Peel the onion. Slice length-wise. Keep aside.

3. Peel the garlic cloves and chop roughly. Keep aside.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the chopped garlic, onion and chillies. Add a little salt. Mix well.

5. Cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes. Stir intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.

6. Now, add in the sugar and salt to taste. Cook on medium flame for 2-3 more minutes or till the ingredients turn soft. You don’t have to cook the ingredients to a mush – just make sure they are cooked through. Switch off gas and allow the ingredients to cool down fully.

7. When the ingredients have completely cooled down, transfer to a mixer jar. Add in the vinegar. Grind to a smooth paste. Your Home-Made Red Chilli Sauce is done!

8. Allow the sauce to cool fully after the grinding, then transfer to a clean, dry, air-tight bottle. Store refrigerated.

Notes:

1. I have used red Fresno chillies to make this sauce. These are moderately hot chillies, so the sauce is moderately hot. You may use a hotter version of chilli – or a milder one – if you so prefer.

2. You may use refined oil or olive oil to prepare this sauce. I used refined sunflower oil.

3. Adjust the quantity of salt, sugar and vinegar as per personal taste preferences.

4. The flavours of the sauce intensify the next day after making it. It tastes better the next day.

5. Keep the sauce refrigerated when not in use. When refrigerated and used hygienically, this sauce stays well for a week to 10 days. Since this sauce is made without any preservatives, it is best used within 7-10 days. The ingredient quantities above yield a limited quantity of sauce, which can easily be consumed within the said time frame.

6. A glass bottle is best to store this Home-Made Red Chilli Sauce.

7. I didn’t remove the seeds or the membranes from the Fresno chillies before using them to make the sauce. If you want a milder version of the sauce, you can go ahead and remove them.

8. Vinegar works best in this sauce, giving it a nice flavour. I wouldn’t suggest replacing the vinegar with lemon juice. I have used store-bought white vinegar here.

9. You can filter the sauce using a not-very-fine sieve, and remove the seeds or any big bits that might be left out. I haven’t done that.

10. This Home-Made Red Chilli Sauce is thickish and easily spreadable, but extremely flavourful. You may thin it out using a little water before using it, but this might make the flavours less intense. I use it as is.

11. This hot sauce is similar in taste to Sriracha sauce or store-bought red chilli sauce. You can use it in sandwiches or fried rice, as a dip for momos, spring rolls or samosas, in Thai salads and Chinese stir-fries, as a spread for fusion dosas or rolls, as a marinade for vegetables, tofu or paneer.

12. Make sure this sauce is prepared in a well-ventilated kitchen. The fumes from the chillies were manageable to handle for me, largely because I had my kitchen balcony and windows wide open.

13. The Fresno chillies I used were only moderately hot, so I was able to handle them without gloves. If you are not used to handling hot chillies, I would highly recommend wearing kitchen gloves.

I’m super excited to have gotten this right! Very soon, I will tell you about the very interesting ways in which I used this home-made red chilli sauce.

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

Sangu Pushpam Aval Payasam|Butterfly Pea Kheer With Beaten Rice

Best wishes on the occasion of Maha Navami!

I hope all of you are thoroughly enjoying the festive season, gorging on Navratri and Durga Puja specials, dressing up, meeting friends, and having loads of fun in general. The last few days have been crazy busy for us, with hundreds of festive errands that needed to be run. I’m loving every little bit of it, and so is the bub. 🙂 The bub has especially been enjoying learning the significance of each day of Navratri, not to forget the special foods that we have been cooking almost every day. The special food in question for today is Sangu Pushpam Aval Payasam, kheer made using beaten rice or poha, naturally coloured blue with butterfly pea flowers.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop group has decided to share Dussehra dishes today, and this Sangu Pushpam Aval Payasam is my humble contribution to the #VijayaDashamiTreats theme. Aval (poha) payasam (kheer) is something we commonly prepare at home each Navratri. The idea of using butterfly pea flowers (‘sangu pushpam‘ in Tamil) to colour the kheer came about when I saw Sangeeta using them to make mini idlis look absolutely gorgeous. It was through Sangeeta’s Insta post that I learnt about butterfly pea flowers being used to worship Maa Durga, of the Goddess’ love for them. What better dish could I prepare for Dussehra, then, if not this payasam?

Out came the precious stash of dried butterfly pea flowers I had picked up on our last holiday in Thailand, and this blue kheer came about. Oh, my! What a beauty! It was so much fun making and shooting this pretty kheer! Taste-wise, it still remains your regular home-made payasam, delicious as always, but the blue colour adds loads of thrill, magic and festivity to it. It did make the bub all agog with awe. 🙂 And, oh, did you know that these flowers possess several health benefits too?

You must definitely try out this Butterfly Pea Kheer too, especially if you have children in the house. I’m sure they would love it! Here’s how I made the kheer.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 1/2 litre + 1/2 cup of full-fat milk
  2. 3 tablespoons beaten rice (poha or aval)
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 7-8 dried butterfly pea (sangu pushpam) flowers
  5. 1 tablespoon ghee
  6. Dried rose petals for garnishing, as needed (optional)

Method:

1. Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the poha. Cook on medium flame for about a minute, or till the poha crisp up. Take care to ensure that the poha does not burn.

2. Now, add 1/2 litre of milk to the pan, along with the sugar. Keep cooking on medium flame till the milk thickens a little, 12-15 minutes. Stir intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cream will form on the sides of the pan – scrape them back into the milk.

3. In the meantime, heat the remaining 1/2 cup milk in a small pan. Bring it to a boil, then add the dried butterfly pea flowers to it. Give the milk a quick stir, then switch off the gas. Set this milk aside for 10-12 minutes, or till the butterfly pea flowers leach their blue colour into the milk.

4. Pour the blue milk into the kheer cooking in the other pan, along with the butterfly pea flowers. Let everything cook together on medium flame for about 2 minutes. Switch off gas. Your Sangu Pushpam Aval Payasam is ready! Serve it hot, warm, at room temperature or chilled, as per personal taste preferences. Garnish with dried rose petals before serving.

Notes:

1. Use good-quality full-fat milk only to make the kheer. I have used Nandini full-cream milk, here.

2. Cashewnuts and almonds fried in ghee can also be added to the kheer. I haven’t.

3. I have used dried butterfly pea flowers that I picked up at Big C in Thailand, to make this Sangu Poo Aval Payasam. You can use fresh butterfly pea flowers instead, too, if you can get your hands on them. Butterfly pea flower powder is also readily available online these days – you could use that to make the payasam too.

4. Adjust the sugar as per personal preferences. The above quantity was just right for us.

5. Don’t overcook the beaten rice. Just cook it for about a minute, let it crisp up, then add the milk and sugar to the pan. Overcooking the beaten rice will make it hard to chew.

6. I have used the thin variety of beaten rice (aka poha or aval) – the kind we use to make poha upma – to make this payasam.

7. You can filter out the dried butterfly pea flowers before adding the coloured milk to the pan. I let them stay in, as the flowers are very much edible.

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

Karuppu Mocchai Sundal| Purple Hyacinth Bean Stir-Fry, South Indian Style

Navratri and sundal are synonymous with each other, in the south of India. The typical sundal is made using legumes like black chana, moong beans, hyacinth beans, dry green peas, black-eyed peas or kabuli chana, tempered simply with mustard and red or green chillies, with a good amount of coconut added in. Some families also add in a sundal podi – made using dry red chillies, chana dal, urad dal and the like. The sundal recipe I present to you today – Karuppu Mocchai Sundal – is made using dried purple hyacinth beans (yes, such a thing does exist!). I did not have sundal podi ready, so I took my mom’s advice and flavoured this with home-made dosa milagai podi aka gunpowder. I’m so glad I did, for the end result was beautiful!

That’s how them dried purple hyacinth beans look like!

Each time I go to my Mama‘s place in Madras, I sneak in a visit to the Pazhamudir Cholai in Nanganallur. For the uninitiated, Pazhamudir Cholai – literally ‘orchard of abundant fruits and vegetables’ in Tamil – is the name by which large vegetable shops are referred to in Tamilnadu. Most of these shops stock flowers, grains and pulses, various other items of household use, chocolates, ice creams and fresh fruit juices, apart from a vast variety of fruits, leafy greens and veggies. I adore the Pazhamudir Cholai in the Nanganallur area – situated very conveniently right next to a Murugan Idli Shop which serves some seriously delicious food. The shop is a treasure trove of unique food products, some indigenous to Tamilnadu, which aren’t easy to come across elsewhere. The food blogger in me is overjoyed to see things like baby bitter gourds, the longest of snake gourds, purple hyacinth beans, fresh black nightshade berries, moringa flowers, and greens like Maderaspatana, Vallarai and Pirandai. I picked up a pack of dried purple hyacinth beans (‘karuppu mocchai‘ in Tamil) here on my last visit, a novelty to me. Some of these beans went into the making of this Karuppu Mocchai Sundal, a delicious prasadam that all of us enjoyed heartily.

Hyacinth beans – also called lablab, lima beans, field beans, avarai (Tamil) or mocchai (Tamil) – usually have green pods, which bear green-coloured seeds (yellowish when dried). However, there is also a purple version of these beans available – the fresh pods are a pretty purple in colour, and they bear deep purple seeds. The blackish-purple seeds can be dried too, in which case they need overnight soaking before cooking. The presence of anthocyanins is what gives these beans their purple colour, similar to black rice, purple corn, purple cabbage and cauliflower, blackberries and blueberries. The high-protein beans lose their purple colour upon cooking, though, but they do possess a certain characteristic scent which might not be agreeable to everyone. The dosa milagai podi I used in the Karuppu Mocchai Sundal helped mask the smell of these beans greatly. The sundal was absolutely flavourful and very lovely!

Now, without further ado, let’s check out the proceedure to make the Karuppu Mocchai Sundal. I’m linking this recipe with My Legume Love Affair (MLLA), an initiative started by Lisa’s Kitchen, to familiarise people with the several types of legumes that exist. This month, it is the 132nd edition of MLLA, and it is being hosted by Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds.

Ingredients (serves 5-6):

  1. 1 cup dried purple hyacinth beans or karuppu mocchai
  2. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  3. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  4. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  5. 3-4 dry red chillies
  6. 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. About 3 tablespoons dosa milagai podi or as needed
  10. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder or as needed
  11. Red chilli powder to taste
  12. 1/3 cup fresh grated coconut or to taste
  13. A dash of lemon
  14. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

Method:

1. Soak the dried purple hyacinth beans for 8-10 hours or overnight, in enough fresh water to cover them completely.

2. When the beans are done soaking, drain out all the water from them and discard. Transfer the drained beans to a wide vessel, and add in enough fresh water to cover the beans completely.

3. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook the beans for 4-5 whistles or till they are well cooked. They shouldn’t get overly mushy. Let the pressure release naturally.

4. Drain out all the water from the cooked beans, once the pressure has gone down completely. Reserve the water for future use.

5. Heat the oil in a pan. Add mustard, and allow it to pop. Add in the dried red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Let the ingredients stay in for a couple of seconds.

6. Add the cooked and drained hyacinth beans to the pan, along with salt, red chilli powder, jaggery powder and turmeric powder. Mix well.

7. Cook on medium flame till all the water from the beans dries up and all the ingredients are well combined together, 3-4 minutes.

8. Add the dosa milagai podi and grated fresh coconut. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for a minute more. Switch off gas.

9. Add in lemon juice and finely chopped coriander. Mix well. Your Karuppu Mocchai Sundal is ready – serve it warm or at room temperature.

Notes:

1. Use fresh, soft water to soak the hyacinth beans.

2. Make sure the beans are well cooked but not overly mushy, before proceeding to make the sundal.

3. Coconut oil or gingelly oil (nalla ennai) works best in the making of this sundal.

4. If you don’t have dried purple hyacinth beans, you can use the regular dried yellow ones instead. Follow the above proceedure for the same, too.

5. Adjust the quantity of coconut you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

6. I have used home-made dosa milagai podi to flavour this sundal. Since the podi is quite mildly spiced and sweet, I have added some red chilli powder and jaggery powder to the sundal. Adjust the quantity of dosa milagai podi you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

7. If you have sundal podi ready, you may use it in the above recipe, instead of the dosa milagai podi.

8. The water used to cook the beans in is rich in nutrients. Do not discard it. This water can be used to make rasam, soups and gravy-based dishes.

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