Bajra Adai| Pearl Millet & Lentil Pancakes

Love adai, the quintessentially South Indian savoury pancakes? We definitely love them to bits. Here’s presenting Bajra Adai, a version of these pancakes made using pearl millet instead of the parboiled rice that is typically used in them. They’re every bit as delicious as the regular rice-based adai, filled with the same goodness of multiple lentils plus the many health benefits that bajra has to offer.

A bit about these Bajra Adai

I have subbed the parboiled rice used in regular adai for bajra aka pearl millet, like I was saying earlier. These days, there are several varieties of broken millets (millet rava) available in supermarkets for making upma, and I have used bajra rava from a brand called Health Sutra to make these adai. You could use whole bajra as well, too.

These Bajra Adai are completely vegetarian and vegan, suitable to those following a plant-based diet. If you wish to make them gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the recipe. Most Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour, to a greater or lesser extent, and are best avoided when following a gluten-free diet.

These zero-rice Bajra Adai are perfect for those who wish to cut down on the amount of rice they consume, for various reasons.

Millet Magic at Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

I’m sharing this recipe with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge, a group of food bloggers that I’m part of. Every month, the members of the group share recipes based on a pre-determined theme. The members are paired together, and each pair gives each other two ingredients to cook with.

The theme for this month is Millet Magic, wherein all of us are showcasing foods made using various types of millets. The theme was suggested by the very talented Aruna of Vasu’s Veg Kitchen.

Sujata, another talented blogger at Batter Up With Sujata, was my partner for the month. She assigned me the ‘chana dal‘ and ‘bajra‘, and I decided to use them to make these Bajra Adai.

Some interesting millet-based recipes

Looking forward to introducing more millets in your diet? I have some interesting recipes to share with you guys, apart from the Bajra Adai recipe I’m going to share today, of course.

Aruna has a number of lovely millet recipes in her blog, of which this Ragi Puttu and Ragi Peanuts Laddoo caught my eye. Can’t wait to try them out!

Sujata has several millet-based recipes on her blog, too, including some unique bakes. You should definitely check out her Potato & Barnyard Millet Cutlets, Fennel Oats & Millet Cookies and Rose-Flavoured Bajra Nankhatai.

Meanwhile, do also go through the recipes for Bajra Pesarettu, Ragi Rotti and Ragi Vermicelli Salad on my blog.

Bajra Adai recipe

Here’s how I make the Bajra Adai.
Ingredients (makes about 12):

1. 1 cup bajra upma rava or broken bajra
2. 1/4 cup toor dal
3. 1/4 cup urad dal
4. 1/4 cup chana dal
5. 3-4 dry red chillies or as per taste
6. A 1-inch piece of ginger
7. 2 pinches of asafoetida
8. Salt to taste
9. 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
10. Oil, as needed to make the adai

Method:

1. Wash the bajra rava well under running water. Drain out all the water. Now, soak it in enough fresh water to cover it, for 8-10 hours or overnight.

2. Similarly, wash the toor dal, urad dal and chana dal well, and drain out all the water. Soak the toor dal and chana dal together and the urad dal separately, in fresh water, for 8-10 hours or overnight.

3. When the bajra rava and the dals are done soaking, drain out all the water from them. Now, we will start grinding the batter.

4. Take the soaked and drained urad dal in a mixer jar. Peel the ginger, chop roughly and add to the mixer jar too. Break the dry red chillies roughly and add to the mixer jar too. Grind everything together to a smooth paste, stopping at intervals to scrape down the sides of the mixer jar and mix up the ingredients. You may add a little water to make the grinding easier. Transfer the ground batter to a large vessel.

5. Now, transfer the soaked and drained bajra rava to the mixer jar. Grind to a smooth batter, using a little water if needed. Stop at intervals to scrape down the sides of the mixer jar and to mix up the rava. When a smooth batter is ready, transfer it to the same large vessel.

6. Now, grind the soaked toor dal and chana dal together, in the same way. Grind these a little coarse, at intervals, adding some water if required. Transfer the ground batter to the same vessel.

7. Add salt to taste, curry leaves and asafoetida to the vessel too. Mix the batter up thoroughly. Your Bajra Adai batter is ready to use immediately. If you want to, you may leave it out for a few hours for it to get a bit sour – which makes for more delicious adai.

8. When you want to make the adai, get a thick dosa pan nice and hot. Then, reduce the flame to medium. Place a ladleful of the batter in the centre of the pan, and spread it out into a circle using the back of the ladle. Drizzle some oil around the circle. Let it cook on medium flame till it browns on the bottom, then flip it over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side too. Transfer the Bajra Adai to a serving plate, and serve hot with chutney or any other accompaniment of your choice.

9. Prepare adai using all the batter, in the same manner.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adai batter doesn’t really need fermentation. It can be used immediately after grinding.

2. I prefer leaving the batter out for a few hours after grinding, for it to get a little sour, if not ferment. I feel the adais are much more delicious when the batter is a bit sour.

3. You can use green chillies while grinding, instead of the dry red chillies I have used here.

4. Finely chopped onion can be added to the batter too, after grinding. Alternatively, finely chopped onions can be sprinkled over the adai once the batter has been spread out on the pan.

5. The Bajra Adai batter stays well for 3-4 days when refrigerated. Use as needed.

6. A few cloves of garlic can also be added in, while grinding the batter.

7. You may add in a little water, if the adai batter feels too thick.

8. I have used the moderately spicy Bydagi dry red chillies here. You can use any variety you prefer. Adjust the quantity of chillies you use, depending upon your taste preferences.

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

Kara Pori| Kadle Puri| Spiced Puffed Rice

Today’s recipe is for a crunchy and lovely, yet simple and healthy, snack for those in-between-meal hunger pangs. I’m talking about Kara Pori or Kadle Puri.

What is Kara Pori or Kadle Puri?

A snack made using puffed rice (aka murmura or pori), this is quite popular in South India. Puffed rice is roasted crisp, along with peanuts and curry leaves, often with various other things like fried gram (pottukadalai), garlic and slivers of dried coconut added in. Spiced with red chilli powder, sometimes with a dash of sugar too, this can taste absolutely delicious.

In Tamilnadu, you will find this spiced puffed rice being sold in little newspaper cones at the beaches, outside parks, in markets, carnivals and other public places by the name of Kara Pori. In Karnataka, it goes by the moniker of Kadle Puri.

As simple as it is, this is a much-loved snack at our place. The husband, in particular, is a huge fan, and I tend to make it quite often.

#SnackMania at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I’m part of this group of food bloggers, called Foodie Monday Blog Hop. Every Monday, the members of the blog hop showcase recipes based on a pre-determined theme. This recipe today is brought to you in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The lure of a tasty snack to sate cravings and hunger in between meal times is eternal. This is especially so in these days of lockdown, when all of us are staying put at home. We do gravitate towards the kitchen in search of a quick snack fix, specially so in the evenings. Keeping the current situation in mind, Renu of Cook With Renu came up with an apt theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop this Monday – #SnacksMania. She suggested the members present snacks that can stay for 10-15 days.

At times like this, it is crucial that we choose a snack like Kara Pori or Kadle Puri, made with minimal oil, without any preservatives or additives. Today, I’m sharing a very basic version of the snack, made using minimal ingredients, the way it is often made at my place.

On the topic of snacks, I would definitely love to try out the Herb Roasted Chickpeas and Baked Jackfruit Rags Fries from Renu’s blog. They sound so absolutely amazing!

Is this Kara Pori vegan and gluten-free?

This Kara Pori recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is entirely gluten-free as well.

How to make Kara Pori or Kadle Puri?

Kara Pori or Kadle Puri is something you can put together within a matter of minutes. It’s super simple and quick. Here’s how I make it.

Ingredients (makes about 3 cups):

  1. 2 tablespoons peanuts
  2. 2 sprigs curry leaves
  3. 3 cups puffed rice
  4. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  5. 3-4 dry red chillies
  6. Salt to taste
  7. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder

Method:

1. Take the peanuts in a heavy-bottomed pan. Dry roast them on medium flame for about 2 minutes, or till they turn nice and crisp. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool down fully.

2. Wash the curry leaves well under running water. Now, pat them dry with a cotton kitchen towel, ensuring that there is no trace of moisture on them. Keep aside.

3. Measure out 3 cups of puffed rice. Keep the other ingredients handy.

4. Now, heat the oil in the same pan we used earlier. Reduce flame to medium. Add in the roasted peanuts, dry red chillies and curry leaves, and give them a good stir. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

5. Add the puffed rice to the pan, still keeping the flame at medium. Immediately add the salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix up the ingredients in the pan well. Make sure all of the puffed rice is evenly coated with the salt and spice.

6. Roast the puffed rice on medium flame for 2-3 minutes or till they crisp up nicely. Take care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn. Your Kadle Puri is done!

7. When done, transfer the Kadle Puri to a dry vessel or sheet of newspaper. Allow it to cool down fully, then transfer to a clean, dry, air-tight box. Use as required.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of salt and red chilli powder as per personal taste preferences.

2. Like I said earlier, this is the way we often make Kadle Puri at home, with limited ingredients. If you want to, you may also use more ingredients – garlic, green chillies, sugar, cashewnuts, dried coconut, raisins, fried gram and the like.

3. I dry roast the peanuts first, then add them to the Kadle Puri. This helps the peanuts get nice and crispy, and stay that way for a longer time.

4. Let the Kara Pori cool down fully before you transfer it to a clean, dry, air-tight bottle. Stored this way at room temperature and used hygienically, it stays well for at least 10-15 days.

5. Keep all the ingredients handy while you are preparing the Kadle Puri. Add in the puffed rice, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder simultaneously, to ensure that the spices are evenly spread out.

6. Make sure you prepare the Kadle Puri on medium flame, to prevent burning.

7. This Kadle Puri can be had on its own, as a snack. It can also be used in preparing chaats like Bhel Poori, Nippat Masala, Jhalmuri, Tikki Poori, etc.

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

Puli Inji| Instant Ginger & Tamarind Pickle

Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for Puli Inji, the way we make it in our family. It’s an eternal favourite at home, and there’s no wondering why – one bite into the spicy, tangy, slightly sweet Puli Inji, and you can’t resist falling in love with this medley of flavours!

Puli Inji

A bit about Puli Inji


For the uninitiated, Puli Inji is a full-of-robust-flavours instant pickle from South India, made using ginger, green chillies and tamarind. The heat of the ginger and green chillies, the sourness of tamarind and the sweetness of jaggery meld together beautifully in this pickle.

Puli Inji is equally popular in Tamilnadu and Kerala. It is an  integral part of Tam-Brahm weddings, where it is served as a component of an extensive banana-leaf spread. In Kerala, this pickle (called Inji Puli) is an inevitable part of the meals  (sadya) served on Vishu and Onam.

While Puli Inji can jazz up any old meal, I think it is best had with curd rice. A bowl of curd rice and this pickle – best combo ever!

Is Puli Inji vegan and gluten-free?


The following recipe for Puli Inji is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those on a plant-based diet.

It can easily be made gluten-free by skipping the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida do contain some amount of wheat flour, and should therefore be avoided when one is on a gluten-free diet.

How to make Puli Inji


Making Puli Inji is a very simple affair. This delectable condiment can easily be put together in under 30 minutes, and is ready to use as soon as you finish preparing it. It doesn’t require any soaking, unlike many traditional South Indian pickles. It keeps well too, staying for over 20 days when refrigerated.

Here’s my family recipe for Puli Inji.

Ingredients (makes about 3/4 cup):

1. 4 big pieces of ginger
2. A lemon-sized ball of tamarind
3. 4-5 green chillies
4. 1 tablespoon oil
5. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
6. 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
7. 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
8. Salt to taste
9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
10. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
11. 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste

Method:

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Steps 3 and 4

1. Wash the ginger well under running water, removing all the dirt from them. Then, peel the ginger and chop finely. I had about 1/2 heaped cup of finely chopped ginger. Slit the green chillies length-wise, too. Keep aside.
2. Soak the tamarind in some boiling water for at least 15 minutes, for it to soften. When it is cool enough to handle, extract all the juice from it. Add a little water in intervals, to help with the extraction process. I had about 1 cup of tamarind extract. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter.
4. Now, add in the asafoetida, curry leaves, the chopped ginger, and the slit green chillies. Turn the flame down to medium. Saute on medium flame for about 2 minutes, or till the ginger gets a little tender.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom left and right: Steps 7 and 8

5. Add the tamarind extract to the pan. Mix well.
6. Still keeping the flame on medium, add salt to taste, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook for about 2 minutes, for the raw smell of the tamarind to go away.
7. Add in the jaggery powder too. Mix well. Continue to cook on medium flame. The mixture will start thickening within a couple of minutes.
8. In 6-7 minutes, the mixture would have attained a glossy sheen and has thickened, but still has a runny consistency. Switch off gas at this stage. Your Puli Inji is ready. Allow it to cool down completely before transferring it to a clean, dry, air-tight bottle.

Tips & Tricks


1. For best results, use fresh ginger with unwrinkled skin and the flesh without too much of fibre.
2. Chop the ginger really fine, for a great-tasting Puli Inji.
3. Sesame oil goes best in the making of this Puli Inji.
4. Make sure the tamarind extract is moderately thick and not too watery.
5. You may add in more green chillies if you so prefer. We keep the chillies long, so they can easily be spotted – and don’t cause you to gasp while eating the Puli Inji. 🙂 However, you can also chop the green chillies fine if you so prefer.
6. Adjust the quantity of salt, red chilli powder and jaggery powder as per personal taste preferences. You can also use only green chillies in the Puli Inji, and skip the red chilli powder entirely.
7. Switch off the gas when the Puli Inji has thickened but is still quite runny. It thickens further upon cooling down.
8. The colour of the Puli Inji will depend upon the type of tamarind you use. I typically use the dark tamarind from Double Horse brand – it is free of impurities, very good quality, and a little goes a long way.
9. If the tamarind you are using has impurities, do strain the extract before using it in making the Puli Inji. I don’t.
10. Allow the Puli Inji to cool down fully before bottling it.
11. When stored refrigerated and used hygienically, Puli Inji stays well for over 20 days.
12. Traditionally, this pickle is made with lots of sesame oil, which acts as a natural preservative and keeps it from going bad soon. However, I make it with limited oil and store it refrigerated.

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

Vazhakkai Podi| Vazhakkai Podi Potta Curry

Raw banana aka ‘Vazhakkai‘ is a vegetable quite commonly used in a Tamilian kitchen. I use it to make various things like Poriyal, Podimas, Ezhu Thaan Kootu, Avial, Roast and in Gujarati Undhiyu. One of my other favourite things to prepare with raw banana is Vazhakkai Podi.

Vazhakkai Podi aka Vazhakkai Podi Potta Curry

What is Vazhakkai Podi?

Vazhakkai Podi, also called Vazhakkai Podi Potta Curry, is a dry curry made using raw banana. It is a heritage Tamilnadu recipe, somewhat of a ‘lost recipe’ now.

Raw banana is almost fully cooked, then chopped up or crumbled, and then stir-fried with a freshly prepared spice powder. The freshly ground spices make this curry beautifully fragrant and very flavourful, a delectable treat. A big, big favourite at our place!

Vazhakkai Podi pairs well with rice mixed with Dal, Rasam, Sambar, More Kozhambu, Thogayal, Vattalkozhambu or Milagu Kozhambu, as well as with other rice preparations like Lemon Rice, Coconut Rice, Sorrel Leaves Rice, and Tamarind Rice. Many love having it as an accompaniment with Curd Rice.

The best part? It is very easy to make, and can be prepared in minutes!

Is this Vazhakkai Podi vegan and gluten-free?

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suitable to those following a plant-based diet.

It can be made gluten-free too, by simply skipping the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most commercial brands of asafoetida available in India contain wheat flour to a lesser or greater extent and are, hence, best avoided if you are following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can get your hands on 100% gluten-free asafoetida, please do go ahead and use it.

How to make Vazhakkai Podi aka Vazhakkai Podi Potta Curry

The detailed proceedure follows.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):

For the spice powder:

  1. 1/2 teaspoon oil
  2. 1 tablespoon urad dal
  3. 1-1/2 tablespoons chana dal
  4. 4 dry red chillies

Other ingredients:

  1. 2 medium-sized raw bananas
  2. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  3. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  4. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  5. 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  6. 2 dry red chillies
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

Method:

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Steps 3 and 4

1. Cut off the tops and ends of the raw bananas. Cut each banana into half and place in a wide vessel. Add in enough water to cover the banana halves completely. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

2. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the dry red chillies, chana dal and urad dal. Turn the flame down to medium.

3. Roast the ingredients on medium flame till the dals turn a nice golden-brown. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down fully.

4. When the roasted ingredients have completely cooled down, transfer them to a small mixer jar. Grind everything together to a powder, mostly fine with the slightest hint of coarseness. Keep aside.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Below, left top and bottom: Steps 7 and 8, Below, right: Step 9

5. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked raw banana out. Discard the water.

6. Let the cooked raw banana cool down a bit, then peel them. Cut them into small cubes.

7. In the same pan we used earlier, heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add in the 2 dry red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves, and let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

8. Turn the flame down to low-medium. Add the raw banana cubes to the pan.

9. Add in salt to taste and turmeric powder. Mix gently, but well.

Top: Step 10, Bottom: Step 11

10. Now, still keeping the flame on low-medium, add the spice powder we prepared earlier to the pan. Keep stirring with one hand, adding in the powder with the other, so that all the raw banana pieces are coated completely with the spice powder. Taste and adjust salt at this stage.

11. Let the curry cook on low-medium flame for 2-3 more minutes, which will help it get beautifully crisp. Stir intermittently, to ensure that all the raw banana pieces come equally in contact with the hot pan. Once done and the gas is switched off, add in the lemon juice, stirring constantly so that all it is evenly distributed among all the pieces. Done! Your Vazhakkai Podi is ready to serve. Serve it hot or at room temperature with rice, along with sambar, rasam or vattalkozhambu.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use a heavy-bottomed pan for roasting the ingredients for the spice powder. Roast them on medium flame and take care to ensure that they do not burn.

2. I have used 2 of the hot Salem Gundu dry red chillies and 2 of the less spicy Bydagi dry red chillies in the spice mix. You can use any variety of dry red chillies you prefer. Increase or decrease the number, depending upon personal spice preferences.

3. The colour of the Vazhakkai Podi will depend upon the type of dry red chillies that you use.

4. Mom uses a bit of thick tamarind paste to sour her Vazhakkai Podi, while I have used lemon juice for the same. Take your pick! If using tamarind paste, add it in while adding the spice powder. If using lemon juice, add it in at the very end, once the gas is switched off.

5. You can keep the spice powder as fine or coarse as you prefer. I keep it mostly fine, with just a very little bit of coarseness.

6. You may skip the tamarind paste or lemon juice fully, if you so prefer. The Vazhakkai Podi Potta Curry still tastes fab!

7. Make sure all the pieces of raw banana are evenly coated with the spice powder. Stirring constantly while adding in the powder helps, in this respect. Similarly, ensure that the tamarind or lemon juice is also equally spread out among the raw banana pieces.

8. Some people crumble the cooked raw banana, and then proceed to use it in the curry. I prefer chopping it into small cubes instead.

9. Coconut oil or sesame oil works best in the making of this Vazhakkai Podi Potta Curry. However, you may use any other variety of oil you prefer, too.

10. Do not overcook the raw banana. 2 whistles on high flame work perfectly for me.

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

Aambe Dal| Raw Mango & Lentil Relish

Aambe Dal or Kairichi Dal is a thing of beauty, and I can’t be thankful enough that my grandmother introduced it to me. Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for this wonderfully flavourful Maharashtrian dish, the way I was taught by my grandma.

Aambe Dal aka Kairichi Dal

What is Aambe Dal?

Aambe Dal is a sort of salad, with an Indian touch to it. It is made using grated raw mango and soaked and ground chana dal – both of which give it interesting textures and an amazing, amazing taste.

This is a dish from the state of Maharashtra, as I was saying earlier. It is prepared on auspicious days like Gudi Padwa (Maharashtrian new year) and is offered to guests visiting home for haldi-kumkum. My grandma spent a large part of her life in a Maharashtrian colony in Ahmedabad, in the course of which she learnt several traditional Marathi dishes from friends and neighbours. This Aambe Dal is a recipe from her repertoire, which I was fortunate enough to learn from her before she passed away. I absolutely love this salad, and have fond memories of grandma preparing this for Sri Rama Navami, a summer festival when raw mangoes would be available in plenty. Sigh!

Aambe Dal or Kairichi Dal is a no-cook recipe, except for the tempering that is added in. This makes it a very, very simple thing to prepare – child’s play, almost! It is somewhat similar to the Tamilian Sri Rama Navami special Pasi Parippu Kosumalli, but there are indeed subtle differences between the two dishes.

#LittleChefs at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I’m sure you know I’m part of this group of talented food bloggers, called Foodie Monday Blog Hop. Every Monday, the members of the group present recipes based on a pre-determined theme.

It was my turn to suggest the theme for this Monday, and I came up with #LittleChefs. For the theme, group members will be sharing easy recipes that children can prepare on their own or with minimal adult supervision. This is the need of the hour, I think, with India being under lockdown for about a month now, to combat the threat posed by the Corona virus. Schools and colleges are closed, parents are working from home. You’re allowed to get out of home only to buy essentials or in case of an emergency. I have been involving the bub in simple cooking activities and some small chores around the house, to keep her busy and her mind diverted. So have many other parents I know. I chose this theme so we can build a repository of kid-friendly recipes, and I’m sure it will be of great help to many parents.

This Aambe Dal recipe fits the theme perfectly. It is something children can whip up easily, and requires very few ingredients too. With raw mango being in season now, it is also a good way to teach kids about cooking with seasonal ingredients. This salad is full of protein, thanks to the chana dal, and requires very little oil, only in the tempering. In fact, you can skip the tempering altogether, and it would still taste fab!

How to make Aambe Dal?

Detailed steps for the making of Aambe Dal follow.

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suitable to those following a plant-based diet. It can easily be made gluten-free too, by skipping the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most commercial brands of asafoetida available today contain wheat flour to a smaller or larger extent and are, hence, best avoided if you are following a gluten-free diet.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  1. 1 cup chana dal
  2. 1 large raw mango
  3. 2 green chillies or as per taste
  4. 1/2 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  5. Salt to taste
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder
  8. 2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut

For the tempering:

  1. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard
  3. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  4. 2 dry red chillies

Method:

Top: Step 2, Bottom left: Step 1, Bottom right: Step 2

1. Wash the chana dal well under running water. Drain out all the water. Add in enough fresh water to cover the chana dal fully. Let it soak, covered, for 2-3 hours.

2. In the meantime, peel the raw mango. Grate it thick and keep ready.

Top: Step 3, Centre left: Step 3, Centre right: Step 4, Bottom left: Step 5, Bottom right: Step 6

3. After 2-3 hours, the soaked chana dal should have become quite soft. Drain out all the water from it and transfer to a mixer jar. Chop the green chillies roughly and add to the mixer jar too. Also add in the 1/2 tablespoon chopped coriander. Grind everything together, coarsely. You should be able to grind without adding in any water, but you may add in very little water if absolutely required.

4. Transfer the ground chana dal mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add in the grated mango, salt to taste, turmeric powder, jaggery powder, grated coconut and 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander. Mix everything together.

5. Now, we will prepare the tempering. Heat the oil in a small pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Turn flame down to medium. Add in the asafoetida and dry red chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, without burning. Transfer this tempering to the mixing bowl.

6. Mix up everything well. Your Aambe Dal is now ready to serve.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of coconut and green chillies as per personal taste preferences.

2. I have used a large Totapuri raw mango here. You can use any variety of raw mango you prefer. Choose a firm, sour one for best results.

3. You can use sugar in place of the jaggery powder. In that case, you can grind the sugar too, along with the chana dal, green chillies and coriander. I prefer using jaggery powder, though.

4. Coconut oil works best, for the tempering. However, you may use any other variety of oil you prefer.

5. Make sure you soak the chana dal for at least 2-3 hours. The dal should be soft and breakable with bare hands, when it is done soaking.

6. This Aambe Dal or Kairichi Dal can be had on its own, as a snack. We also like having it with rotis.

7. Grated or finely chopped cucumber can be added to the Aambe Dal too. So can grated carrot.

8. Dry red chillies can be ground along with the soaked chana dal and coriander, instead of the green chillies used here.

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