Garden dreams – When they come true, it’s a glorious feeling.
One of my lifelong garden dreams has been growing turai at home. This summer, beautiful turai vines smiled with pretty yellow flowers and it has been turai tanmayam ever since. Total number of turai harvested so far was around 60 from four turai vines. Garden goddess is in good mood, it’s the only reason I could think of for this blessing.
Turai is such a lovable vegetable with succulent, white flesh and delicate, sweet flavor. Tender turai doesn’t take much time to cook and digests easily, nourishing the spirit. We love our turai and we have been cooking many great turai recipes to our hearts content for the past one month.
The following turai recipe is Vijay’s creation. Tasty turai, little bit tomato and some chana dal, cooked together, it was a good meal and a simple solution to overwhelmed brain with excessive turai.
Turai with Chana Dal
(for 2 or 4, for 1 or 2 meals)
3 fresh and tender turai, arm length each
1/4 cup chana dal, soaked in water for about two hours
2 semi ripe tomatoes
4 green chillies, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon, turmeric
1/2 teaspoon, salt or to taste
For cumin tadka: 1 tablespoon peanut oil,
pinch each-cumin and mustard seeds and few fresh curry leaves
Peel turai ridges. Rinse the vegetable well. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
In a heavy pan, heat peanut oil. Add and toast cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves to fragrance.
Add the rehydrated chana dal to the skillet. Saute the dal to pale red.
Add tomato and cook to soft.
Add turai pieces. Sprinkle turmeric. Mix well. Cover and cook the turai for about five minutes or until the pieces become soft.
Stir in salt. Sprinkle a tablespoon of grated coconut if you wish. Cook another couple of minutes and turn off the heat.
Serve the turai with chana dal warm with rice, chapati or bread for a light and tasty meal.
Turai with Chana Dal ~ for Meal Today
As I get older, like many of you, I am becoming thankful for our culinary heritage. I think our cuisine is the best kind diet out there, simply because it doesn’t need or depend on farm-raised animal and ultra-processed products for flavor and sustenance. Natural plant based ingredients have divine powers and most of the Indian recipes are based on that valuable khajana. Example is the following recipe. This lentil based chaaru is a frequent guest at family table, and all it needs is a fistful of chana dal, few vegetables and good, old spices. Chana dal is known to reduce and maintain blood sugar levels, plus it is a low calorie lentil. For those of you who are on diet, trying to control sugar levels or thinking of some new rasam, this chana dal chaaru is the best fit for a filling stomach.
Chana Dal (Sanaga Bedalu)
Chana dal Chaaru
(for 4 to 6 servings)
1/3 cup of chana dal
1 small shallot or red onion, sliced thinly lengthwise
1 small ripe tomato, cut to small pieces
2 tablespoons – tamarind pulp or lemon juice
1 tablespoon, rasam or garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon each – chilli powder and salt
1/4 teaspoon – turmeric
For Hing tadka: a tablespoon of peanut oil, one sprig of fresh curry leaves, pinch each – asafetida (hing), cumin and mustard seeds
1. Take chana dal in a pressure cooker. Rinse and add about 2 cups of water. Pressure cook the dal the soft. Mash the dal to smooth with a wood masher.
2. Add onion, tomato and tamarind to the mashed dal. Stir in rasam powder, chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Add about half cup of water. Partially cover the pot and simmer the chaaru for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
3. At the end, do the hing tadka and add it to the rasam. For hing tadka, heat peanut oil in a small pan or vessel. Add and toast curry leaves, hing, cumin and mustard seeds in that order. Stirring, toast to fragrance. Add this hing tadka to the simmering chana chaaru. Mix well.
4. Serve hot or warm over cooked rice with some papad or pickle. Or good as it is to sip like soopa.
Good for Diabetics, Chana Dal Chaaru for Meal Today and for
Home Remedies Event at Talented Ruchika Cooks
Vada’s exquisite flavor and deep aroma brought to perfection over the centuries, evoke and accentuate the subtlest nuances of taste. Its warm appeal have long been celebrated in a cuisine which demands that the eye as well as the palate find satisfaction. Its gritty, yielding texture has been prized for being addictive in nature and gentle on the tongue. Vada varieties are many in South India, and masala vada is one of the most popular and my favorite. Composed of chana dal and spices, grounded and fried, held with the fingers, vadas are eaten like a snack or part of the main meal with much gusto.
There are several versions of masala vada and the following is from my home, a basic vada recipe without onions.
(for about 16 to 18 vadas)
2 cups, Chana dal (sanaga bedalu)
6 dried red chilli, about 2-inches long each
1/2 teaspoon each- cumin and ajwan (vaamu)
1 teaspoon, salt
1 or 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
1×1 inch piece of fresh ginger, skin peeled, coarsely chopped
Peanut oil, about 3 cups to deep-fry the vadas
1. Soak chana dal in water for at least 4 hours. Strain dal to remove water. In a clean cloth or kitchen towel, spread the dal to air-dry for about 30 minutes. This helps to make the masala vadas properly and they absorb very little of oil in which they are fried.
2. Keep a fistful of chana dal on the side. Take the remaining dal in a blender or food processor or in a mortar. Add dried chilli, cumin, ajwan, salt, curry leaves and ginger pieces. Process the ingredients until they form a coarse mixture. Don’t grind too smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add fistful of chana dal we kept aside to the mix and combine well. Coarse texture and intact chana dal are the two essential elements in a memorable vada experience. (The batter can be made in advance and refrigerated before frying.)
3. On your clean palm (hand), shape the mixture into one to two inch round patties of about half-inch thickness. Heat oil suitable for frying. Gently add the vadas to hot oil and and fry to golden color in batches. This is traditional method. Alternatively, fry the vadas on a lightly oiled skillet until they are lightly browned on both sides.
Serve the vadas hot as a tasty snack or part of the vindu bhojanam. They stay good for a week when refrigerated.
Masala Vada for Manchi(u) Roju
Curry leaf Tadka
The 5 C’s. When combined and cooked together would create an A+ dish.
This great cabbage curry is a childhood favorite. The refreshing flavor of a full-grown fall cabbage is accentuated by the addition of carrot and coconut sweetness, nutty chana dal crunchiness and curry leaf tadka’s ethereal aroma.
Served over couscous, chapati or rice, the 5 C’s makes a delicious and complete meal. It’s great all on its own too. This quick and easy recipe will be even more convenient if a mandoline or food processor is used to shred the cabbage and carrots.
Cabbage and Carrot with Indian Spices
(for two or four – for two or one meal)
Cabbage: Shred 1 small cabbage, about 6 cups
Carrot: Peel the skins and grate carrots, about 2 cups
Coconut: grate the fresh coconut, about 2 tablespoons
Chana dal: 2 tablespoons, Rehydrate by soaking in water for 30mts.
For Curry Leaf Tadka: 1 tablespoon peanut oil, 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves and from masala dabba, a pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds
Onion: 1, finely chopped
Spices: Turmeric, salt and chilli flakes – to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add curry leaves and toast to gold. Add cumin and mustard seeds and when seeds start to pop, add the onion and chana dal. Saute, stirring often until they are light brown.
Stir in cabbage and carrot. Saute until cabbage has slightly wilted. Add coconut, turmeric, salt and chilli flakes. Mix well and cook for another five minutes on medium heat. Turn off the heat before the whole thing turns into a mush pile. You know what cabbage says – If you want to love cabbage, eat it raw or cook it just right – but don’t over cook it.
Serve the curry hot over couscous/chapati, or with rice and dal for tasty meal.
© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.