Sunday, January 2, 2011

Buckwheat and whole Red Lentil Curry/Usal/Thick soup - Weekend Lunch Thali

New years first Sunday, I prepared simple soul food for lunch. Lentil-Grain fusion curry was made with combination of whole Masoor Dal (Whole Red Lentil) and  Buckwheat groats, for side veggies I cooked Kerala style cabbage thoran and carrot salad with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoyed with hot rotis and fluffy par boiled rice. It was simple yet very satisfying lunch.

Note - Published on 12th April 2011

Whole Masoor Dal & Buckwheat Usal / Curry
  • 1 Cup  whole Red Lentil (whole Masoor dal)
  • 1/4 Cup whole Buckwheat groats
  • 1 medium size onion - finely chopped
  • 5-6 fresh garlic cloves - finely crushed
  • 1.5 inch piece of ginger - finely crushed
  • 12-15 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 Tb.spoon oil
  • 6-7 cups water
  • 1 T.spoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 T.spoon turmeric powder
  • 1 heaped T.spoon Garam Masala  or you can use Goda, Malvani, Kpra - Zatpat Amti-bhaji Masala, also you can mix and match two different types of  ready-made masalas. 
  • 1 T.spoon brown sugar
  • 1 Cup - fresh chopped cilantro 
Curry Cooking  Process :-
  1. Rinse Masoor Dal and Buckwheat thoroughly in water . Keep it aside by adding 4 cups water. No pre soaking is required. (If you are not using pressure cooker then soak Masoor Dal for 4 hours to reduce cooking time. Buckwheat cooks faster so 30 minutes  soaking should be fine.)
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil  in pressure cooker / pressure pan  (minimum 4 quart size) - toss in 7-8 curry leaves and sizzle for 10 seconds. Add chopped onions, saute for 7-8 minutes on medium flame until they get soft and translucent.
  3. Add finely crushed ginger and garlic, saute for 1 minute.
  4. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala or your choice of masala as suggested in the ingredients. Mix well - saute for 1-2 minutes on a medium low heat.
  5. Now pour in soaked whole red lentils and Buckwheat along with 4 cups of water.Add salt, 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Mix well  and continue to simmer on high heat until it starts to boil. Close the pressure cooker lid and pressure cook until it blows two whistles. Quickly shut-off the heat and allow to cool down. It is o.k if it blows third whistle after you shut off the heat.
  6. After pressure cooker is cooled down - switch on the heat again and add 2 more cups of water, you can adjust water quantity as per your desired consistency. Add remaining curry leaves and fresh chopped cilantro. Simmer it uncovered for 10-12 minutes on medium heat.
  7. Serve over rice or enjoy with roti. Also this curry can be served  in a bowl as thick soup by drizzling warm  melted ghee.
Note :- You can enrich this curry/soup by adding some greens, veggies.. Like this black eyed peas curry enriched with Lauki and  this Split moong Dal enriched with Tomatillo and spinach.

Carrot Salad with toasted sesame seeds 
Ingredients :-
  • 2 Carrots - 7-8 inch long ( julienne cut - yield should be 1 heaped cup)
  • 1 Green chili - finely chopped
  • 5-6 Curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup - finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 T.spoon Sesame seeds
  • 1 T.spoon vinegar
  • 1/4 T.spoon sugar
  • 1 T.spoon oil
Process :- Heat 1 teaspoon oil, once it is moderately hot add chopped green chilies and 5-6 curry leaves..sizzle it for 15 seconds, now quickly add 1 teaspoon sesame seeds..stir for 10 seconds. Now add carrots...Stir fry on high heat for 2 minutes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon sugar, little salt. Stir fry for 2 more minutes on medium heat - remove from heat.Garnish with cilantro.

Cabbage Thoran
Ingredients :-
  • 1 small size half cabbage - ( sliced - yield 2 Cups heaped )
  • 1 T.spoon - oil
  • 5-6 Curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies - finely chopped
  • 1/2 T.spoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 T.spoon cumin
  • 1/2 Cup - lightly packed fresh grated coconut
  • 1/4 Cup - finely chopped fresh cilantro
Process :- This flavorful Thoran/stir fry subzi from Kerala cuisine  is very simple to prepare. Take small size half cabbage and finely slice in  1.5 inch length strips. (2 cup packed heaped) Heat 1 teaspoon oil, add 5-6 curry leaves and chopped chilies - sizzle for 10 seconds. Add half teaspoon cumin and half teaspoon  turmeric - stir and sizzle for 10 seconds. Now quickly add sliced cabbage, mix well, sprinkle salt  and cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Do stir at regular interval. Now add 1 tablespoon water - mix well and cook uncovered for another 4-5 minutes on low medium heat. Garnish with fresh coconut and  chopped cilantro.

For Cabbage Thoran with carrots and green peas click this  Recipe.



dr.antony said...

That looks healthy and so tempting.

Usha said...

Dr.Antony, it was really delicious lunch. thanks for stopping by.

Christina said...

I made the buckwheat and red lentil curry plus the carrot salad for supper and they were superb even though I did not put any garam masala as we do not have it in my country (Bulgaria)! They went really well with a salad we often eat in winter - grated turnip, beetroot and apple. Thank you for the delicious recipes!

Usha said...

Christina, Thanks for stopping by, I am glad that you loved the recipe of buckwheat curry and carrot salad. Your winter salad combination of turnip, beetroot and apples sounds good, I will try sometime.

Thanks for trying recipes and letting me know.