Weekday Dinner

I don't like to cook when A is not coming home, and usually settle for instant noodles with some soup thrown in for effect. Tonight, though, I decided to leave the snow-covered view from my windows to make a collard-greens sambhar with idlis. He can eat the leftovers tomorrow..:)

Idlis are traditionally made with a lentil-rice batter, like this. We usually make the microwave semolina version, which can be made in fifteen minutes and is more convenient, if not quite as flavorful.

Sambhar is basically a lentil-vegetable stew, forgiving and versatile, a very good way of using up leftover vegetables and  lentils. I made a collard greens sambhar.

– 1 cup arhar/toor daal, or yellow Indian lentils
– 1/2 can diced tomatoes
– 1/2 bunch collard greens, chopped
– 1 tsp black mustard seeds
– 1 tsp cumin seeds
– a pinch asfoetida
– 1 dried red chilli
– 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
– 1 tsp tamarind paste/ 2 tbsp lime juice
– a few dried/fresh curry leaves
– 1 tsp vegetable oil
– salt to taste
– Cilantro leaves for garnish.

Heat oil in a heavy pan. Add asfoetida, cumin, mustard seeds, dried chilli, curry leaves. When the spices start to sizzle, add the greens and saute until wilted.
Add tomatoes, lentils, turmeric, salt, and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the lentils start breaking down. I use a pressure-cooker.
Mash some of the sambhar using a hand blender/ heavy ladle. I like to keep it chunky, and do very little mashing.
Add the tamarind paste/lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve hot with idlis/rice/bread, or as a soup.

Tastes especially good with M.A.S.H.

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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3 Responses to Weekday Dinner

  1. Vijay says:

    The idlis look great. Hope they tasted as good. I'll get Priya (my wife) to try out the recipe. We don't have a microwave though. I guess it would work with the usual pressure cooker.

  2. Purplesque says:

    You get better results with the pressure cooker, since they fluff up on both sides. I usually sub 1/2 tsp baking soda for the baking powder, and don't use coconut (New Year's resolution- healthy food!).

  3. Lakshmi says:

    The world is one big neighborhood, isn't it?Vijay, perhaps instead of having Priya "try" the recipe, you could surpise her by making it for her yourself?

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