Main Course, Rice

Curd Rice

If Dal Chaawal can satisfy the North Indian Soul (it is actually comfort for any Indian soul 🙂 ), then Curd Rice is the ultimate comfort food for a South Indian Soul.
Most South Indian kids grow up on eating curd rice and definitely that sets the stage for a love for this simple yet satisfying dish.
In Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh, which is home to Lord Venkateshwara or Balaji, one of the richest Gods of Hindu Mythology, this curd rice or “Daddojanam” as it is called in “Telugu” is served as Prasaad to devotees. If you have been to Tirupathi and know what I am talking about then you will definitely share my feelings. That soft, warm rice, seasoned to perfection and mixed with fresh curd and fresh butter is something to die for!! Not only do we go to see Balaji, we definitely go to Tirupathi to not miss the Prasaad 😛

We at home love this curd rice. My kids call it “Seasoned curd rice” and is perfect for any meal. I usually serve it as part of a full meal or sometimes just on its own. It is not only comforting but is also very cooling and satisfying.

Delicious Curd Rice served with homemade Lime Pickle. If this is not bliss then what is :-P
Delicious Curd Rice served with homemade Lime Pickle. If this is not bliss then what is 🙂

You will need:
Cooked Rice – 1 cup
Homemade Curds (Homemade plain yogurt) – 2 to 3 cups
Salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro for Garnishing

For Seasoning:
Hing or Asafoetida – a pinch
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Cumin or Jeera
1/2 tsp Urad dal
Grated ginger – 1/4 tsp
1 Dry red chilli – broken
1 Green chilli – Chopped fine
Curry leaves

1. Cook the rice in a electric rice cooker or pressure cooker. Cool. With your hand mash the rice slightly. Add salt, mix well and keep aside.

DSC_04042. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add the seasoning ingredients one at a time. When the mustard splutters, add the dals and hing. Allow the dals to turn golden brown, then add the remaining seasoning ingredients and fry for a minute.

DSC_04053. Add this seasoning to the cooked, mashed rice.

DSC_04064. Mix well, add chopped cilantro and mix.

DSC_04085. Add the curds and mix well.

DSC_04096. Serve cold with pickle on the side. Delicious curd rice is ready!!

Yummy Curd Rice is ready!!
Yummy Curd Rice is ready!!

1. You can add chopped green grapes while mixing the the curds. This is very delicious too.
2. You can add pomegranate seeds into the curd rice.
3. Some people like to add finely chopped cucumber.
4. Some people even like to add sour cream to the curd rice, though i prefer not to.
5. If you have fresh home made butter, you can add 1 tsp of fresh butter to the curd rice and mix.

Here I have served Yummy Curd rice as part of a meal with Puri (Deep fried Bread) and Tomato Moong Saagu – my favorite combination for Puris. Recipe for Tomato Moong Dal Saagu here.

Puris, Tomato Moong Dal Saagu, Curd Rice with Lime Pickle.
Puris, Tomato Moong Dal Saagu, Curd Rice with Lime Pickle.

Hope you have enjoyed my post!! Thank you for stopping by, Happy Cooking!!

Dal and Lentil Dishes

Tomato Moong Dal

I am experiencing “blogging fever” all over again. I remember having started my first blog on blogspot i think sometime in 2004 (dont exacly remember but something like that 🙂 ) and had managed to write and post over 170 recipes! At that time, somehow it seemed that I had more of a passion for cooking and feeding 🙂 That blog does not exist anymore and all of those 170 odd posts are no more – not saved anywhere..and I think that is the only thing that I truly regret in life so far! Deleting that blog in a very emotional moment.. too bad…I don’t believe i can ever recreate that, but I believe in not dwelling on the past.
To satisfy my soul however, I go into my Flickr account which thank god has some of those old food pictures that I so painstakingly took and try to recreate that “post” magic every once in a while 🙂 Digging out an old picture from my archive today…

Delicious Tomato Moong Dal
Delicious Tomato Moong Dal

This simple Tomato Moong Dal dish has been passed down generations…My grandmother made it, my mom makes it and I make it ever so often. It is one of those simple. comfort food kind of dishes that no restaurant can create – soemthing you will have to make at home to enjoy 🙂 Easy and goes great with home made chapatis or roti’s.. Enjoy.

You will need:
1 Cup Moong Dal
2 Large Ripe Tomatoes – Wash and cube
3 Green Chillies – Wash and Chop fine
1 tsp Black Pepper – Coarsely ground by hand (i use a mortar and pestle, you may use a coffee grinder too)
1 tsp Cumin seeds – Coarsely ground by hand (i use a mortar and pestle, you may use a coffee grinder too)
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Mustard seeds
Curry leaves
Hing or Asafoetida
Onions and garlic chopped (Optional)

For garnishing:
Chopped cilantro

1. Boil about 4 to 5 cups of water in a open pan. When the water is boiling add 1 cup of washed moong dal to this boiling water. Cook the moong dal in an open pan. Watch for the grains of dal to split to call it done. The water tends to boil over so use a use or a wooden spatula to keep the water in check.
2. While the dal is cooking halfway, add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies, powdered black pepper and cumin. Add salt and mix well.
3. The consistency of the cooked dal should be semi thick, not runny or not too thick. (I know now that step by step pictures play a huge role, I promise to update this post with step by step pictures soon :-). Do not cook the dal in a pressure cooker for this recipe. That will change the taste and texture of this dish.
4. Keep the dal aside and get the seasoning ready. Heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing, chopped onions and garlic, saute well and add this seasoning to the dal mixture. Give it one last boil.
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot as a side to roti.

Happy cooking.. 🙂

Dal and Lentil Dishes, Gravy Curries, Moong Dal

Squash with Moong Dal

Moong Dal or Mung Dal is a tiny yellow lentil or dal that is a highly nutritious protein source and is widely used in South Asian cooking. Moong dal is also a significant source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. This powerhouse of a lentil also is very less gassy than its other lentil counterparts 🙂

Moong Dal or Mung Dal
Moong Dal or Mung Dal

Indian cuisine uses this dal in a variety of ways – there is the traditional dal tadka with moong dal, the various Kootu varieties in South Indian cuisine, the Moong dal chila which is a crepe made with moong dal and a multitude of ways to use this lentil..

On the menu today is a simple Squash with Moong Dal side variety that can be served with Roti (Indian bread) and/or Rice. As most of my recipes, no fancy ingredients, just keeping it basic so the flavors and textures of the Dal and Squash can play out..

Squash with Moong Dal
Squash with Moong Dal

You will need:
Moong Dal – 1 cup
Chayote Squash – 1; This squash is a small green is a summer squash and is very easy to cook. In South India is abundantly available and is typically called Bengaluru Kathrika (in Tamil), Seeme Badnekai (in Kannada) and Bengaluru Vankaya, Seema Vankaya (in Telugu), Sheema Katrika (In Malayalam) and Chow Chow (in Hindi).
Onion – 1 Medium
Tomato – 1 Medium
Green Chillies – 2
Garlic – 1 Pod (optional)
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Hing (Asafoetida) – a pinch

For garnishing:
Cilantro – a few sprigs
Fresh grated coconut – 1 tsp (optional)

1. In a sauce pan, boil about 6 cups of water. When the water is boiling add the moong dal into the water. Add a pinch of turmeric and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, peel, wash and deseed the chayote squash. Chop into cubes. Add this to the boiling water and moong dal.
3. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring in between until the dal is almost done (you will see the grains split as they begin to cook).
4. Add salt to taste and mix well. Keep aside.
5. In a different pan, heat the oil.
6. Add the seasoning ingredients one at a time.
7. Add the chopped onions, garlic and green chillies. Saute for 2 minutes.
8. Add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt.
9. Saute until the tomatoes are mushy. Add this mixture to the cooked moong dal and squash.
10. Place the pan on the flame and mix well. Cook for a few more minutes. Add a littl water if the gravy is too thick.
11. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and grated coconut and serve hot.