After the sophisticated orange zest cupcakes with chocolate ganache…all dressed up to party somewhere hip, i crash land back to earth with the very earthy and comforting dal….in one of its many avatars………….I was always amazed at the array of lentils that would be cooked in our home as a child….and thought my mother and peddi were some sort of magicians who could stun us with their cooking….
Packed dabba lunches mostly meant rotis and vegetables, lunch times on Saturdays used to be special. Sunday lunches were usually more fancy cooking, the pulavs with a non vegetarian side dish lavished with a rich gravy….but on Saturdays, it would be basic and almost rustic…as we would have some kind of dal along with steaming hot rice and ghee, with papad on the side, we’d never even miss a vegetable if there was none….comfort food at its best….
Dosakaya pappu or lentils cooked with cucumber is a hot favourite…..spicy, tangy and absolutely yummy….paired to perfection with steaming hot rice, ghee and pickle…..whats even better, is that it is very easy and fuss free to make……that makes it a dish after my own lazy heart!!
Packed with protein, this Dal is my entry to eat healthy – protein rich hosted at Art of Cooking Indian Food.
Dosakaya / Lemon Cucumber Pappu ~ Serves 4
2/3 c tuvar dal (arhar or kandi, washed and soaked in water for 10 mins
2 cups of cucumber the oval and yellow indian variety/ dosakaya, deseeded and cut into one inch cubes ( I cook it with the skin, peel if you prefer it skin less)
1 t red chilly powder
¼ t turmeric powder
A pinch of asafetida
Salt to taste
2 T tamarind extract
For the tadka
1 T oil
¼ t mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves
2-3 dried red chillies
In a pressure cooker, add the washed tuvar dal, cucumber pieces, red chilly powder, turmeric, asafetida and 1 ½ cups of water and cook for 3-4 whistles or till the lentils are cooked.
Open and mix well. Use the back of a spoon to mash the lentils. In a small vessel, heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds, add the red chillies and fry for a few seconds till they are beginning to turn brown, add the curry leaves. Add this to the cooked lentils, add the salt and tamarind extract and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add a little water to get the consistency of choice, though it is best when slightly thick. Enjoy with steaming hot rice and ghee.