Khatti Daal (Tangy Red Lentils)
Hyderabadi cuisine is popularly known because of the addition of tamarind for tanginess in its recipes. This popular addition is what makes it unique from the cuisine of other parts of India. Khatti Daal is one particular dish that is is unique to Hyderabad, not only because of the addition of a tangy ingredient(such as tamarind or lemon juice), but also because of the addition of tempering(or bagaar/tadka). Tempering is a popular cooking method used in the Indian subcontinent where spices, such as cumin, mustard seeds, dry red peppers, and curry leaves, are roasted in oil to enhance their flavor and release their scents.
It is a dish that can be served with many different meat and vegetable sides. In our home it is popularly served with white rice and Thala Huwa Gosht. Enjoy!
1 cup Masoor Daal(Red-Lentils)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red pepper powder
1 large tomato chopped
4-5 whole green chilis
3 sprigs curry leaves
1/2 cup lemon juice/tamarind pulp
2 tbsp salt
For Tempering: 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin, 4-5 dry whole red pepper, 2-3 cloves of garlic-optional
1. In a pot, put the lentils(washed and drained), turmeric, red pepper powder, tomatoes, and green chilis. Add about 4 cups of water and cook on medium heat until they are soft. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
2. Take an immersion blender and puree the lentil mixture into a soupy consistency. Note: Add about 1 cup of water if you feel it is too thick.
3. Add the curry leaves, lemon juice, and salt. Let the lentils simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Prepare a small frying pan for tempering. Add 2-3 tbsp oil and heat on medium-low flame. Add the mustard seeds, cumin, and dry red peppers. Let it cook until the seeds start to split or make a popping sound. Slowly add the tempering to the lentils.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.
We all have busy weeknights and I'm always looking for easy recipes that I can make in a hurry. My favorite weeknight meal is Cumin-Spiced Fish. Its an easy recipe and can pair well with so many different sides. My kids have come to love bulgur pilaf, or parboiled cracked wheat, which is a great substitute to rice. I sneak in spinach to make it healthier and they don't even realize they are getting their veggies! I've shared a quick recipe below for my version of bulgur pilaf, so be sure to scroll all the way down! Whatever side you choose, Cumin-Spiced Fish, is sure to become a staple in your busy weeknights or meal-planning for lunches!
2 lb White Fish Filets(i.e. Tilapia, Swai, Catfish)
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Powder(Crushed Pepper can be Substituted)
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
2 Tsp Cumin Powder
1 Tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1. Clean and dry filets.
2. Place the fish in a large mixing bowl and add all the ingredients to the bowl. Mix everything together well and keep aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Heat up a frying pan or grill pan on medium high heat. We have already added the oil to the marinade, so we shouldn't need anymore oil, but if you feel you need to lightly oil the pan you can do so.
4. Slowly place the fish onto your pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until browned. I like mine slightly crusted on the sides.
Alternate cooking method: Heat oven to 400 degrees(fahrenheit). Place the filets on a sheet tray and bake the fish for about 12 minutes.
1 Cup Course Bulgur (Found in Whole Foods or Mediterranean Stores)
1 Medium Onion, Finely Diced
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 Cups Baby Spinach
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Salt
1. Heat the Olive Oil and saute the onions until opaque.
2. Add the Salt, Tomato Paste and Bulgur, saute together.
3. Add 1 1/2 cups water and baby spinach. Bring to a boil. When the bulgur has soaked up about 3/4 of the water, cover and cook on low for about 20 minutes.
Fluff with fork and serve.
White or Brown Rice
Oven Roasted Broccoli
Bulgur Pilaf (As Shown in Picture)