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Sunday, March 20, 2011


Lentils and beans are the source of protein in a vegetarian diet.
Lentils are very easy to cook.
Normally served as accompaniments to rice or Indian flatbreads, on a cold evening, you can enjoy it instead of soup too.


1 cup green or yellow gram (moong dal)
2 tbsp vegetable/olive oil
1 large onion - finely chopped
1 green chilli -sliced
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp grated ginger (optional)
2 cloves of garlic - pounded (optional)
1 tomato - chopped
1 tbsp chopped coriander (optional)
salt to taste
few slices of lemon


Wash and soak gram for 1/2 hour to a couple of hours. ( In case there is no time to soak, wash it and go will just take a bit longer to cook)

Cook in a large pot with 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Then continue to cook on a low heat, covered, until softened. Add more water if necessary.

Heat oil in a small pan. Add cumin seeds . When they splutter, add onions, green chilli and turmeric.
Stir until onions soften.
Add garlic + ginger
Stir again.
Add tomatoes. Stir and then add chilli powder.
stir well , cover and let it cook for a minute or two on low heat.

Add it to the cooked dal. Mix well.

Continue to cook for a few more minutes.

Add salt to taste.

Sprinkle coriander.

Sqeeze lemon to your taste.

How to make Paneer

Paneer is readily available in Indian grocery stores.
Making paneer at home is easy and gives you the choice of using semi - skimmed milk.
Also, its much cheaper to make your own Paneer than buy off the shelf.

Milk ( whole,semi-skimmed or skimmed) - 1 litre
white vinegar / lemon juice - or yoghurt  3 tbsps


In a large pot, bring the milk to a boil while stirring occasionally so it doesn't get stuck to the bottom of the pan.

When it boils, lower the heat to a minimum and add vinegar or lemon juice little by little , stirring simultaneously until milk just curdles.

Switch off the heat.

Pour into a colander lined with a kitchen towel or a muslin cloth or just any clean cotton cloth.

Wash the fresh paneer with cold water to remove residues of the vinegar or lemon.

Even out the paneer in the cloth and place weight on it (I usually use the pot I used to boil the milk filled with water)

After 15 minutes or longer , you can cut the paneer in to cubes while still in the cloth and then gently remove the pieces and place in box or on a plate.

This fresh paneer can be used to make matar-paneer, paalak-paneer,kofta , paneer parathas ,rasgullas,sandesh etc.