Sunday, September 30, 2012

Patholi - Dal & vegetables dry curry

I went for my annual health check last week and came back a bit more confused :-). Good thing is that there is nothing wrong with my numbers and I am as healthy as can be. Talking to my health coach (fancy, huh) I was reminded that quinoa is not all proteins though has high protein content per serving compared to anything else I might be eating in my vegetarian diet. She reiterated the fact that every edible thing has carbs and you just find ways to reduce its intake and start burning extra calories.

I came back home and did my research on 1 cup cooked white rice Vs brown rice Vs quinoa and after a wonderful knowledge session aided by the power of google, concluded that my forefathers were the smartest people to eat fresh food, as close to the source as possible without getting into processing them. Bottom line is the more you process and refine the food, the further away it tends to go from the healthy range. I am not here to lecture everyone on how they should stop eating processed foods, it is essential and convenient in the age we are in but try to make sure majority of your food is un(or under) processed, keep things in moderation, do not obsess about it much, exercise and enjoy life :-).

One thing that always comes back without change is that the main source of protein for a vegetarian like me comes from lentils and I love my lentils. I use quite a bit of sprouts, whole legumes in addition to the regular dal to boost the nutrition quotient. Dal is a regular at home and we do eat it in some form or shape every day. Having said that it can be quite boring to eat the same saaru/huli (Rasam/Sambar) every day and our cuisine offers every conceivable variation to suit every conceivable palate.

Patholi is a dry curry made with lentils and vegetables - each serving brings you both proteins and vitamins. Nammamma didn't make this very often as Karnataka has a special called nuchinunde (I will post it later sometime) which is steamed and delicious. Patholi is my mother in law's recipe and she usually adds Gorikayi (Guvar beans also called cluster beans) or makes it with just sauteed onions. Both taste great. You can add regular green beans instead of the cluster beans.
What do you need to make Patholi? 
2 cups chana dal/kadle bele
2 cups finely chopped gorikayi/cluster beans
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1.5 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
2 Tblsp oil
1/4 Tsp asafoetida
1 Tsp mustard seeds
1 Tsp (8-10) black pepper corns
4-5 curry leaves
1 dry red chili broken into pieces (optional)
1X1 inch piece ginger root
4-5 green chilies (adjust to suit your spice level)

How do you make Patholi?
  • Soak chana dal in water for about an hour.
  • Wash and drain the water from the dal and grind it with green chilies and ginger pieces into a coarse paste. Try not to add water while grinding and run the blender in pulse mode to get the right consistency. 
  • Cook the cluster beans in 1.5 cups of water until they are soft but not mushy, strain the water and keep the cooked beans aside.
  • Heat a Tblsp of oil, add the asafoetida, mustard and pepper corns. Let the mustard crackle. Add the curry leaves, dry red chilies and fry for about 30 seconds. 
  • Add the thinly slices onions and saute until onion turns light pink.
  • Add the ground dal mixture and spoon the remaining oil around the inside edge of the pan, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes on medium heat.
  • Mix it once, add salt and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes stirring frequently to avoid burning until the dal turns a shade darker in color and the raw smell is gone. 
  • Add the cooked cluster beans and mix it well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and switch off. 
Notes: 
  • Use a non stick pan to reduce the oil intake in this recipe. 
  • For a lower calorie version, steam the ground dal mixture in your cooker (same procedure as making idli) and once it is cool, fluff up the cooked dal and saute it with fried onions and cooked beans. This version takes much less oil compared to directly frying the dal. 
  • Take care to grind the dal into a coarse paste - every dal should be broken up into tiny pieces but should not become a paste. 
  • If you blender needs water to run while grinding, go ahead and add it and take the course of steaming the dal before sauteing it. The steaming also absorbs the water and gives you fluffy cooked dal.
  • Wash the cluster beans, remove both ends by snapping them off with your fingers and also removing any strings that may be part of the beans before chopping them.
  • Covering the pan and letting the dal cook in the steam that develops helps reduce oil. 
  • You can use the water used to cook the beans as a broth in any of your curries for an added flavor.

13 comments:

Ezcookbook said...

pattoli looks delicious... we usually callit as usili...first time here...following you...

Inviting to join Ongoing Events
Let's Party - Prasadam Special
Taste Of Tropics - Authentic Indian Platter

Priya R said...

Looks delicious and great for breakfast/ dinner, this recipe is new to me

Priya
Cook like Priya

Vimitha Anand said...

New one to me. Bookmarking this. Happy to follow u. Do join me when u find time

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj said...

nice one dear...
Join in my first event - FEAST FOR YOUR GURU
VIRUNTHU UNNA VAANGA

kitchen queen said...

delicious patholi and very similar to our tamilian version of parupu usili.

Priya said...

Nutritious and inviting dry curry.

Dreamer said...

I totally agree with you- gotta keep everything in moderation, and the bottomline is to have fun! Yummy recipe, BTW! :)

Nagashree said...

@Ezcookbook - thanks for stopping by, I will try to participate in your event.

Vimitha - Thank you for your comments, I will definitely visit your blog.

@Dreamer - great to see you, thanks for the comments.

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

We call this usili but generally don't add onions...Like your version..

LG said...

palya looks good, I loved your suggestions for pairing it with this palya.

NamsVeni Pothas said...

Patholi is really very healthy with protiens. it goes with Majjigapulusu or Bellampulusu very well.

Kannada Cuisine said...

delicious...love it

Anonymous said...

Impressive publish! STICK WITH IT!