Palak-Chana Daal Ka Saag
Spinach with Lentils
When one talks about Sindhi food, there are a few recipes that are often talked about a lot, like Sai Bhaji, Sindhi Karhi etc. These are not only favorites amongst the Sindhi’s but also liked by everybody else .They would be categorized as signature dishes. Sai (green) Bhaji (Vegetables), as the name indicates, makes one think of the greens, which is the main ingredient of this recipe. This combo/medley of the greens, chana daal and garlic… yum yumm yummmy. There are many ways to make Sai bhaji and still be called authentic. Some add vegetables along with the greens and others don’t. The end product Sai Bhaji is just delicious, no matter how you make it. This is normally eaten with Bhuga Chawaran or Plain Chawaran, Fried Potatoes, Raita and of course our Sindhi Papad.
Note: As we all know greens are a good source of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Research indicates that beta-carotene has an important and influential role in achieving and maintaining good health.
- 1 bunch Palak (Spinach)
- ½ bunch fresh Dill
- Few sprigs of Indian Sorrel (Khatta) optional
- 1-2 tsp Tamarind juice if Indian Sorrel is not available
- 2 medium Tomatoes chopped and diced
- 1 medium Onion diced
- ½ cup Chana Daal
- ½ tsp crushed Ginger
- 6-8 flakes of Garlic finely chopped+1flake finely chopped for tadka
- 1 fresh Green Chili finely chopped
- 1tsp Jeera
- 1tsp Dhania Powder
- ½ tsp Red Chilies
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 cup Water
- 2 tbsps Oil
- Salt to taste
- Wash and soak chana daal for about 15 mins.
- Meanwhile cut and chop spinach, dill, and Indian sorrel. Wash thoroughly and drain.
- In a pressure cooker add oil, diced onions and fry till pink.
- Add soaked chana daal, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chili and all dry masalas except jeera. Cook this for a few mins till lightly browned.
- Add washed and cut spinach, dill and Indian sorrel or tamarind stir till all greens are wilted.
- Add water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles and then let it simmer for 5-7 mins.
- When pressure is out, take a hand masher/mashing kitchen tool (mandiharo –in Sindhi) and mash (not completely).
- In a tadka pan heat oil, when hot add jeera and 1 chopped flake of garlic. Add this hot tadka to the blended/slightly mashed Sai bhaji.
- The Sai bhaji is ready and should be grainy not smooth.
Serve hot with Bhuga Chawaran, (Sindhi fried Rice), Taryal Patata (fried Potatoes) and don’t forget the Sindhi Papad.
Keep it simple, keep it Sindhi.
This delicious healthy recipe goes to SWC – Cooking with Greens event hosted by Sowmya.
Split Pigeon Peas Lentils
Tooar daal is the most favorite daal among all the Sindhi’s, also known as khatti daal. If asked by any family member what should be for dinner the answer is simple, TOOAR DAAL. It is a daal that all children and adults love and is made almost every other day of the week. There are so many Sindhi’s who would like to eat this daal all year round and yet not be tired of the same meal. This daal is also eaten by a lot of other Indians (cooked differently). I think it is one of the most flavorful and tasty of all the daals.
My daughter likes this daal very much and she calls it river daal. She has named it since she was a child. One day I asked her why she called it by that name and the answer was quick, Indians immerse all kinds of things into the rivers for different reasons , this daal also has stuff floating in it and hence the name river daal. The yellow/brown color, mustard seeds and darkened cumin, red chilies, curry leaves, coriander leaves float on the top and remind you of a river. In a typical Sindhi meal Tooar Daal is eaten with plain rice along with fried potatoes and of course Sindhi papad. This daal can also be eaten just by itself or as a soup (comfort food) or you may dip some bread/pav in it. (That’s my favorite way – daal bread). So here we go with Tooar ji Daal or river daal.
- 1 cup Tuvar (Tooar) Daal
- 3/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 medium Tomato
- 2-3 tbsp Tamarind Pulp (Add according to sourness desired).
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 8-10 Curry Leaves
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro/Coriander Leaves for garnishing
- Wash and soak daal for 15-20 mins.
- Pressure cook it with sufficient water and turmeric powder. (2 whistles and then simmer for few more mins).
- After pressure is released, open the pressure cooker, the daal should be tender. Mash the daal completely using a beater/mashing kitchen tool (we call it ‘mandiharo‘ in Sindhi). Mandiharo is a long wooden spoon with a round (or hexagonal zigzag) base that we use for mashing daal in a round circular motion, until completely mashed or to desired texture.
- Chop and dice tomato. Add to daal mixture.
- Add 4-5 cups of water, salt, tamarind pulp, red chilies to daal mixture and let it boil.
- Heat the oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Fry till they splutter and crackle up. (This is called Tadka) Add this tadka to daal mixture.
- Let it boil for few more mins.
- Garnish with Cilantro leaves.
- Serve hot, with Chawaran (Plain white Rice), Taryal Patata(Fried Potatoes) and Sindhi Papad.
- Enjoy this Simple Sindhi comforting meal.
1) Sindhi’s like to add kokum which is typical in India and is very authentic. The kokum we get here is very dry and tends to mar the color of the daal, so I prefer not to add kokum. If you want to add kokum omit the tamarind juice. It is a matter of personal choice.
2) I have not added ginger as most Sindhi’s normally do. My way is to taste the daal and not the spice, so I prefer not to add ginger. I also want it kid friendly.
3) Put daal and tomato with 6-8 cups of water into a slow cooker (Slow setting) before you go to work. Come home and Voila’ you have daal all boiled and ready for tadka…
Keep it Simple, keep it Sindhi.