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Old 09-21-2021, 10:31 PM   #1
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Vegetarian Dhansak

I made a vegetable version of dhansak today - an Indian dal, often made with lamb, but I was using up a bunch of vegetables I had sitting around, plus 3 types of dal - I think that there were over 25 ingredients in it! It could easily be made vegan - the ghee could easily be replaced with oil, and wouldn't be missed.

I made a new batch of dhansak masala, with 14 types of spices in it. All of these except for the turmeric and dried methi are toasted, then cooled and ground - the methi and turmeric are added when blending.
3 Byadagi peppers
8 Thai or other hot peppers
3 Indian bay leaves (tejpat)
2 tb coriander seeds
1 tb cumin seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tb cloves
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tb black mustard seed
3 blades mace
6 medium sized black cardamom, crushed
(1 tb dried methi)
(1/2 tb turmeric)
Spices ready to toast for the dhansak masala. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

While I was doing this, I was cooking the toor, moong, and channa dal in the Instant Pot, for 12 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally, then drained (not much liquid left).
1/4 c each, toor, channa, and moong dal, rinsed
2 1/2 c water
3 dals, cooked for the dhansak, drained, and set aside. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Then I chopped up a large onion, started by cooking that in some ghee, then added some minced ginger and garlic, plus 4 jalapeños and 4 large Numexes, finely chopped. Then peeled and cut up an old sweet potato, a small butternut I had to use first, two small red potatoes, a piece of bottle gourd cut up, and 3 small eggplants, cut up. I used up some junk tomatoes - about 10 oz total, which I liquefied, and added to the IP, then rinsed out the pan with 3 c water, to make up for the 1 cup of oat groats I added. I added 2 tsp of that spice mix, along with a half tb of kashmiri pepper, salt to taste, then I pressure cooked it for 12 minutes again, then let it release naturally.

1 1/2 c onions, chopped
4 tb ghee or oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tb minced ginger
peppers to taste - I had about 3/4 c minced
about 2 c ground up tomatoes, plus 1 c water
Vegetables - I had about 6 cups of cubed up veggies
1 c oat groats to 3 c extra water, optional
2 tsp dhansak masala, more later
1/2 tb kashmiri pepper
Salt to taste
6 or 7 vegetables, plus the usual onions, ginger, and garlic , plus a cup of oat groats, pressure cooked for 12 minutes. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Then the mashed dal is stirred in, along with 1½ tb more of the dhansak masala, and some tamarind - about 2 tb concentrate. Then I let that simmer another 7 or 8 minutes, while I fix the tarka - cooking in a tb of oil over medium heat, 1 tsp each black mustard and cumin until they start sputtering, then add 5 or 6 Thai peppers, cooking very briefly, until it starts browning, then a dozen curry leaves and a half tsp of asafoetida, and let them spatter, then quickly add to the IP. Stir in about 1/4 c chopped cilantro, then serve.
Finished dhansak, after simmering 10 minutes with the masala, then adding the tarka. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And to serve with this, I experimented with making a Belgian waffle, using 1 c jowar flour (sorghum), and 1/4 c ground masoor dal (red lentils), 2 eggs, 1 tb oil, a little salt, and 1 tsp baking powder (did this after the first one didn't do well!). I did this for a friend of mine with celiac disease, and it worked out great! The final one with 1/2 c batter worked best.
Some gluten free Belgian waffles, I tried for a friend, with jowar flour and some ground masoor dal. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

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Old 09-21-2021, 11:00 PM   #2
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I forgot until too late - the liquid part of the waffles was about a cup of yogurt. I just whisked it until it seemed about right.

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Old 09-22-2021, 07:29 AM   #3
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That looks great! I love the combination of the three dals.
Interesting the use of oats - how did that work out? I imagine they thickened the dhansak - but did the sweetness come through?
The other thing that caught my attention was the use of the three chiles: byadagi, thai and kashmiri. Was there a noticeable difference?
Once more - great dish. I´m going to give it a go!
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Old 09-22-2021, 01:06 PM   #4
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I often put oats, millet, or barley in dal dishes, instead of serving them with white rice, like they often suggest. The oats don't really seem to add any sweetness, but this dish had the squash and sweet potato, which probably had more.

The byadagi have a slightly stronger flavor than kashmiri, IMO, and slightly hotter, but the reason I have the whole ones is because I got a pound of them them so cheap one time! lol The kashmiri powder I get cheap, at the market, and keep all of them in jars in small amounts, but the larger amounts in Foodsaver bags. The Thai peppers are in these dishes mainly for heat, though those, and the jyoti that I grow have better pepper flavor than other similar hot peppers I've bought or grown, and I use those all the time in those tarkas, or tempering oils - usually more than called for!



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Old 09-23-2021, 09:45 PM   #5
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I like everything about this! Especially the oats (or other grain) instead of rice, and the gluten-free waffles. My daughter can't eat gluten, so this is another option.
Dal/lentils are so versatile, and this is a great way to use them, and also use up all the leftover veg.


I find Kashmiri chili is something I use more for colour than heat, but either way, I use it a lot. And Indian bay, which I use more than regular bay these days. Tadka, yes, it boosts any dish. A Punjabi friend told me she makes a big batch and freezes it, so she always has some on hand. Good time-saving tip. She also freezes hot peppers when they're in season here, just freezes them whole, in the bag. I do that now, too.
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Old 09-24-2021, 03:47 AM   #6
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I love that plate full of spices.

I remember when I moved out of my parents house (years ago) and wanted to make my first Indian dish. I must have spent $100 + on stocking up on all the spices I would need ( 1 teaspoon of this, 1/2 tsp of that ....). I'd say 1/2 my spices in my spice drawer are for Indian dishes. They dont go to waste, as I cook dishes from this region often, and will give the above recipe a go.
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:40 PM   #7
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Larry It was like that for me when I set up my pantry, when I first got obsessed with Indian food, and one thing I did early on was to set up boxes specifically for those Indian spices, even though some are also in the main spice drawers - made it much easier to do the mise en place that makes these dishes so much quicker than when not organized. I made one box for when most things I use, another with some I don't use as often, one with larger jars of things like coriander seed, that I refill the smaller one with, or use for when I need a lot, like with masalas, which I also have a box for. And my excess I keep in a tub in the basement, in vacuum sealed bags.
Self explanatory by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Untitled by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Untitled by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The various spice mixes by pepperhead212, on Flickr

And these don't even include the whole peppers!

One thing I've learned over the years is that the best place you can buy some Indian spices is on ebay, for price, freshness, and some things I simply couldn't find locally, or on Amazon. I try to buy what I can at a place locally (he gives me deals on things, since I give him large amounts of curry leaf trimmings!), but some are better directly from India.
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:57 AM   #8
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I have a miscellaneous box if Indian spices in the basement too. Things that I want to have in stock when I need it, but dont want it to take up the real estate in the kitchen.

I have 2 local Indian markets, and one Asian market which has an Indian aisle where I get most of my stuff. I did have to resort to online shopping on occasion.

I hate when I think I dont have something, I make a purchase to get more, then find the spice ( which I thought I didnt have) a day after receiving the new stuff. Usually tucked away in a spot that I thought was so clever and memorable when I used it last.

Although not a spice, it happened to me when I was making split pea soup. I almost always have a bag of split peas sitting around. Was in the mood for pea soup, surprisingly couldn't find a bag of split peas. made the sou, a day later found 2 bags of split peas in the pantry, almost as if they were staring me right in he face.
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Old 09-25-2021, 11:54 AM   #9
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Larry, I know what you mean about thinking you have something on hand, and there's always one there, but there's not! That used to happen more in the freezer, and that's why I got OCD about all that stuff, starting in the freezer. I have hand a written inventory of all those things, on legal pad pages - size much better, as they fill up fast, with all that junk! In the spice tub I have a bunch of 2 gal ziplocs, labeled Mexican, Indian 1 & 2, misc sweet, misc., and a 1 gal for herbs. And 4 sealed 12 gal tubs for the lentils and other legumes, and grains, that I vacuum seal in the amounts in the amounts I keep them in on my kitchen shelf - most quart jars, but some 2 or 3 qt, for the ones I use most. Then a large trash can, with sugar, and other things I don't need in the sealed tubs. Last, but not least, two smaller tubs - one with all the cocoa products, and one with all the chocolate!

This took months of spare time to set up, but it has saved me at least as much of that time, when it came to looking for things the last few years.
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butternuts, eggplants, hot peppers, lentils, potatoes, recipe, spices, vegetarian

Vegetarian Dhansak I made a vegetable version of [i]dhansak[/i] today - an Indian dal, often made with lamb, but I was using up a bunch of vegetables I had sitting around, plus 3 types of dal - I think that there were over 25 ingredients in it! It could easily be made vegan - the ghee could easily be replaced with oil, and wouldn't be missed. I made a new batch of [i]dhansak masala[/i], with 14 types of spices in it. All of these except for the turmeric and dried methi are toasted, then cooled and ground - the methi and turmeric are added when blending. 3 Byadagi peppers 8 Thai or other hot peppers 3 Indian bay leaves (tejpat) 2 tb coriander seeds 1 tb cumin seeds 2 tsp black peppercorns 1/2 tb cloves 1 tsp fenugreek seeds 1 tb black mustard seed 3 blades mace 6 medium sized black cardamom, crushed (1 tb dried methi) (1/2 tb turmeric) [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mt5CjK][img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51502275935_fec405f5dd_3k.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mt5CjK]Spices ready to toast for the dhansak masala.[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/91097628@N06/]pepperhead212[/url], on Flickr While I was doing this, I was cooking the toor, moong, and channa dal in the Instant Pot, for 12 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally, then drained (not much liquid left). 1/4 c each, toor, channa, and moong dal, rinsed 2 1/2 c water [url=https://flic.kr/p/2msVQnC][img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51500560462_8e65c01f1b_3k.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2msVQnC]3 dals, cooked for the dhansak, drained, and set aside.[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/91097628@N06/]pepperhead212[/url], on Flickr Then I chopped up a large onion, started by cooking that in some ghee, then added some minced ginger and garlic, plus 4 jalapeños and 4 large Numexes, finely chopped. Then peeled and cut up an old sweet potato, a small butternut I had to use first, two small red potatoes, a piece of bottle gourd cut up, and 3 small eggplants, cut up. I used up some junk tomatoes - about 10 oz total, which I liquefied, and added to the IP, then rinsed out the pan with 3 c water, to make up for the 1 cup of oat groats I added. I added 2 tsp of that spice mix, along with a half tb of kashmiri pepper, salt to taste, then I pressure cooked it for 12 minutes again, then let it release naturally. 1 1/2 c onions, chopped 4 tb ghee or oil 3 large cloves garlic, minced 1 tb minced ginger peppers to taste - I had about 3/4 c minced about 2 c ground up tomatoes, plus 1 c water Vegetables - I had about 6 cups of cubed up veggies 1 c oat groats to 3 c extra water, optional 2 tsp dhansak masala, more later 1/2 tb kashmiri pepper Salt to taste [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mt26Wu][img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51501588388_6d3aa8fc96_3k.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mt26Wu]6 or 7 vegetables, plus the usual onions, ginger, and garlic , plus a cup of oat groats, pressure cooked for 12 minutes.[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/91097628@N06/]pepperhead212[/url], on Flickr Then the mashed dal is stirred in, along with 1½ tb more of the dhansak masala, and some tamarind - about 2 tb concentrate. Then I let that simmer another 7 or 8 minutes, while I fix the tarka - cooking in a tb of oil over medium heat, 1 tsp each black mustard and cumin until they start sputtering, then add 5 or 6 Thai peppers, cooking very briefly, until it starts browning, then a dozen curry leaves and a half tsp of asafoetida, and let them spatter, then quickly add to the IP. Stir in about 1/4 c chopped cilantro, then serve. [url=https://flic.kr/p/2msVVRi][img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51500578887_4d4afb8ea6_3k.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2msVVRi]Finished dhansak, after simmering 10 minutes with the masala, then adding the tarka.[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/91097628@N06/]pepperhead212[/url], on Flickr And to serve with this, I experimented with making a Belgian waffle, using 1 c jowar flour (sorghum), and 1/4 c ground masoor dal (red lentils), 2 eggs, 1 tb oil, a little salt, and 1 tsp baking powder (did this after the first one didn't do well!). I did this for a friend of mine with celiac disease, and it worked out great! The final one with 1/2 c batter worked best. [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mt12Y4][img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51501379911_3085bfb5de_3k.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2mt12Y4]Some gluten free Belgian waffles, I tried for a friend, with jowar flour and some ground masoor dal.[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/91097628@N06/]pepperhead212[/url], on Flickr 3 stars 1 reviews
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