Punjabi Cuisine : Achari Bhindi and Lahori Dal

January 21, 2009 · 26 comments

in Cuisine : Indian,Cuisine : North Indian,Cuisine : Punjabi,Dal/Lentils,Dinner Time,Event entry,Okra,Vegetable(dry)

A couple of days ago, I was totally in the mood for Dal Makhani and took out one of my favorite cookbooks, Tarla Dalal’s “Punjabi Khana”. I have found the perfect dal makhani recipe here. Sometimes when I want something, I want it exactly the way I think about it, so I did not want to take a chance and decided to go by the book. I was going through the other recipes ( i actually sit and read cookbooks as though they were novels!!! ) and came across Lahori Dal which i thought was pretty interesting with all the garlic in it and changed my mind from dal makhani to lahori dal. I wanted a vegetable to go with it. The easier one would have been aloo methi or jeera aloo, but i did have some time before it was dinner-time and decided to go ahead with achari bhindi.

Note: This is not for the diet conscious and is best enjoyed with all the butter and the cream!!

Achari Bhindi

I have used Bhindi (Okra) in this recipe, but other vegetables like Baingan (Eggplant) or even paneer can be added to the achari gravy. The achari gravy is prepared with various spices which form the achari masala like onion seeds (kalonji), mustard seeds, punjabi garam masala and dry mango powder (amchur)

To be mixed into a marinade: with 1 cup of okra, chopped into small pieces. Keep aside for 15 mins.

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp oil

For the achari masala:
1/2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1/2 tsp onion seeds (kalonji)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp chopped green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Punjabi Garam Masala
1/2 tsp dry mango powder (amchur)
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/4 cup fresh cream
chopped cilantro to garnish

Oil, for deep frying

Heat the oil in a kadhai (deep fry pan) and deep fry the okra till they are brown and slightly crispy. Keep aside.

Heat some oil in another pan and add the fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, onion seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida and let them crackle. Add onions, ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and saute till the onions become translucent. Add the turmeric powder, punjabi garam masala, chilli powder, dry mango powder and saute till the raw smell of masalas disappear. Add yoghurt, cream and the fried okra to this mixture and mix well. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Recipe for Punjabi Garam Masala : Dry roast 2 tbsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tbsp caardamom seeds, 1 tbsp pepper corn, 2 tsp coriander seeds, 2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1tsp mace, 1 tsp caraway seeds, 2 bayleaves, 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder till you get an aroma of the spices. Grind them to a fine powder. Add 1 tsp of ginger powder to it and mix well. Seive and store in an airtight container.

Lahori Dal

1 cup masoor dal (split red lentils)
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp chilli powder
1tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp for saute-ing
1/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 tbsp chopped garlic
salt to taste

Clean, wash and soak the masoor dal for half an hour. Drain, add enough water and cook well. Mash the dal well and pour into into a deep pan. Add the garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, butter and cream and cook in low-medium heat. Heat some more butter in another pan and add the cumin seeds and let them crackle. Add the onions and garlic and saute till the raw smell of garlic disappears. Add this to the dal mixture and keep cooking in low-medium heat for a couple of minutes more. Add salt and mix well.

Serve hot achari bhindi and dal with rice or rotis.

I am sending this to the FIC: Yellow Event at Tongue Ticklers by Sunshinemom and also to My Legume Love Affair – seventh helping , started by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted by Srivalli of Cooking 4 all seasons.

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