Lentils with Lady’s Fingers

Lentil soup has been kind of a staple diet since childhood. My mom used to prepare lentil soup everyday, along with other dishes. It was kind of compulsory to finish it and to be honest sometimes I hated it! It’s not that I hated the dish itself, in fact I liked it, but this everyday routine had probably made it boring!

But after I left my hometown, I used to miss the dish and it was then that I learnt how to make a simple lentil soup. It never turned out as tasty as mom’s, but I was quite happy with it back then 🙂 I’ve been making the soup every now and then at home here in Singapore, but  the simple soup recipe became kind of monotonous again! I was thinking the other day how I could twist the recipe to make it a little interesting while still keeping it healthy. So I cooked the lentil soup into a thick consistency and tossed in some stir fried lady’s fingers (okra) into the mix.

I loved the color of the dish too… yellow with some green and garnished it with some red… perfect!!!

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Preparation Time: 25 minutes (excluding the time taken to boil the lentils)

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

Cooking oil – 3.5 tablespoons

Yellow lentil (moong dal) – around 1/2 cup, boiled in 3 cups of water. Do not drain the excess water after boiling.

Lady finger (okra) – around 80 g, cut into small rings

Onion – 1 large, chopped

Garlic – 5 cloves, chopped

Green chili – 3, cut horizontally into two halves

Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida powder (Heeng) – 1 teaspoon

Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon

Paprika  –  2 teaspoons to garnish (optional)

A dollop of butter

Salt – to taste

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Step 1: Heat 3 tablespoons of oil a U-shaped pan. Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, asafoetida powder (heeng) and cumin powder. Stir for few seconds.

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Step 2: Add 2/3rd of the chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Add the lady’s finger (okra) and cook for around 8 minutes until they are soft and almost cooked. Make sure you stir every 30-40 seconds, else the lady finger (okra) may burn easily. Add salt for taste. Transfer to a dish and keep aside.

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Step 3: Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan and the remaining chopped onion. Add the garlic and green chili and cook for 1-2 minutes.

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Step 4: Add the lentils (with the water) and let it cook for a minute.

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Step 5: Add the fried lady’s finger and mix well. Let it cook until you have a very thick consistency. Check salt for taste.

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Step 6: Transfer to a serving bowl. Add a dollop of butter at the center and sprinkle some paprika to garnish. Serve hot with bread or rice.

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Vegetables in a Creamy Coconut Sauce

Cooking vegetables is always something which gets me thinking…. what should I cook it with? With meat it has always been very easy to think and implement. I have always been running away from cooking and eating vegetables, as I always prefer meat 😉

But after I prepared this dish, it actually didn’t seem so tough with vegetables either. I decided to use coconut cream and I was right! It was so easy to cook and it gave the perfect taste! The dish reflects the taste of the coastal Indian cuisine, as coconut cream is widely used for most of the dishes there.

If you’re looking for some quick Indian yummy vegetarian recipe, I would definitely say… Go for it! 🙂

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Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

Cooking Oil – 3 tablespoons

Potato – 4 medium, boiled, skinned and cut into small cubes

Cauliflower – 300 g, cut into small pieces

Spring Onion – 11 sticks, chopped into 1 cm long pieces

Tomato – 1 large, cut into quarters

Onion – 1 large, sliced

Ginger – Grated, 2 teaspoons

Green Chili – 3, chopped

Coconut Cream – 200 ml

Cumin – 1 teaspoon

Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder  – 1 to 2 teaspoons

Chili powder – 1 teaspoon

Five spice powder (Garam Masala) – 1 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

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Step 1: Heat oil in a wok or U shaped pan. Add cumin powder.

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Step 2: Add the onion and turmeric powder and fry for around 3 to 4 minutes.

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Step 3: Add the cauliflower and green chili and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is half cooked.

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Step 4: Add the spring onions and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the boiled potatoes and tomatoes. Stir for 2 minutes.

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Step 5: Add the coconut cream. Cook for 5 minutes or so until it has mixed well with all the vegetables. Add salt for taste.

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Step 6: Add the five spice and give it a stir. Serve hot with rice or bread.

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A few tips:

  • Feel free to add vegetables of your choice to this dish.
  • You can add a little tamarind sauce to give a tangy taste to the dish.
  • I used the light coconut cream for this dish. You can use the same as a healthier choice.