November 17, 2014

Palakura Pappu with Methi

Pappu/Dal is one of the quitessentials from Andhra Pradesh, south-eastern state of India. Simply put, an Andhra meal is not complete without pappu. Pappu refers to a thick stew usually prepared with toor dal/pigeon peas with/without vegetables and is a ready source of proteins in a mostly vegetarian diet. Some of the very popular "Pappu" varieties from Andhra are thotakura (amaranth) pappu, menthikura (fenugreek leaves) pappu, palakura (spinach) pappu, dosakaya (yellow cucumber) pappu, tomato pappu, beerakaya (ridge gourd) pappu, sorakaya (bottle gourd) pappu. The basic idea of making a classic pappu is very simple & straight-forward - just pressure cook pigeon dal along with vegetables, whichever that you are using and finish it off by garnishing with tempering/tadka.

This recipe is a mix of palakura pappu and menthikura pappu as I am using both spinach & methi here. Andhra cuisine is famous for its bold & spicy flavors and this recipe also has a bright sour and spicy note going on. Traditionally, tamarind (gooseberry sized) is used for sourness, but here I 've replaced it with lime juice. Incase you want to use tamarind, pressure cook tamarind in 1/4 cup of water along with pigeon peas but in a separate compartment and then, mash it up along with the dal. If you love spicy food, you can add upto 2 tsp of chilli powder, but I recommend halving it for kids. 

Tadka is an important part of making pappu. Simply put, pappu is incomplete without tadka. Hing and cumin seeds adds a wonderful aroma & flavor especially when using greens.

Pappu tastes great with rice. Place a cup of steaming hot rice on a plate, generously pour 3-4 ladles of hot pappu on top, drizzle a teaspoon or two of ghee atop pappu, mix & eat - "Comfort food at its best" - nothing can beat a simple home-made Andhra pappu!

Basic Info
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 15 mins
Cook time - 45 mins
Serves - 3-4

1 cup Toor dal/ Pigeon peas
1 small Onion, chopped
1 small Tomato, chopped
3 packed cups of Spinach, roughly chopped
1 packed cup of Methi / Fenugreek leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilli powder
handful of chopped Cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
Salt to taste
2 tsp Oil

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
3/4 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Channa dal
1 tsp Urad dal
2-3 dry red Chillies
1/2 tsp Hing powder
1 sprig of Curry leaves

Pressure cook toor dal in 2.5 cups of water along with turmeric powder, chopped onion, tomatoes & spinach for upto 4 whistles. Let it cool.

Slightly mash the dal with the back of a ladle and transfer it to a pan. Add chopped methi, red chilli powder, salt and cook until the raw smell of red chilli powder is gone. Add more water if required and adjust the consistency of dal. Remove from heat.

Heat 2 tsp of oil and add all of the items given under "Tadka" one after the other in the given order. Wait for the mustard seeds to splutter before adding cumin seeds. Rest of the ingredients needs to be roasted until crisp and fragrant.

Add tadka to the cooked dal along with chopped cilantro and lime juice. Mix well and serve hot!

Note: This recipe can be easily made with just any one type of greens too!

1 comment :

  1. Lovely recipe - I've not yet cooked methi and spinach together with dal, should give it a try!