Archive for June 30, 2006

Jihva for Dal (part two) ~ The Tradition

Ingredients for Indira's Sweet Pongal

Ingredients for Indira’s Traditional Sweet Pongal

Jihva for ingredients

This recipe needs no introduction.

Indira’s Sweet Pongal, The Sankranthi Sweet

Told in brief ~ please see Indira’s Recipe for details.

I have wanted to make this for some time, and Jihva for Dal seemed the perfect opportunity. I followed Indira’s excellent, detailed instructions with two minor exceptions ~ I used four whole crushed cardamom pods and added them at the beginning, while cooking the rice and dal. Also, I used a pot on the stove rather than rice cooker or pressure cooker.

The rich aroma of moong dal toasting in ghee brought even my skeptical teenagers wafting into the kitchen to see what crazy mom was up to this evening 🙂

Fresh Milk, Jaggery, Cashews and Golden Raisins

Fresh milk and jaggery in Michigan pattern glass, cashews and golden raisins


Although I followed the directions *to the letter* …

Indira's Traditional Sweet Pongal

…mine doesn’t look near as good as Indira’s! Imagine that 🙂

My attempt at Sweet Pongal is my small tribute to the delights of traditional Indian cooking, and my second entry to Jihva for Dal. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things everyone else is cooking up!

Comments (13)

Jihva for Dal (part one) ~ The Trial

Chana Dal

Golden Chana Dal in Colonial aka Knife and Fork glass by Hocking, circa 1934

Jihva for ingredients


Jihva for Dal is particularly enjoyable for me. Actually, dal is responsible for the most fun I’ve had in some time, in the kitchen and on the internet: playing at blogging.

Back in January, I began to seriously toy (hmm.. sounds like an oxymoron!) with the idea of becoming vegetarian. I knew about beans/legumes and rice as a quality form of protein (thanks to Laurel’s Kitchen phase way back when). I had tasted dal in restaurants, and wanted to learn to cook it myself. Google “authentic dal recipe” sometime and see what results you find. I landed at Mahanandi; from there the links took over and I was hooked on Indian home-cooking.

Since then, I’ve met a kind, generous group of people who have offered advice and encouragement as well as fabulous food! I feel humbled on my daily blog-run; there is so much talent out there and you all share so willingly. I offer my heartfelt thanks for sharing with me.

On with the recipe!


Buttery Cilantro Poha with Crunchy Chana Dal
(a first attempt at poha)

1-2 TB butter

1/2 cup thick poha
1/4 cup chana dal

1 TB mustard seeds
5-6 fresh curry leaves
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small carrot, cubed
1 bunch cilantro, stems included, rinsed and cut fine
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
1/4 tsp salt

Ingredients for Cilantro Poha with Chana Dal

Clockwise from bottom: carrots, chana dal, cilantro, onion. Curry leaf in center.


Rinse thick poha well and leave to soften in strainer 30-60 min.

Heat butter in a medium-sized pan over low heat. When foamy, add chana dal and cook slowly, 5-10 min, until golden brown. Raise heat to med-high. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard pops, add chopped onion, carrot, and cilantro. Reduce heat to low and cook 5-10 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. Add poha, chili powder, lime juice and salt. Stir well, cover the pan, and allow to cook 10-15 minutes.

Adjust seasoning before serving.

Interest in poha and the taste of crunchy chana dal in tadka/temperings gave me the idea for this ~ my first entry to July’s Jihva for Dal graciously hosted by Sailu of Sailu’s Food.


Cilantro Poha with Chana Dal

The Trial ~ Buttery Cilantro Poha with Crunchy Chana Dal

Comments (5)

%d bloggers like this: