Grindless AFAM With a Few Dates, a Persimmon, and Notalotta Toor Dal Gravy

A jumbled-up multiple-event post, to mirror my life of late — also jumbled-up with multiple events!

All in the mad-dash runup to Thanksgiving, I was trying to keep in mind the three things I wanted to cook for:

RCI: Bihar — hosted by lovely Sangeeta, event hostess with the mostess, who also had us over for JFI: Eggplant, yum πŸ™‚

(Ok, whew! made it to RCI: Bihar in time!)

AFAM: Dates — hosted by talented Chandrika,
whose photography I salivate over πŸ™‚


Grindless Gravies — for dear Sra, whose keen dry wit I admire so much πŸ™‚
(see ISG’s Grindless Gravy post and comments) πŸ˜‰

These, and I had Thanksgiving dinner, the only *big* holiday celebration in my home for multitude of folks — musn’t neglect that!

And of course all the while, there is JFI — and my very own turn, Jihva for Toor Dal!
I have been so happy about this, wanting to cook every entry that has been sent thus far! Day and night, I couldn’t stop thinking about toor dal — ’till one morning I found myself wanting to toss some toor dal into a bowl of cottage cheese and sprinkle some sambhar powder, just to see how that would taste.

I may be slightly obsessed πŸ˜‰

So I hope Chandrika and Sra will forgive my inclusion of toor dal in my entries for their events — for Sangeeta’s I managed to get away without a drop in the khichdi.


First up, for AFAM: Dates!

toor dal chutney
toor dal chutney with dates and persimmon

Toor Dal Chutney with Dates and Persimmon
inspired by Shyam and Indira

1 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 dry red (kashmiri) chiles
1/2 c onion, chopped
1/2 c dates, chopped
1 ripe persimmon, peeled and diced
1 fistful toor dal, washed (about 1/3 c)
1/4 – 1/2 c water

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over med-high and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the chiles and reduce heat to medium.
Stir a minute until the chiles darken, then add chopped onion. Fry a few minutes till onion begins to color, then add dates, persimmon, and dal.
Stir and fry again for 2-3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and add the water, couple of tablespoons at a time. Allow mixture to steam nearly dry before adding more water. The dal should be softened but not cooked through — about ten minutes should do. Stir in a little salt, remove pan from the heat and allow cool.

Grind the mixture using only as much water as needed for a medium-thick consistency. We don’t want to grind the dal to bits.

Taste for salt and serve chutney warm or room temperature, with dosa, idlies, potato upma as I did, or perhaps just a spoon πŸ˜‰

toor dal chutney and potatoΒ upma
savory late night supper ~ spicy toor dal chutney with potato upma


Then for Grindless Gravies!

potato, onion and toor dal
chopped onion, diced potato, and washed toor dal ~ makings of a grindless gravy

Grindless Potato Sambhar Gravy
inspired by my lack of concentration the other night
when making sambhar with far too much water

for grindless gravy

1 fistful toor dal (about 1/3 c), washed
2 big potatoes, diced roughly (preferably russets)
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 small lump (about 2 TB) soft tamarind paste
(not the hard imli block, but similarly packaged soft paste or use tamcon)
1 small lump jaggery
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
3-4 c water

for tadka

1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp cumin seed
2 dried red (kashmiri) chiles
5-6 curry leaves

secret ingredient
1-2 tsp ISG’s Magic Sambhar Powder

Salt to taste


Pressure cook the grindless gravy ingredients about 10-12 minutes. Let the pressure come down on its own, and when safe, open the cooker and mash the mixture with a potato masher to nearly smooth. Try to leave some chunks of potato.

Return pan to the heat and add secret ingredient and salt to taste. Simmer 5-10 minutes. The potato should break down almost totally, making a lovely thick (grindless) gravy.
If it’s too thick, add a little water — if too thin, simmer a little longer.
When the consistency is just as you desire, hold aside and…

In a small pan, heat the oil and do the tadka, adding chiles and curry leaves after mustard and cumin pop.

Pour tadka over the hot potato gravy and cover for a few minutes.

Serve hot with a dollop of ghee (if you like your gravy plain) or serve over any rice or vegetable of your choice. Roasted or steamed cauliflower is a great side dish to mix in with the grindless gravy (with hardly any toor dal!) πŸ™‚

potato sambhar with notalotta toorΒ dal
grindless potato sambhar gravy (with hardly any toor dal!)

Thank you ladies, one and all, for getting my creative kitchen juices flowing. Both these dishes will be regulars in my kitchen from now on!

I will be sending the entries properly in a day or two πŸ™‚


  1. Indira said

    “till one morning I found myself wanting to toss some toor dal into a bowl of cottage cheese and sprinkle some sambhar powder, just to see how that would taste.”

    I laughed out loud reading your words, Linda.
    I have never seen a toor dal chutney with persimmon and dates before, I think this recipe should be named after you. “Linda’s Toor dal Chutney”.:)
    Looks very tempting, particularly with upma.
    Ofcourse, the grindless gravy, now who can resist that?:)
    You totally rock! πŸ™‚

    Thank you Indira — I laughed out loud too at that cottage cheese episode. Maybe paneer sambhar? Oh, that would be too awful πŸ™‚ So glad you liked these creations! That chutney was totally inspired by your persimmon posts. Oh, and dad called tonight — he loved his cake! πŸ™‚

  2. Srivalli said

    are we not innovative here!! dishes linda…the way you have written the recipe details with tadka and imli..makes one think you are Indian but then whats in a nationality…what matters is where the heart is…kudos to your passion for Indian cuisine!…gets us so inspired!

    Thank you Sri, for your kind encouraging words — you all inspire me every day! πŸ™‚

  3. sra said

    You admire my wit? Hey, you’re in, toor dal or not πŸ˜€
    Seriously, thanks for ‘studying’ the rules πŸ˜‰ and entering the event. And your toor dal chutney with persimmon and dates must be a first! I’ve only eaten an unripe persimmon {yuck} and can’t imagine its real taste.

    I had never tasted one before, either, Sra. First one I peeled was not ripe and nearly frightened me to bits. After being a little patient, the second one was divine! I highly suggest a second chance for persimmon πŸ™‚ Looking forward to your round up!

  4. Nupur said

    “slightly obsessed”…ya think?! πŸ˜€ I’m only kidding; everything here is making me crave a big dinner (and it is 6:18 am). I think that blue bowl says it all…brrr…and mmm πŸ™‚ what terrific comfort food!

    The blue bowl is saying it all tonight, Nupur! It’s freezing here, coldest day of the year. Your winter blues post at Daily Tiffin really hit the spot. And yes I am totally obessed. Not ashamed, nope πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your kind words πŸ™‚

  5. Asha said

    Cool chutney!! Toor dal and dates, must try that and Uppittu looks delicious too.Becoming a pucca Indian, are we?;D
    Enjoy,see you in 2 weeks. Be warm and take care.

    It’s all that hanging around FH and Aroma, Asha!! πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for the encouragement πŸ™‚ The chutney was a pleasant surprise spur-of-the-moment idea. Sometimes those turn out well! Hope you have a fantabulous 2 weeks off. I’ll miss you, my friend! Hugs πŸ™‚

  6. indosungod said

    Linda, never tried toor dal chutney with persimmon and dates, but that looks delicious and the upma gorgeous. Toor dal (less) potato gravy looks delicious too, a great side for rotis. Kitchen mishaps sometimes lead to new tasty dishes which become favorites then passed down over the generations, now I am the one getting carried away πŸ™‚

    Thanks ISG — please get carried away any time at all! Especially when you’re making all those yummy green toor dishes… I can’t wait to get another bag of frozen green toor! And I agree that mishaps can turn a happy corner, too πŸ™‚

  7. sandeepa said

    Hey I should have seen this before, made atoor dal chutney for you too πŸ™‚ Shall post it today, today is the last date right ?

    It’s Dec 7 actually, Sandeepa, but I’m glad you thought it was today so I got to see your yummy chutney that much sooner! Thanks alot and I’m heading out for avocado now πŸ˜‰

  8. rahin said

    hey wht an array of reciepes, cant wait to try them out πŸ™‚

    Just wait for JFI Toor Dal round up, Rahin. Would welcome your own contribution if you’ve the time and inclination! Lots of dal coming up, stay tuned! πŸ™‚

  9. simpleanddelicious said

    wonderful, liked potato upma with dal chutney..:)

  10. maheswari said

    Hey nice entires for all the events.That’s a chutney i never heard before…
    hope to try it out soon…looks delicious..

    Thank you Maheswari — glad you liked! πŸ™‚

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