Archive for December, 2007

A Fond Farewell to 2007

This post comes to you from the beautiful wintertime woods of Northern Michigan, where I am currently enjoying a far-too-brief break complete with bald eagles, woodpeckers galore — and to top it all off — my first-ever sighting of an owl!
The jury is still out on whether it was a barred owl or a great grey 😉

Lovely Nupur of One Hot Stove, a dear friend who is always an inspiration and always ready with an encouraging word, has asked us to search the archives for our “Best of 2007”! Break or no break, I didn’t want to miss it, so here I am in my snowsuit.

I thought this would be a fairly easy task, but in the end it turned into something of a slippery slope. Once I started noting favs, I couldn’t stop!

Here are a just a few of the things I enjoyed about blogging in 2007:

Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables challenged my imagination every week for a spectacular twenty-six weeks.

Lakshmi K’s Regional Cuisines of India took me traveling all over India. A great index page for this ongoing event can be found here.

Bee and Jai, dynamic duo of Jugalbandi, started the popular food photography event Click!; I may have to take a class now!

And of course, there was another fabulous year of Indira’s Jihva For Ingredients, “the original” event, to me, and one which continues to amaze and delight me.

If I had to choose one favorite part of 2007 at Out Of The Garden, I would say without hesitation, it was my long-awaited turn to host Jihva. Toor dal was the theme, and what a party it was! To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. Check out all the fabulous dishes from the bottom of the page here.

More fun that landed on the blog:

amazing agates
amazing agates from Lake Superior

waterline agate
waterline agate close up

black legged kittiwake
black-legged kittiwake over Lake Superior

black tern
black tern at Tuttle Marsh near Oscoda, MI

home canning ~ red tomato chutney, yellow tomato jam, and green tomato pickle

cozy kitties
cozy kitties

redpolls mixing with the usual suspects (goldfinches) at the feeder, December 26, 2007 ~ could this be an irruption year!?

Thanks Nupur, for this great opportunity to look back on 2007! It turned into much more than a foodie-journey for me 🙂

It’s been alot of fun poring over past posts. In doing so, the biggest thing I learned is — at the risk of repeating myself — I have learned so much from all of you!

To each of you who have taken the time to stop and visit, offering encouragement, suggestions, advice, or just a friendly hello, I thank you sincerely.

It is the interaction that makes blogging fun. Without that personal touch, this would be just another site with so many pics of kitties, kids, and khichdi.

I wish you all a wonderful New Year filled with health, happiness and lots of time to go “blog-hopping”!

Comments (26)

The Children Are Nestled…

happy christmas

.. all snug in their beds.

Here’s wishing for peace on earth.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all, a good night! 🙂

Comments (21)

Santa Arrives Early

It’s holiday time and we celebrate a very informal Christmas around here.
Presents are arriving by the truckload (well ok, not a truckload left here,
but the truck BRINGS the presents, so that counts!). 😉

I have to hide presents from the kiddies, but for the *kitties*, presents via mail or UPS means awesome fun in the wrapping! Daisy loves brown paper.
Tonight I played with her using her fav toy, a feather on a string with a bell attached. I call it her jingle-mouse. Here she is, playing with it and a long roll of the brown wrapping paper.

daisy checking it out
daisy chasing jingle-mouse in the paper, just before it jumped out

daisy looking for her toy
daisy looking for her jingle-mouse… she hears it, but where did it go??

I’ll get you my pretty…
playful daisy jumping to get the jingle-mouse

brown paper is such fun!
chasing the jingle-mouse into the paper…
that paper makes such a neat noise, mom! 🙂


Santa came early to me too…. click on the pic to see what I got 🙂

my brand new mixie!
lucky me! a real mixie and idlies are just a flip of the switch away, now 🙂

fluffy and tasty kerala red rice idlies
thank you, santa! light and delicious red rice idlies and mixed veggie sambhar

Comments (24)

Winter Wonderland

We’ve had some snow this week! Last night’s batch had piled up pretty high by this morning, but mild temps this afternoon and evening produced this bubbly effect in the backyard tonight — reminds me of a pancake ready to be turned 😉

pancake snow
pancake snow in the backyard

One morning earlier this week, a great big buck deer wandered out of the little woods back there. I didn’t have the camera to capture him, but today there were some smaller creatures looking for a bite in the windy, sleety storm.

dark-eyed junco
dark-eyed junco ~ snowbird

chickadee sheltered in the arborvitae

keeping warm shelling a sunflower seed

Pass by Menu For Hope for a spot of the good feeling that comes from sharing with those in need 🙂

sleepy kitties
warmth and comfort in the midst of the storm

Comments (12)

JFI: Toor Dal ~ The Roundup! Part 2: N ~ Z

Many many thanks for all of the lovely comments on The Roundup, Part 1!
I will get back and answer them individually now that Part 2 is done.
I am so happy that everyone is enjoying the fabulous Toor Dal Delights
created by so many talented cooks!

I thank you all for your patience and participation! I can’t remember when I had so much fun. Through this tiny legume I have met many new friends, and reconnected with some dear old friends as well.

It’s evident that toor dal is greatly loved! *Ninety-one* wonderful people contributed a total of *127* toor dal delights for JFI.

Each contributor and each dish is very special, and brings me much joy.
I wish I could sample every recipe; it is my honor to present them here.
Special thanks to Indira, creator of Jhiva, for the opportunity 🙂


As with Part 1, the links are set out by contributors’ first name. Photos aren’t clickable this time, but the name of each dish corresponds to the photo above it; clicking on the name will take you to the recipe on the corresponding blog.

At this time I am unable to script this to open links in a new window — so use the back button on your browser to return to this page.

If your first name (or the nickname you blog under) begins with N-Z and you don’t see your entry here, please send me a note at outofthegarden1911 at — as Revathi did, *sorry* Revathi!! You’re in there now! — so I can find it. \
Things got a wee bit busy there toward the deadline 🙂

Don’t forget to see the very special surprise guest contribution at the conclusion of this post — and now without further ado, feast your eyes on Part 2!


Nags’ Beans Parippu Usili

Nags’ Beans Parippu Usili

Nags’ Parippu Rasam

Nags’ Parippu Rasam

Namratha’s Daal Fry

Namratha’s Daal Fry

Namratha’s Vegetable Sambar

Namratha’s Vegetable Sambar

Namratha’s Bisi Bele Bath

Namratha’s Bisi Bele Bath

Namratha’s Cumin Rasam

Namratha’s Cumin Rasam

Namratha’s Obattu

Namratha’s Obattu

Namratha’s Khara Dose

Namratha’s Khara Dose (Spicy Dosas)

Nidhi’s Everyday Dal

Nidhi’s Everyday Dal

Nirmala’s Kanthirikkai Mangai Paruppu

Nirmala’a Kathirikkai Mangai Paruppu

Nupur’s Pumpkin Amti

Nupur’s Pumpkin Amti

Paru’s Togari Bath

Paru’s Togari Bath (Toor Spiced Rice)

Pel’s Puneri Aamti

Pel’s Puneri Aamti

Prema’s Spinach Dal

Prema’s Spinach Dal

Priya’s Gujarati Dal

Priya’s (Food and Laughter) Gujarati Dal

Priya’s Mixed Vegetable Kootu

Priya’s (Sugar and Spices) Mixed Vegetable Kootu

Pushpa’s Mutton and Toor Briyani

Pushpa’s Mutton and Toor Dal Briyani

Raaga’s Adraki Dal

Raaga’s Adraki Dal

Raaga’s Dali Ambat

Raaga’s Dali Ambat

Rajeswari’s Killu Adai

Rajeswari’s Killu Adai ~ Pinched Rice Rotis with Toordhal

Raji’s Mudda Pappu

Raji’s Mudda Pappu

Rajitha’s Keerai Molagutal

Rajitha’s Keerai Spinach Molagutal

Red Chillies’ Steamed Toor Daal Dill Cake

Red Chillies’ Steamed Toor Daal Dill Cake

Remya’s Sorakkai Paruppu Kootu

Remya’s Sorakkai Paruppu Kootu

Renuka’s Papuppu Urundai with Kara Chutney

Reunka’s Paruppu Urundai with Kara Chutney

Revathi’s Red Chard Dal

Revathi’s Red Chard Dal

Revathi’s Sorakai Sambar

Revathi’s Sorakai Sambar

Rina’s Simple Toor Dal

Rina’s Simple Toor Dal

Sagari’s Coconut-Covered Toor Dhal Koftas

Sagari’s Coconut-Covered Toor Dhal Koftas

Saju’s Dal/Dar Ismaili-Style Soup

Saju’s Dal/Dar Ismaili Style Soup


Sandeepa’s Toor Dal Chutney

Saroja’s Spinach Dal

Saroja’s Spinach Dal

Seema’s Sanna Polo (Cabbage Onion Dosa)

Seema’s Sanna Polo (Cabbage Onion Dosa)

Seena’s Kumbalanga Parippy Curry

Seena’s Kumbalanga Parippu Curry (Ash Gourd Dal)

Shivapriya’s Mudda Pappu Tomato Rasam

Shivapriya’s Mudda Pappu Tomato Rasam

Shweta’s Parsi Dhansaak

Shweta’s Parsi Dhansaak

Shyam’s Tur Dal Chutney

Shyam’s Tur Dal Chutney

Shyam’s Tur Dal Mor Kuzhambu

Shyam’s Tur Dal Mor Kuzhambu

Sia’s Fried Okra Dal

Sia’s Fried Okra Dal

Siri’s Dal Dhokadi

Siri’s (Siri’s Corner) Dal Dhokadi

Siri’s Gori Kayi Curry

Siri’s (Siri’s Sapad) Gori Kayi Curry ~ North Karnataka Style

Sivani’s Spinach and Tomato Kandi Pappu

Sivani’s Spinach and Tomato Kandi Pappu

Sreelu’s Raw Mango Dal

Sreelu’s Raw Mango Dal (Pulla Mavidikaya Pappu)

Srivalli’s Toor Dal Podi

Srivalli’s Amma’s Toor Dal Podi

Sukanya’s Paruppu Rasam

Sukanya’s Paruppu Rasam

Sushma’s Methi Rasam

Sushma’s Methi Rasam

Suthi’s Toor Dal Dosa

Suthi’s Toor Dal Dosa

Suthi’s Toor Dal Rice

Suthi’s Toor Dal Rice

Suthi’s Kara Vadai

Suthi’s Kara Vadai

Suthi’s Toor Dhal Masiyal and Toordal Vadai

Suthi’s Toor Dhal Masiyal and Toordal Vadai

Swapna’s Kandi Podi

Swapna’s Kandi Podi (Toor Dal Powder)

Swaps’ Daily Daal

Swaps’ Daily Daal

Thanu’s Toor Dal Dosa

Thanu’s Toor Dal Dosa

TBC’s Methi Dal

The Budding Cook’s Methi Dal

Valli’s Toor Dal Soup with Lemongrass

Valli’s Toor Dal Soup with Lemongrass

Vanamala’s Hirekayi Thove

Vanamala’s Hirekayi Thove

Vani’s Daalithoy

Vani’s Daalithoy

Vijaya’s Kandi Pachadi

Vijaya’s Kandi Pachadi

Vineela’s Kandi Pappu Beans Koora

Vineela’s Kandi Pappu Beans Koora

Zlamuska’s Dal Kootu

Zlamushka’s Dal Kootu

And finally, as promised, the Special Guest Contribution is here.


This is not the end of JFI: Toor Dal. A comprehensive reference page is in the works, and will be available after the New Year. I imagine I’ll have a few more words to say on the subject at that time (oh, I can hear the groans from here 😉 )

And now I pass the JFI Baton to lovely Deepz of Letz Cook, and for JFI January she is featuring Chocolate!! Look out, ’cause she has already made her first entry and it looks great!

Have lots of fun hosting, Deepz 🙂

Comments (31)

JFI: Toor Dal ~ The Roundup! Part 1: A ~ M

Well, guys and gals, here is the first installment of the round up of Jihva for Toor Dal. Rather than separate things out into rasams and sambhars and adais and write a dissertation on how much I love this — and *I do love this*!! —
rather than keep everyone w-a-i-t-i-n-g, I thought I’d just get down to business and get the pics and links up. I will, in the near future, take some more time to organize all entries and make a massive “toor dal” page that we can use for reference. And I’ll save my dissertation for the last 😉

The links are set out by contributors’ first name. The name of each dish corresponds to the photo above it; clicking on the name will take you to the recipe on the corresponding blog. Photos are clickable but won’t take you anywhere 😉

At this time I am unable to script this to open links in a new window — so use the back button on your browser to return to this page.

If your first name (or the nickname you blog under) begins with A-M and you don’t see your entry here, please send me a note at outofthegarden1911 at, so I can find it. Things got a wee bit busy there toward the deadline 🙂

Stay tuned for a very special surprise guest contribution at the conclusion of the round up — in the meantime, feast your eyes on Part 1!


Anita’s Naniwali Daal

Anita’s Naniwali Daal

Aparna’s Beans Parippu Usili

Aparna’s Beans Parippu Usili

Apu’s Dal Chawal

Apu’s Dal-Chawal

Asha’s Toor and Chana Dal Chutney

Asha’s Toor and Chana Dal Chutney

Asha’s Dal and Dill Dumplings in Tomato Gravy

Asha’s Dal and Dill Dumplings in Tomato Gravy

Asha’s Madras Onion Sambhar

Asha’s Pearl Onion Sambhar

Asha’s Toor Dal Masale Dose

Asha’s Toor Dal Masale Dose

Ashu and Hubby’s Daily Dal

Ashu and Hubby’s Daily Dal

Ashwini’s Fresh Tuvar Upkari

Ashwini’s Fresh Tuvar Upkari

Bee and Jai’s Toor Dal Adai with Amaranth

Bee and Jai’s Toor Dal Adai with Amaranth

Bee and Jai’s Toor Dal Dhoklas with Amaranth

Bee and Jai’s Toor Dal Dhoklas with Amaranth

Bhags’ Masala Dal Tadka

Bhags’ Masala Dal Tadka

Bharathy’s Nandan Parippu

Bharathy’s Nadan Parippu Curry

Bindiya’s Rosematta Rice with Lemon Sambhar

Bindiya’s Rosematta Rice with Lemon Sambhar

Chandrika’s Toor Upma

Chandrika’s Toor Upma

Carnation’s Toor Dal Salad

Carnation’s Toor Dal Salad

Dhivya’s Toor Dal Koftas in Spinach Sauce

Dhivya’s Toor Dal Koftas in Spinach Sauce

Easy Crafts’ Paruppu Podi

Easy Crafts’ Paruppu Podi

Easy Crafts’ Medhu Vada

Easy Crafts’ Medhu Vada

Eskay’s Toor Dal Soup with Chicken

Eskay’s Toor Dal Soup with Chicken

Evolving Tastes’ *That* Methi Dal

Evolving Tastes’ “That” Methi Dal

Gayathri’s Eggplant Rasavangy
Gayathri’s Eggplant Rasavangy

Happy Cook’s Sambar

Happy Cook’s Sambar

Indian Recipes’ Arisiym Parupu Satham

Indian Recipes’ Arisiym Parupu Satham

Indian Recipes’ Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Indian Recipe’s Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Indira’s Bisi Bele Huli Anna

Indira’s Bisi Bele Huli Anna

Indira’s Fresh Tuvar and Turai

Indira’s Fresh Tuvar and Turai

Indira’s Fragrant Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar

Indira’s Fragrant Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar

Indira’s Simply Boiled Kandulu ~ Andhra Snack

Indira’s Simply Boiled Kandulu ~ Andhra Snack

Indira’s Kanadula Kura with Potatoes

Indira’s Kandula Kura with Potatoes

Indosungod’s Green Toor Dal with Chinese Potato

IndoSunGod’s Green Toor Dal with Chinese Potato

Indosungod’s Tori Ambat

IndoSunGod’s Tori Ambat

Jayashree’s Cabbage Milagoottal

Jayashree’s Cabbage Milagoottal

Jayashree’s Ulli Sambar

Jayashree’s Ulli Sambar

Jayashree’s Parippu Vada

Jayashree’s Parippu Vada

Jayashree’s Pavakka Pitlai

Jayashree’s Pavakka Pitlai

Kalva’s Beerakaya Kandi Pappu Kura

Kalva’s Beerakaya Kandi Pappu Kura

Laavanya’s Sambhar

Laavanya’s Sambhar

Laavanya’s Beans Paruppu Usili

Laavanya’s Beans Paruppu Usili

Lakshmi G.’s Holige Saaru

Lakshmi G.’s Holige Saaru

Latha and Lakshmi’s Thalara Karamedu

Latha N. and Lakshmi’s Thalara Karamedu

Latha N.’s Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Latha N.’s Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Latha N.’s Bise Bele Huli Anna

Latha N.’s Bise Bele Huli Anna

Latha N.’s Kadambam

Latha N.’s Kadambam

Latha N.’s Boli

Latha N.’s Boli (Ubbattu)

Latha’s Traditional Adai with Chutney

Latha’s Traditional Adai with Chutney

Linda’s Coorgi-style Toor Dal Gravy

Linda’s Coorgi-Style Toor Dal Gravy

Madhavi’s Methi Tomato Dal

Madhavi’s Methi Tomato Dal

Madhoo’s Toor Dal with Fenugreek Seeds

Madhoo’s Toor Dal with Fenugreek Seeds

Madhu’s Bread and Bhaji with Toor Dal

Madhu’s Bread and Bhaji with Toor Dal

Manasi’s Bangalore Rasam

Manasi’s Bangalore Rasam

Mandira’s Spicy Toor Dal Fry

Mandira’s Spicy Toor Dal Fry

Manisha’s Sambhar with Eyes Closed (One Pot Sambhar)

Manisha’s Sambhar With Eyes Closed (One Pot Sambhar)

Mansi’s Badam Halwa (Sheero) with Toor Dal

Mansi’s Badam Halwa (Sheero) with Toor Dal Twist

Maya’s Toor Dal Paayas

Maya’s Toor Dal Paayas

Meera’s Gujarati Puran Poli

Meera’s Gujarati Puran Poli

Meera’s Daali Ambat

Meera’s Daali Ambat

Meera’s Toor Daal Ross

Meera’s Toor Daal Ross

Meera’s Malvani-style Daalichi Amti

Meera’s Malvani-Style Daalichi Amti

Meera’s Parsi Dal

Meera’s Parsi Dal

Menu Today’s Paruppu Urundai Kulambu

Menu Today’s Paruppu Urundai Kulambu

Menu Today’s Parippu Urundai Morkulambu

Menu Today’s Paruppu Urundai Morkulambu

Menu Today’s Keerai Vadai

Menu Today’s Keerai Vadai (Spinach Vada)

Miri’s Paruppu and Rasam Podis

Miri’s Paruppu and Rasam Podis

Mona’s Mitthi Dal

Mona’s Mitthi Dal

Mythreyee’s Toor Dal Adai

Mythreyee’s Toor Dal Adai

Comments (39)

Sunday Sneak Preview

Thought I’d post a little sneak preview of dal delights to come while I’m working
on organizing these *fantabulous* toor dal dishes ~ supper anyone?

YUM!! 🙂

Comments (11)

Toor Dal Gravy in Coorg Style

alotta toor dal!
I took Richa’s advice to heart and got this stored right away ~
luckily it fit nicely into my big airtight toor dal canister

I would like to send a great big thank you to everyone who has participated in
Jihva for Toor Dal! I am so excited about the great variety of recipes that are waiting to be rounded up! You all are the best 🙂

Tomorrow (or today, now — Friday December 7) is last call for
JFI: Toor Dal, with contributions accepted up until midnight.

Of course, anyone who knows me also knows that I am the one always
‘just under the wire’ with my entries for the various events!
I am the last one to be a stickler.
So don’t be shy, a little late is better than never 🙂

For Jihva, an adaptation of mudare kannie, a traditional recipe from
Manavattira Sharada Mandana, who writes in detail about traditional
Coorg cooking at

Toor Dal Gravy in Coorg Style

For the dal:

1 c cooked toor dal, on the thin side (cooked with extra water)
2 TB thick tamarind pulp

For the paste:

1 TB coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp methi seeds
1/4 tsp peppercorns
1/4 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 small red onion
6 cloves garlic (or 1 TB garlic paste)

For the tadka:

2 tsp canola oil (or oil and ghee mix)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 curry leaves
2-3 dried red chillies
1/2 small red onion, cut in thin strips

For finishing:

Salt and chilli powder to taste


Heat the thin dal in a small saucepan over med-low flame, and add the tamarind. Cook and stir until the mixture thickens and bubbles like porridge.

Meanwhile, roast the dry spices. Cool and grind with the onion and garlic and 2-3 TB water to make a smooth paste.

Add this paste to the thickening dal and stir well.

In a small pan heat the oil or oil/ghee over med-high flame. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard splutters, add the cut onion and dried chillies and reduce heat to med-low. When onion is translucent, pour the tadka over the dal gravy and stir well.

Cover and cook 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Before serving, add and, if you need more heat, chilli powder to taste.


For this recipe, I only changed one ingredient — and my guess is it was the most important one — the dal! The original recipe calls for horse gram, and after tasting this with toor dal, I will certainly try it with kollu as well.

The original instructions as written by Manavattira Sharada Mandana
say the following:

“Cool well and bottle this mudare kanni, can keep out of fridge for a month – preferably keep in fridge if you need to keep for longer time.

Goes well with hot rice and ghee.”

toor dal in coorg style

It’s amazing what happens when I follow the directions. I used my measuring spoons and I paid attention to the instructions — two things I often don’t bother to do 🙂

The result? The gravy was so good that I literally stood at the stove spooning it out of the pan. I am lucky there was any left to photograph.
Rice? Who needs rice… 😉

I am sending this plate of Coorg-style gravy to vacationing Asha on her anniversary — Happy Anniversary Asha and Arvind! 🙂

Comments (21)

Trial and Error, at Jihva Time

No, not Nabeela’s delightful blog! Just my own kitchen.

I am busy trying new things for JFI: Toor Dal. And between work and kids, I don’t have a minute to spare to clear off the counter and make a nice place for a photo.

Do you ever think you’re the only one with a slightly cluttered and not-quite-perfect countertop on which to photo your wonderful creations?

Considering some of the gorgeous kitchens out there, I may be the *only* one with a cluttered countertop! In the spirit of Jihva (which I understand is an emotion more than a motion ~~ ie: moving the mail and kids’ papers and yesterdays clean dishes waiting to be put away just so I can photo next toor dal dish is motion rather than Emotion! 🙂 )

… and perhaps encouragement to anyone who, like me, takes pics for fun can’t always clear the counter when the real food-mood inspiration strikes, here’s a look at my REAL counter, alot of which is cut off when I take pics for my blog 😉

my messy counter
my messy counter ~ complete with bananas, Thanksgiving silver yet to be relegated to the dining room ~ recipes hastily scribbled on index cards, and a big bag of toor dal, 10 lbs for $11, what a bargain!

Still time to post your toor dal recipe, something old or something new, something borrowed with credit given where credit is due 🙂
Deadline for entries to JFI: Toor Dal is December 7.

Come along and join in! 🙂

Comments (10)

Toor Dal Party ~ Come One Come All

toor dal party
toor dal party!

There is still time to post something for JFI: Toor Dal!

Cook something new, or choose an old fav from your archives.
All are welcome, right up until December 7
(little late deadline for busy time of year).

And a great big thank you to those of you who have already contributed 🙂

There are lots of fantastic dishes waiting for the round up coming mid-December. Above are a few of my own entries. See if any inspirational chefs recognize their recipes in Nana’s dishes! 🙂

Comments (25)

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