Serving
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Malabar Spinach with Dal
India - Andhra
  -   Bachala kura Pappu
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead  
4  
**
1-1/4 hr  
Yes
Malabar Spinach and Dal are a very common combination in southern India. This recipe is excelent and can also serve as a side dish for Western cuisine. Do read all the notes before getting started - and mention to your less experienced guests that the curry leaves (if used) are not edible. This dish is also made with Masoor Dal (red lentils).





7
3/4
5
1
1/4
1/8
1/2
2
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4
2
1
1
7
2
1/2
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1
1/2
tt
oz
c
oz

in
t
t
c
---
cl

t
t

t
t
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T
c
Malabar Spinach (1)  
Toor Dal (2)
Onion
Chili Serrano (3)
Ginger
Turmeric
Salt
Water
-- Tadka
Garlic
Chili, red (4)
Cumin Seed
Urad Dal (5)
Curry Leaves (6)
Oil
Mustard Seed
-- Finish
Tamarind paste (7)
Water
Salt
Prep     -   (10 min)
  1. Chop MALABAR SPINACH coarse.
  2. Check DAL for foreign objects and rinse.
  3. Peel ONION and chop small. Split CHILI lengthwise into quarters. Do not scrape out the seeds unless you really feel you need to. Slice GINGER very thin and chop fine. Mix all.
Run   -   (65 minutes)
  1. In a roomy saucepan, place Dal, Spinach and Onion mix along with Turmeric, Salt and 2 cups Water, Bring to a boil uncovered (so it doesn't foam over), then cover and simmer slowly until Dal is just short of done - about 55 minutes.
  2. Crush GARLIC with the side of your prep knife. Cap CHILIS and spill out loose seeds. Mix together all Tadka items except Oil and Mustard Seed.
  3. In an iron skillet, heat Oil. Stir in Mustard Seeds and fry stirring until they are popping well, then stir in all Tadka items. Fry stirring for about 15 to 30 seconds until the urad and chilis darken a bit, then pour into the finished Dal and give it a stir.
  4. Stir in Tamarind Paste and 1/2 cup Water. Simmer uncovered for 7 to 10 minutes or until you get the consistency you want. In India it would be cooked to mush, but around here we like a little more texture.
  5. Check salt and serve with steamed rice (this is southern India so Thai Jasmine rice is good). Some suggest serving a stir fry along with it.
NOTES:
  1. Malabar Spinach:   [Mong Toi, Saan Choy]   Weight is for leaves and tender tips after removing large stems, because steminess can vary, but around here it'll be about 14 ounces with stems. For details see our Malabar Spinach page.
  2. Toor Dal:   Also called Tur Dal, Red Gram and various other names - it is one of the most common dals used in India. It is split and peeled pigeon peas.
  3. Chili Serrano:   Indian chilis are scarce even here in Los Angeles - most Indian groceries stock Serranos. These are hotter than most Indian chilis and around here they've become rather large, so I suggest just one - adjust as you desire. For details see our Chili Page.
  4. Chili, Red:   Use small dried red chilis according to your best judgement. The common Japones will be quite mild, Arabols less so and Thai a bit spicy. For details see our Chili Page.
  5. Urad Dal:   This very white dal is split and peeled black urad beans (gram dal). In India they are used both in bean dishes and a very common ingredient in tadkas, so are easily available in Indian markets. If you don't have them they can be omitted without greatly changing the recipe. For details see our Urad Bean page .
  6. Curry Leaves   These fresh leaves are necessary for the true flavor of southern India, and are now reasonably available in Indian markets, at least here in California. Dried ones aren't of much use. If you don't have them you will have to leave them out - there is no acceptable substitute. Use caution with how many you use, because some people don't like the resinous taste. For details see our Curry Leaves page.
  7. Tamarind:   If your Tamarind is concentrate in a jar, use 1 T, or if it's block use about 1 T, soak and strain. If you don't have tamarind use 2 t lemon juice - not the same, but it's something. For details see our Tamarind page.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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