Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vegetable Dhansak

I work to earn and earn to consume.  So if I worked less, I would earn less and hence consume less.  Would I be happier if I worked less?  Definitely yes!  Would I be happier if I earned less?  I think probably not.  Would I be happier if I consumed less?  Not sure yet. 

I am not a lazy person.  I would work less at the work place, but would instead dedicate more time perhaps in my kitchen, meeting more people and maybe even undertake a service project for the community.  Since I would work less, I would have more time with the family, would not require a maid anymore and all sickness associated with work like stress would disappear.  My work-life balance would be perfect – or I at least hope so near perfect.  If I earned less, it means I would have to be more careful spending money on whims.  I would not starve or be homeless.  I would only be able to afford the necessities in life – not the luxuries. Then why are some decisions so difficult in life when we already know what is the right thing to do?

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4


55 grams split pigeon peas (tuvar dal)
30 grams red lentils (masur dal)
30 grams mung beans (moong dal)
15 grams field beans (val dal)
30 grams bengal gram dal (chana dal)
55 grams red onions
115 grams red pumpkin
1 cup fresh or frozen fenugreek leaves
115 grams potatoes
A sprig of mint
1 cup coriander leaves
1 green chili
1 dried red chili
2" piece ginger
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
15 grams dry coconut
1 garlic pod
½ teaspoon black pepper powder.
½ teaspoon turmeric
115  grams tomatoes
115 grams egg plant
15 grams sweet potato
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ tablespoon sambhar masala
½ teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons corn oil
Salt to taste


  1. Cut vegetables and chop half the onions.  
  2. Pick and wash all the beans/dals.  
  3. Chop the coriander and mint leaves and the chili.  
  4. Roast and grind the red chilies, cumin seeds and dried coconut to a fine paste and keep this aside for later.   
  5. Grind ginger and garlic.  
  6. Into a pan put the ginger, garlic, dals, cut vegetables, chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves, green chili, turmeric and pepper powder.  Add enough water and let it cook.  This can also be pressure cooked.  
  7. When the dal is cooked, add the tomatoes and salt.  
  8. Sieve the dal through a soup strainer.  
  9. In a separate vessel, heat the oil.   
  10. Fry the remaining chopped onions, ground spices and sambhar masala and garam masala and fry this for a few minutes till the onions turn translucent.  
  11. Now add the dal mixture to this.  If dal is too thick, make it thin with more water.  
  12. When it boils, take off flame and serve with fried rice.
This is how the mixture looks after it has been pressure cooked

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