Dride Beans, Peas and Lentils


          India, a land rich in dry beans, peas and lentils, supplies to its general; populous a diet high in protein, minerals, vitamins and fiber.  These beans, peas and lentils are classified as legumes, i.e., plants having pods with edible seeds used fresh or dried.  Dried legumes can be stored whole or split, and when split they are called dals.  The word dal has a common connotation for all Indians, meaning a soup-like preparation made from any leguminous plant.  Dal is generally served with Indian bread or rice, and sometimes it is eaten straight from the bowl as soup.

          Legumes are enjoyed by everyone because of its nutty taste and soft texture and occupy a very prominent place in Indian cuisine because of its low cost and high nutritive value.  If the meals are properly supplemented with complementary proteins, one could get a well-balanced diet inexpensively.  Realizing this, people starts including them in their daily meals.  Their flavorful,. Delicious and versatile quality led to the creation of countless recipes thus enriching the vegetarian cooking with its wonderful varieties.  Dried beans,. Peas and lentils are cooked as a vegetable or with vegetables and sometimes combined with protein foods to make a main dish,. Or a side dish like a dip.  Legumes are cooked in many different ways by different cuisine’s, i.e., by mashing,. Mixing, pureeing, stuffing or baking.  When one becomes familiar with the cooking methods,. Once can create innumerable recipes according to one’s choice and liking.

         Though legumes are high in protein value, they are considered incomplete as they lack one or more of the eight essentials; amino acids which are necessary for our growth.  As such, proteins consist of 22 amino acids, out of which 14 are made, in the body and eight are to be derived from the plant protein.  Plants like nuts, cereals, beans, peans and lentils are high in protein.  To make complete proteins they must be judicially combined with each other so that they can supply all of the eight amino acids necessary for a healthy and strong body.  But the question is how to combine foods to make a complete protein?  So, for the benefit of the readers a chart is given to help plan a complete protein meal; for yourself and your family.

       Note: All the dried bean, peas and lentils must be picked over carefully before cooking because it has foreign particles and sometimes tiny stones.  They must also be washed thoroughly before cooking.  If you do not have the beans, peas or lentils, the recipe calls for try to substitute with the ones available in the market.  But make sure that split lentils are substituted with split peas.  I am sure your recipes will taste delicious and you will add new recipes to your collection.



Mung Dal Delight

(Marvari mung ni dal)


1 cup mung dal                                   2 Tblsp ghee, butter, or oil

2 cups water                                       1 medium tomato, chop fine

½ tsp cumin seeds                              1 small capsicum, chop fine

1 Tbisp coriander-cumin powder      Salt to taste

½ tsp turmeric                                    Juice of ½ lemon

¼ tsp hing                                          1 tsp chopped coriander leaves

                                                                    for garnish (optional)


1.     Pick over and wash the dal.  Cover with water just above above the level of the dal and soak for approximately half and hour.

2.     Add 2 cups of water to the dal.  Bring to a boil on high heat.  Turn down the heat and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

3.     In a separate pan heat the ghee and add the cumin seeds.  As the seeds start to brown, add all the dry spices.  Saute the spice mixture for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and capsicum.  Saute for 3 minutes.  Add this mixture top the dal.

4.     Add salf and lemon juice to the dal and cook for another 10 minutes.

5.     Garnish  with coriander leaves (optional)

                                                       Server 4-6


Spiced Mung Beans

(Masala mung)


1 cup mung beans                                  ½ tsp turmeric

2 cups water                                          1 Tblsp ground coriander-cumin

1 tsp cumin seed                                   Salt to taste

2 Tblsp ghee or butter or oil                  1 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp hing                                              ½ teaspoon chopped ginger root

1 tsp paprika                                          1 tsp chopped coriander leaves

                                                              or parsley

1.     Pick over and wash the mung beans.  Soak beans overnight in water just enough to cover the beans.

2.     Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.

3.     Add spices and all; the other ingredients. Cook for 15-20 minutes until beans are soft and cooked.

4.     Garnish with fresh coriander leaves (or parsley).

                                                         Serves 4-6

Quick soaking method rebydrates dried beans in little more than one hour.  Bring the beans and water for soaking to a boil.  Boil for two minutes.  Remove from heat and cover the pot.  Let stand in water for one hour and cook the beans.  The beans can spoil if they stand in hot water soaked for 2 top 3 hours.

Mung, Udad and Chana Dal

(Trevati Dal)


½ cup mung dal                                       1 tsp garam masala

¼ cup udad dal                                         ¼ tsp turmeric

¼ cup chana dal                                     1 tsp grated ginger root

3 cups water                                         Salt to taste

2 Tblsp oil                                          1 green chilli, chop small (opt)

2 tsp cumin seeds                                 4 heaping tsp yogurt


1.     Pick over and wash dals thoroughly.  Place the dals in a pot with water, bring to a boil; and simmer for 20 minutes, covered.

2.     Heat the oil; in a small saucepan and brown cumin seeds.  Add spices and fry for 1 minute.

3.     Add fried spices to the cooked dals.  Add chopped green chilli (optional) and mix well.  Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

4.     Season with salt.

5.     Serve in individual bowls.  Top each bowl of dal; with 1 heaping teaspoon of yogurt.

                                          Serves 4-6


To grate fresh ginger root use a hand grater.  Peel the ginger opf its bark-like skin with a knife.  Using a grater with small holes, grate or shred the peeled ginger.  If your grater has several whole sizes use the side with the smallest holes.






Split Lentil Dal

(Masur dal)


1 cup masur dal                                          ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)

3 cups water                                                  1 medium tomato, chopped fine

1 Tblsp minced ginger root                              2 Tblsp coriander leaves,

2 Tblsp ghee or oil                                chopped fine

½ tsp cumin seeds                                                 Salt to taste

½ tsp paprika


1.     Carefully pick over the dal; and wash thoroughly in warm water until the water runs clear.

2.     Place the dal in a saucepan, add water and ginger and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the sheet to low and simmer, partially covered,. For 20 minutes or until the dal; is tender but still intact.

3.     In a separate saucepan, heat the ghee or oil.  Add the cumin seeds and reduce heat to low.

4.     When the cumin seeds starts to brown, add the turmeric, paprika and cayenne (optional) Add the tomato and saute the mixture for 5 minute.  Add this oil mixture to the cooking dal.

5.     Add salt,. Lemon juice and 1 Tblsp of coriander leaves top the dal; and mix well.

6.     Cook the dal on low heat.  Covered, for another 15 minutes or until the dal falls apart.

7.     Garnish with the rest of the coriander leaves and serve.

                         Serve 4-6








1 cup lentils                                                          1 tsp paprika

2 cups water                                                   2 tsp grated ginger root

1 Tblsp oil                                                    1 medium tomato, chopped

¼ tsp turmeric                                            2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp ground coriander-cumin                             Salt to taste


1.     Rinse lentils thoroughly and drain.

2.     Soak lentils in water to cover for a minimum of 4 hours.

3.     Bring lentils to a boil with 2 cups of water.  Add oil spices, ginger and simmer on low heat, covered, for approximately 20 minutes.

4.     When the lentils are soft, add tomatoes,. Lemon juice and salt.  Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered,. Till the tomatoes are soft.

                                     Serves 4-6



Black-Eyed Beans



1 cup uncooked black-eyed beans                    1 tsp garam masala

4 cups water                                                  1 heaped Tblsp finely

3 Tblsp oil                                                      chopped ginger

½ tsp turmeric                                                   3 Tblsp chopped coriander laves

¼ tsp hing                                                         5-6 curry leaves, chopped (opt)

2 tsp ground coriander-cumin                              1 green chilli, cut into 2 pieces

1 tsp paprika                                             Salt to taste


Make a paste of:

                    2 Tblsp plain yogurt

                    1 ½ Tblsp chick-pea flour (besan)


1.     Wash and soak beans in enough water to cover for at least 4 hours.

2.     Cook the beans in a pressure cooker or add 4 cups of water and cook beans for 45 minutes or until; tender.  Add more hot water if necessary.

3.     In a heavy pan, heat the oil.  Add the turmeric, hing, coriander-cumin power, garam masala and fry lightly

4.     Add chopped curry leaves, coriander leaves, ginger and chilli and saute lightly.  Add salt and mix well.

5.     Add the cooked beans and the yogurt/chick-pea flour paste to the spice mixture.  Stir well.  Turn heat to low and cook, covered for 10 minutes.

                     Serves 4-6


A tip to remember: When cooking any beans, lentils or peas do peas do not add any ingredients which are acidic (e.g., lemon, tomatoes, vinegar) during cooking time.  It retards the cooking and softening process.  Only when beans are done add the acidic ingredients.






Chana Tuver Dal


1 cup tuver dal                                           3 tsp ground coriander-cumin

½ cup chana dal                                         1 small green pepper, chopped

5 cups water                                                  1 medium tomato, chopped

3 Tblsp oil                                                 1 Tblsp Shredded coconut

1 tsp mustard seeds                                            (fresh or desiccate)

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                 2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp hing                                                           2 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp turmeric                                            1 Tblsp coriander leaves,

½ tsp paprika                                             chopped


1.     Pick over and clean dal.  In a large colander, wash the dal under warm water until water runs clear.

2.     Bring 5 cups of water and the dal to a boil in a pan.  Reduce the heat to very low, cover pan partially and simmer for half an hour or until dal is tender.

3.     In a separate pan, heat oil.  Add mustard seeds.  When the seeds start to pop, add cumin, hing, turmeric, paprika, coriander-cumin powder, chopped pepper and tomatoes, coconut and salt.  Saute together for 5 minutes.  Mix well.  Add to the simmering dal.

4.     Add lemon juice and coriander leaves.  Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

                                       Serves 4-6






Five-Lentil Mix

(Punch kuti dal)


¼ cup chana dal                                            ¼ cup masur dal

¼ cup green mung dal                                   2 Tblsp ghee or oil

¼ cup tuver dal                                           2 medium tomatoes, chopped

¼ cup udad dal                                           4 cups water


Grind to a paste in a coffee grinder or food processor:

1 Tblsp coriander seeds                              1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp cumin seeds                                                 1 Tblsp coriander leaves

¼ tsp ground cinnamon                                ¼ inch piece fresh ginger root

1/8 tsp ground cloves                                      1/8 tsp ground white pepper

1 tsp paprika                                             2 Tblsp water

                                                                   Salt to taste


1.     Rinse the dals thoroughly and drain.  Cook the dals in 4 cups of water until soft and mushy.

2.     Heat ghee or oil in a pan.  Add tomatoes and saute for a few seconds.  Add ground spices and cook for another 5 minutes.

3.     Bring the cooked dal to a boil.  Lower the heat.  Add fried spice mixture.  Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Mix well and serve.

                                           Serves 4-6





Mung Dal with Vegetables

(Shak vali mung ni dal)


1 cup mung dal                                            5 ounces spinach, chopped

2 cups water                                                 ½ med.  Cauliflower, separated

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                      into small flowerets

1 Tblsp ground coriander-cumin                   2 Tblsp oil

1 tsp paprika                                             Salt to taste

½ tsp garam masala                                     Juice of ½ lemon

½ tsp turmeric                                            1 tsp chopped coriander leaves

¼ tsp hing (optional)                                    for garnish

1 tsp fresh ginger, minced


1.     Clean and wash the dal thoroughly.

2.     In a saucepan, cook the dal in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes.

3.     Add spices, ginger, spinach, cauliflower and oil to the dal and mix well. Bring to a boil; and cook, covered for 20 minutes no low heat.

4.     Garnish with chopped coriander before serving.

                                       Serves 4-6


Split Pigeon Peas No. 1

(Tuver Dal)


1 cup tuver dal (oily)                                   ½ tsp paprika

3 cups water                                                 ½ tsp chopped, ginger root

2 Tblsp ghee, butter or oil                         ½ tsp coriander leaves,

½ tsp hing                                                    chopped (optional)

¼ tsp turmeric                                            salt to taste

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                 1 medium tomato, chopped

1 tsp mustard seeds                                       1 tsp lemon juice


1.     Wash tuver dal thoroughly and drain.

2.     Place the tuver dal and cold water in a pot.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and maintain a medium-to-low boil.

3.     When tuver dal is almost soft (half cooked) add the oil, spices ginger root, coriander leaves (optional) and salt.  Cook till tuver dal; becomes very soft and falls apart.

4.     Add the tomatoes and lemon juice.  Mix well and serve.

                                  Serves 4-6


If, by mistake, you have added extra salt to a dish just add slices of raw potato, it will absorb the salt.



Mung Beans with Yogurt

(Dahiwala Mung)


1 cup mung beans                                                      Salt to taste

2 cups water                                                 4 tsp maple syrup

2 Tblsp ghee or charified butter                             4 tsp firmly packed, grated

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                   fresh coconut

1 Tblsp ground coriander                       ½ cup yogurt

1 tsp paprika                                             ¼  cup chickpea flour

1 tsp turmeric                                            4 tsp loosely packed, chopped,

1/8 tsp hing                                                            fresh coriander


1.     Soak beans overnight in water just enough to cover the beans (or soak at least 5-6 hours).

2.     Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.

3.     In a saucepan heat the butter.  Add the cumin seeds.  Cook briefly, stirring. Add the ground coriander, paprika, turmeric and hing.  Stir, and add the mixture to the beans.  Add half the coconut chopped fresh coriander, salt and maple syrup.  Bring to a boil and cover, Simmer over low heat, about 20 minutes or until beans are tender.  Stir occasionally to redistribute the heat so that they cook evenly.

4.     Heat the yogurt in a small pan until lukewarm.  Add the chickpea flour to the yogurt and mix well.  Add this paste to the mung beans.  Cook for 5-7 minutes and turn off the heat.

5.     Spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle with remaining coconut and coriander.

                                                    Serves 4-6


Masala Lentils

(Masala Masur)


1 cup lentils (green or brown)                            1 Tblsp coriander leaves or

4 cups of water                                                   parsley , chopped

4 Tblsp ghee of butter                                      ½ tsp cayenne (optional)

Salt to taste                                                  2 large tomatoes, chopped


Grind to a paste:

1 ½ inch piece of fresh                                1 tsp cumin seed

  ginger root                                           1 tsp poppy seeds

2 tsp coriander seed                                2 Tblsp desiccated coconut


1.     Pick over and wash lentils.  Soak in enough water to cover for at least 2 hours. 

2.     Add 4 cups of water cook covered until the lentils are tender but still intact, approximately, 20-30 minutes.

3.     While the lentils cook, grind all the paste ingredients in a coffee mill or food processor until it becomes a paste.

4.     Heat the ghee or butter in a separate saucepan.  Add the paste and fry for about 3 minutes.  Add the paste mixture to the cooked lentils.  Season with salt and cook for another 5 minutes.

5.     Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.

                                             Serves 4-6



Split and Shelled Black Udad Beans

(Udad dal)


1 cup udad dal                                            ½ tsp chili powder (optional)

4 cups water                                                 Salt to taste

1 Tblsp oil                                                  1 Tblsp finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                 coriander leaves

¼ tsp turmeric                                            2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice


1.     Wash and drain the udad dal.

2.     In a medium size pot bring the water to a boil and add the dal.  When the dal; starts boiling, lower the heat and cook covered for 20 minutes or until the dal when pressed between two fingers is easily mashed.

3.     In a small pan heat the oil.  Add the cumin seeds.  When the cumin seeds start browning,. Add the turmeric and chili powder (optional) and add this oil mixture to the simmering dal.

4.     Add salt, coriander leaves and lemon juice to the dal.  Let the spiced dal simmer for 10 more minutes. Stir frequently.

5.     Turn off the heat and serve with chapatis, rice and okra vegetables.

                                                    Serves 4-6



Spicy Carrot Soup


3 Tblsp Basmati rice, steamed                          ¾ cup water

  in ½ cup water                                                  1 tsp salt

1 cup sliced carrots                                    ¾ cup light cream

1 tsp minced ginger root                                        ¾ cup water

1 clove                                                        Sweet butter or ghee for garnish

½ inch piece cinnamon stick                    


1.     Pick over, wash and steam rice.

2.     Simmer carrots and spices in ¾ cup water for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool and transfer to the container of an electric blender after removing the cinnamon stick.  Add salt and rice and blend thoroughly at high speed.  With blender still running, pour in the cream and remaining water.

3.     If necessary, put the soup through a sieve.

4.     Reheat the soup and serve hot in individual bowls, each bowl topped with a bit of sweet butter.

                                                  Serves 4-6

Yogurt Soup

(Gujarati Kadhi)


2 cups yogurt                                                 4 ¼ inch pieces of

3 Tblsp chick-pea flour                              stick cinnamon

  (gram flour)                                       2 cloves

4 cups water                                                 1 tsp grated ginger

2 Tblsp ghee or oil                              3 Tblsp radish chopped fine

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                 ¼ tsp hing

½ tsp fenugreek seeds                                       2 Tblsp chopped coriander leaves

                                                                   Salt to taste


1.     Mix the yogurt, flour and water in a blender.

2.     Add salt to the mixture, pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Lower heat and continue to let it cook until the kadhi is thick (approximately 15 minutes).

3.     In a separate pan, heat the oil.  Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, radish and fry until lightly browned.  Add hing.

4.     Add the fried spice mixture and coriander leaves to the Kadhi and cook for another 15 minutes.

5.     Serve with a rice dish.

                                                   Serves 4-6



Spinach Soup

(Palak Soup)


10 ounces (1 bag) spinach                           8 Tblsp (1/2 cup) white sauce

2 cups water                                                 Salt to taste

1 tsp peeled and chopped

    Fresh ginger root


White Sauce

2 Tblsp butter                                                    1 cup milk

3 Tblsp flour                                        Salt and pepper to taste


1.      Melt butter.  Add flour.  Stir constantly and let mixture cook for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly add the milk and continue stirring until all the milk is added.

2.      Season with salt and pepper.  Continue simmering until sauce thickens.



1.     Cook spinach in 2 cups water until soft (about 15 minutes). Cool

2.     Blend cooled spinach and ginger at high speed (or put it through a sieve.)

3.     Reheat the spinach/ginger mixture, white sauce and salt.  Add water top desired thickness.

4.     Let soup simmer till ready to serve (approximately 10 minutes).

                                           Serves 4-6



Gujarati Dal Broth



¼ cup cooked tuver dal                                   ¼ tsp hing

4  cups water                                                 1 Tblsp chopped coriander leaves

2 tsp oil                                                      2 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp cumin seeds                                       Salt to taste

¼ tsp turmeric                                            1 tsp gur or brown sugar

5-6 curry leaves (optional)


1.     Mix the dal and water in a pot and boil.

2.     In a separate pan, heat the oil.  Add cumin seeds and fry lightly.

3.     As the seeds brown, add hing, turmeric and curry leaves.  Add this spice mixture to the pot of boiling dal; and water.

4.     Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 top 15 minutes.

5.     Serve in individual bowls at the end of the meal.

                                              Serves 4-6



Five-Lentil Soup

(Punchkuti Dal)


1 cup mung dal                                           2 Tblsp oil

¼ cup chana dal                                          1 tsp cumin seed

¼ cup black udad dal                                  ½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ cup masur dal                                          ¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ cup tuver dal                                           Salt to taste

5 cups water                                                 1 medium tomato, chopped fine

2 tsp green masala                                     2 Tblsp chopped coriander

½ tsp turmeric                                            leaves (optional)


1.     Wash all the dals together thoroughly.

2.     In a large pot, put the drained dals in 5 cups of water.  Bring top a boil.  Lower heat and let simmer until dal is soft and falls apart (approximately 30 minutes; if pre-soaked for 2 hours, then 15 minutes).  Add green masala and turmeric.

3.     Heat oil; in a separate small pan.  Add cumin seeds and left it browns.  Add the oil mixture to the simmering dal.

4.     Add the rest of the ingredients top the dal and cook for another 10 minutes.

5.     Serve with bread or rice.

                                    Serves 6-8



Split Pigeon Peas No. 2

(Gujarati Tuver Dal)


1 cup tuver dal (oily)                                  ½ tsp paprika

3 cups water                                                 1 medium tomato, chopped

2 Thlsp oil                                                 15 peanuts

1 tsp mustard seed                                         2 Thlsp brown sugar

1 tsp cumin seed                                         Salt to taste

1 tsp fenugreek seeds                                       1 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp hing                                                   2 Tblsp coriander leaves chopped

½ tsp turmeric


1.     Wash tuver dal thoroughly and drain.

2.     Place the tuver dal and water in a pot.  Bring to boil, lower heat and cook until the dal is soft, about 30 minutes.

3.     Cool and put in a blender and blend thoroughly.

4.     In a separate pan heat oil, when oil is hot add mustard seeds, when they pop and crackle and cumin and fenugreek seeds,. When they are brown add hing and rest of ingredients.

5.     When the tomatoes become soft add the blended dal to the spice mixture.   Bring to a boil and cook 15 to 20 minutes.

                                              Serves 4-6



Black Udad Beans


1 cup black udad                                        2 Tblsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                 1 tsp garam masala

2 tsp ground coriander                                Salt to taste

1 tsp grated ginger                                      ½ cup coriander leaves

2 pods of cardamom                                 for garnish


1.     Wash the beans thoroughly and soak for 3 hours.

2.     Put all the spices in the beans and pressure cook for 20 minutes or add 4 cups of water in the soaked beans and simmer on a low flame for 45 minutes.

3.     When the beans are soft and well blended, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

                                          Serves 4-6



Chick Peas with Tomato Sauce


2 (15 ounce) cans of chick peas                      1 tsp oregano

  (also called garbannzo or                          1 tsp paprika

     ceci beans)                                                  1 tsp garam masala

1 cup tomato sauce                                       2 tsp grated ginger root

4 Tblsp oil                                                  1 medium green capsicum

2 Tblsp ground coriander                         chopped small

  and cumin                                                           2 Tblsp chopped coriander leaves

½ tsp turmeric                                            Salt to taste


1.     Heat the oil in a pot and add all the dry spices, Saute for 5 minutes.

2.     Add the chick peas,. Tomato sauce, capsicum and salt.

3.     Let it simmer on low for 5 to 7 minutes.

4.     Garnish with coriander leaves.

5.     Serve with streamed pita bread.

                                             Serves 4-6


If you do not have a pressure cooker, invent one: Fill a big pot with water and place a small ring mould.  Clean and put dal (beans) and rice in two different containers, with enough water in each container just to cover the dal (beans) and rice.  Place the dal or bean container below on the mould and the rice container above the dal container.  Close the pot with a tight futting lid and let it cook till done-approximately 45 minutes.




Vegetable Dishes


          In India, vegetable dishes are called by different names by different people.  The Gujaratis call it “Shak,” the Hindi-speaking people call it “subji” and others call it “bhaji.”  The word of vegetables is a world of variety.  There are so many different kinds of vegetables grown on this globe that one is unaware of many of them, yet the ones which Gujaratis use have a myriad uses.

       The edible portion of a vegetable like roots, stems, leaves, flowers or fruit are used in the preparation of various vegetable dishes.  These parts of the plant re eaten either raw or cooked with different spices.  Every one of us is aware of the fact that vegetables are important in our diet because of their nutritive qualities.  Rich in vitamins A, B complex, C and E, they also have a high content of minerals, vegetable salts, cellulose and vitamins.  Some vegetables like spinach, rhubarb and lettuce are rich in iron and calcium, too.  The vegetables have high content of water which helps in flushing the system and aids elimination of waste matter.

      The benefits of eating vegetables are innumerable.  To provide your family with the advantage of a healthy diet, one has to know the art of preparing food in an attractive and aesthetic way.  When one knows certain vegetables are good for health but if one does not know how to prepare them deliciously they are rejected by all.  Vegetables taste good, nourishes better and digests best only if they are served beautifully and look irresistible.  The process of eating is done first with the eyes.  If the eyes are pleased, the tongue will relish it, too.

      Though the methods of cooking the vegetables differ from place to place and country to country, one thing is definite and that is, overcooking or undercooking of the vegetables is unhealthy.  Drowning the vegetables in too much or oil also mars the taste and nutritive value of the vegetables.  Spice your vegetables in a subtle way so as to retain the natural flavors and taste.  Too much salt destroys the dish and too little defeats the dish.  So if one is aware of these pitfalls, a beginner can create sumptuous tasting dishes that would allow one to feel satisfied and light after eating.  This is the beauty of this cuisine.  It is simple, yet elegant, natural hygienic and gentle on the digestive system.



Cauliflower and Potato Vegetable

(Phulkobi-Bateta nu shak)


4 Tblsp oil                                                  2 tsp ground coriander-cumin

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                 ½ tsp paprika

1/8 tsp hing                                                           1 cup water

1 medium cauliflower, divided                            1 small tomato, chopped finely

into flowerets                                           Salt to taste

2 medium potatoes diced                               1 tsp lemon juice.

¼ tsp turmeric


1.     Heat oil, add cumin seeds and brown lightly.  Add hing, cauliflower, potatoes and all the other ingredients except lemon juice.  Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

2.     Add ¾ to 1 cup water.  Cook for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender

3.     Add tomato, salt and lemon juice.

                                            Serves 4-6



Sauteed Eggplant with Green Peas

(Ringana vataqna nu shak)


2 medium eggplants cut into 1-inch cubes

5 ounces (1/2 a 10-ounce package) frozen green peas

1 medium green peper, cored and diced

1 large tomato, chopped coarsely

1 medium boiled potato, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tsp chopped fresh ginger root

½ cup water

½ tsp garam masala

½ tsp turmeric

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp hing

4 Tblsp hing

Salt to taste

Coriander or parsley leaves, chopped for garnish


1.     Combine green pepper, ginger, tomato and all dry spices except the oil in a bowl and set aside.

2.     Over medium heat, the oil in a saucepan.  When oil is hot,. Add the contents of the bowl in step 1 and saute until green peppers are soft.

3.     Add eggplant, potato and water and stir well.  Cover and cook on low heat until eggplant is almost done (about 10-15 minutes.)

4.     Add peas and mix well.  Cover and cook further until peas are cooked.

5.     Turn off heat.  Garnish with coriander or parsley leaves.

                                        Serves 4-6


Spiced Zucchini with Tomatoes


1 pound zucchini or yellow summer squash (about 3 medium vegetables,. OR mix the 2 kinds), sliced into 1/8 inch rounds)

1 large tomato, chopped                                   ¼ tsp turmeric

3 Tblsp ghee                                          Pinch of hing

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                 Salt to taste

3 tsp ground coriander-cumin                             2 Tblsp chopped coriander leaves

½ tsp garam masala                                     (optional)


1.     Prepare Vegetable.

2.     Heat ghee over moderate heat and brown the umin seeds.  Add hing, the vegetables,. Tomatoes and all the spices.  Cook uncovered on low heat until the vegetables are tender.

3.     Garnish with chopped coriander leaves (optional)

                                                 Serves 4-6


Zucchini belongs to the squash family with many varieties.  It is also called a summer squash found in white, yellow and green color with then skins.  In India white and pale green squash is very popular.  Being a very easy vegetable to cook, it gives numerous options to utilize it in different ways.  Indians make puddings and savories from green squash and it is available throughout the year.



Zucchini and Peas with Coriander


1 pound zucchini (about 3                          ¼ tsp turmeric

Medium) sliced thinly                                        1 Tblsp paprika

1 cup boiled fresh peas                                1 tsp garam masala

3 Tblsp sesame oil                                         Salt to taste

2 Tblsp whole cumin seeds                              2 Tblsp water

¼ tsp hing                                                   4 tsp chopped fresh

1 ½ tsp ground coriander                                Coriander leaves

1 ½ tsp ground cumin                                     


1.     Prepare the zucchini and set aside.

2.     Heat the oil in a skillet and add the cumin seeds.  Stir briefly and add the hing, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, garam masala and salt.

3.     Add the succhini and peas and stir gently to blend without breaking the slies.  Add the water and cover.  Cook over gentle heat for 10 minutes.

4.     Serve sprinkled with chopped fresh coriander leaves.

                                                    Serves 4-6



Fried Zucchini


1 pound zucchini (3med.)                           ¼ tsp turmeric

2 Tblsp oil;                                                           ½ tsp paprika

1 med.  Potato, boiled                                      Salt to taste

and mashed                                                       2 Tblsp finely chopped

2 med.  Tomatoes, chopped                          coriander leaves (optional)

1 Tblsp ground coriander-                      2 Tblsp shredded coconut

   cumin                                                        (fresh or desiccated)


1.     Wash the zucchini and cut lengthwise.  Slice thinly.

2.     In large frying pan, heat oil over moderate heat.  Add all dry spices and tomatoes.  Cook mixture for 5 minutes.  Add zucchini, some coriander leaves, some coconut and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

3.     Add the mashed potato.  Mix carefully as not to break the zucchini.

4.     Garnish with remaining coriander leaves and coconut.

                                              Serves 4-6


Fried Okra with Yogurt

(Dahiwalu bhinda nu shak)


1 pound fresh/frozen okra                            2 Tblsp ground

4 Tblsp oil                                                  coriander-cumin

¼ tsp hing                                                   1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp fenugreek seeds                                        Salt to taste

¼ tsp turmeric                                            1 cup whipped yogurt


1.      Wash okra and pat dry.  Make sure no water adheres to the okra.  Slice into ¼ in rounds.

2.      Heat the oil in a shallow pan. Add hing, fenugreek and okra.  Mix well.

3.      Add the remaining spices.  Mix well and turn heat to low and cook, turning occasionally, till tender (about 20 minutes).  Add the whipped yogurt at the end before serving.

Note: Do not cover the okra with a lid, otherwise the water collected in the pan due to steam will make the okra sticky.

                                            Serves 4-6


Tomatoes Panch Puran


9 plum tomatoes, chopped small                     1 tsp paprika

2 Tblsp oil                                                 ½ tsp turmeric

1 ½ tsp Panch Puran                                      Salt to taste

1/8 tsp hing                                                           2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp ground                                               1 Tblsp chopped

   coriander-cumin                                                  coriander leaves


1.     Heat oil in a pan and brown Panch Puran briefly.

2.     Add powdered spices, salt and sugar and fry further.  If the mixture is dry, add enough oil top make a smooth sauce.

3.     Add the chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Stew on low heat until tomatoes are just tender.

4.     Add chopped coriander leaves and serve.

                                                 Serves 4-6


Cucumber Vegetable

(Kakadi nu marwari shak)


4 medium cucumbers                              ¼ tsp turmeric

2 Tblsp ghee or butter                                      ¾ tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin seeds                                                 ½ tsp lemon juice or

½ tsp fennel seeds                                                 ½ tsp amchur powder

½ tsp hing                                                   Coriander leaves

2 tsp ground                                                for garnish (optional)

   coriander-cumin                                                Salt to taste


1.     Peel; cucumbers,. If waxed, and cut into ¼ inch cubes.

2.     Heat 2 Tblsp ghee or butter.  Add cumin seeds and fennel seeds.  When brown, and hing and cucumbers. Stir once.

3.     Add the rest of the ingredients.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.

4.     Garnish with coriander leaves (optional)

                                                Serves 4-6


Cucumber is generally used as a salad vegetable or for pickling.  But many Indian use them as a vegetable dish by cooking it with different spices.  The recipes in this book call for long seedless varieties or small Kirby.



Cucumber with Mustard Seeds

(Kakadi nu shak)


4 medium cucumbers                              2 Tblsp ground

  (Kirbys preferred)                                  coriander-cumin

2 Tblsp oil                                                 Salt to taste

1 tsp mustard seeds                                       ½ tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp hing                                                   3 Tblsp yogurt

¼ tsp turmeric                                            2 Tblsp chopped coriander leaves


1.     Wash cucumbers and peel if skins are waxed.  Cut into small cubes.

2.     Heat oil in a saucepan.  Add mustard seeds and allow them to crackle and pop.  Add hing, turmeric and cucumbers.  Mix well.

3.     Add ground coriander-cumin and lemon juice.  Mix well and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

4.     Remove pan from heat.  Add salt and yogurt.  Mix well.

5.     Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

                                                      Serves 4-6


Country Green Beans

(Funsi nu shak)


1 pound green beans                                       1/3 cup grated coconut,

4 Tblsp oil                                                  preferably fresh

2 tsp mustarde seeds                                       Salt to taste

1 tsp grated ginger                                      2 Tblsp lemon juice

1 Tblsp slivered almonds                          2 Tblsp chopped

1 tsp turmeric                                            coriander leaves


1.     Wash and trim the string beans at both ends and cut into ½ inch pieces.

2.     Heat the oil in a wok or medium-sized covered pot.  Add mustard seeds and when they start to crackle and pop, stir in ginger, almonds and turmeric.

3.     Add green beans and stir well to coat with oil and spices.

4.     Add coconut, salt.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until beans are just tender (about 20 minutes) stirring occasionally.

5.     Sprinkle with lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.

                                                     Serves 4-6


Cabbage with Yogurt

(Dahiwali Kobi)


1 medium head white cabbage                          1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp minced ginger root                                        2 tsp brown sugar

1 Tblsp chopped coriander                       Salt to taste

  leaves (optional;)                                          1 cu yogurt

4 Tblsp oil                                                  1 cup yogurt


1.       Slice off the base and cut the cabbage into quarters; shred the quarters fine.  Then wash and drain well.

2.       Heat oil in a large saucepan or skillet.  When the oil; is hot, dd mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds being top pop, add gangrened saute for 2 minutes.  Make sure ginger does not burn.

3.       Add cabbage, brown sugar and salt.  Mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for approximately 20 minutes…until cabbage is tender but still crunchy.

4.       Turn off heat.  Add yogurt and coriander leaves (optional) mix thoroughly.  Serve warm.

Note: to prepare this dish in advance, cook the cabbage but do not add the yogurt until ready to serve.  When ready to serve, reheat the cabbage, turn off heat and add yogurt and coriander leaves (optional) and stir gently but well.



Cabbage belongs to the family of Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and kohlrabi.  Cabbage is available in three different colors: green, white and red.  Green and white are usually used for cooking and the red variety is used in salads.



Cabbage and Chana Dal Dalight

(Kobi-chanadal nu shak)


1 cup chana dal                                          1 tsp garam masala

1 small; head white cabbage,                         Salt to taste

  Shredded                                                 Pinch of turmeric

1 cup water                                                           1 Tblsp chopped coriander

1/3 cup oil                                                    leaves for garnish (optional)

1 tsp green masala


1.     Soak the chana dal overnight or at least for 3 hours in hot water.  Drain.

2.     Cook the chana dal with little water on low heat until tender (add about 2 Tblsp more water4 if necessary).  Set aside.  The dal; should be dry not watery.

3.     In a large frying pan, heat the oil.  Add the greet masala and the garam masala.  Fry for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

4.     Add the shredded cabbage.  Mix well and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

5.     Add the cooked dal. Mix well.

6.     Add turmeric and salt.  Mix well.

7.     Garnish with chopped coriander leaves (optional)

Tastes even more delicious when reheated.

                                                        Serves 4-6


Vegetable Koorma

1 cup cauliflower cut into small flowerets

1 cup fresh or frozen green peas

1 cup string beans cut into ½ inch lengths

1 cup carrots cut into ½ inch dice

1 cup potatoes, peeled and cut in ½ inch dice

¾ cup unfrosted cashew nuts

1 cup yogurt

1 cup unsweetened, finely shredded coconut (fresh or desiccated)

¼ cup water

6 Tblsp oil

6 whole cloves

5 small (1/4 inch long) pieces of cinnamon stick

3 small cardamom pods

2 cups unreeled tomatoes cut into ½ inch cubes

¼ tsp turmeric

Salt to taste


1.     Steam all vegetables in a steamer and set aside.

2.     Put the cashews into the container of a food processor or blender and grind to a powder.  Add the yogurt, coconut and water and blend top a thin paste.

3.     Heat the oil in a large saucepan and when it is quite hot hut not smoking, add the loves, small pieces of cinnamon, cardamom pods and turmeric.  Add the tomatoes and stir.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Add salt to taste.

4.     Add the cooked vegetables and the yogurt and cashew mixture and mix well.  Cover and heat gently until piping hot (about 5 minutes).

                                                 Serves 6-8


Fried Cauliflower

(Taleli phulkobi)


1 medium cauliflower broken                            Salt to taste

  into flowerettes (2 ½ cups)                       Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tblsp coriander-cumin powder                 2 tsp finely chopped mint leaves

½ tsp turmeric                                            Oil for shallow frying

1 tsp chili powder (optional)


1.     Wash the flowerets and steam until; just tender.  Set aside.

2.     Heat the oil in a frying pan or skillet.  Fry the cooked cauliflower until golden brown.

3.     Sprinkle salt, spices and lemon juice on the cauliflower.

4.     Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

                                                Serves 4-6


Vegetables in Yogurt

(Dahivalu shak)


Make a paste of:

          1 cup grated coconut (fresh or desiccated)

          1 tsp cumin seeds

          1 green chili (optional)

          Salt to taste

          ¼ cup water

3 cups mixed boiled vegetables (bite size)

     (a combination opf any potatoes, peas, zucchini, green beans, lima beans, cabbage, cauliflower, squash)

½ tsp turmeric

3 Tblsp oil

1 cup yogurt


1.     In a blender, grind the coconut, cumin seeds, green chill (optional) water and salt to a fine paste. (Add as little water as necessary to facilitate grinding.)

2.     Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the boiled vegetables,. Turmeric and the paste.  Mix wells and let it heat through.

3.     Remove from heat.  Add yogurt and serve.

                                                          Serves 4-6


Bananas with Chick-Pea Flour

(Chana na loatwalu paka kala nu shak)


6 medium ripe bananas                                   ¼ tsp hing

4 Tblsp oil                                                 Salt to taste

¼ tsp turmeric                                            ½ cup chick-pea flour

½ tsp paprika                                             2 Tblsp water

1 Tblsp ground



1.     Skin bananas and slice into rounds ¼ inch wide.

2.     Heat oil in a skillet or frying pan.  Add turmeric, paprika, ground coriander-cumin, salt and hing, and mix the spices together.

3.     Add the sliced bananas and chick-pea flour and stir well sop as to coat the pieces with the flour/spice mixture.

4.     Add water and mix well.  Cook for 5 minutes on a very low heat (the bananas burn easily) and serve.

Tastes delicious even cold.

                                                   Serves 4-6