BANANA BLOSSOM DHAL/ VAZHAIPOO KOOTU
My mother-in-law typically makes these kinds of dhal with greens or vegetables almost every week for breakfast. Our favorites are the ones with greens or ridge gourd and she serves this as a side dish for idlis and dosas rather than rice. These kinds of dhals go well with rice and chapathis too. Her preparation is also a very simple one, kind of one-pot dish using a pressure pan. Dhal with banana blossoms was very new and interesting to me, so I decided to take a couple of quick pictures just before we had our breakfast. These shots were taken at the table with my baby girl sitting on a feeding chair from across the table and looking intently to see what was I doing and taking a peep at the dishes and plates on the table.
1. Banana blossoms removed from a flower.
2. Moong dhal, 1 cup.
3. Onion, medium size, 1.
4. Tomatoes, 2.
5. Green chilies, 2.
6. Ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon. (optional).
7. Chili powder, 1 teaspoon.
8. Coriander powder, 2 teaspoons.
9. Hing or asafetida, 2 pinches.
10. Turmeric powder, ¼th teaspoon.
11. Mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon.
12. Cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon.
13. Curry leaves 4-5.
14. Chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon.
15. Salt as per taste.
Clean the blossoms, chop them finely, and soak them in a diluted solution of buttermilk for 10-15 minutes. Chop the onions and tomatoes and slit the green chilies into 2. Heat the pressure cooker or pan with a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds. Add the chopped onions and sauté for a few seconds until the onions are tender. Then add the chopped tomatoes, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves and keep sautéing for a few more minutes until everything is well blended. Now add chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, asafetida, washed moong dhal, chopped banana blossoms (squeeze out the excess water from the blossoms before adding), and salt along with 2 cups of water. Mix everything well and cook for up to 3 whistles. Once the pressure is released, add chopped cilantro and let it simmer for 5 more minutes before serving. Serve hot with rice, chapathis, idlis, or dosas.
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