Indian dinner vegetarian recipes | gluten-free
There are many dals that you could make and eat with any type of bread/ chapati/rice.
Listing down some of my favorite dals below.
1. Chana Dal Fry
Chana dal (Split chickpeas) : 1/2 cup
Water: 1 ½ cup
Turmeric: ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Spinach: 2 cups
Tomato: 1 chopped
Onion: ½ finely chopped
Oil: 2 -3 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
Garlic ginger paste: ½ tsp
Coriander powder: 1tsp
Wash chana dal until the water runs clear.
Soak in water for 30 minutes or more.
Now cook daal in the pressure cooker with 1 ½ cups of water, turmeric powder, and salt. Cover the lid, let this cook on a medium flame for 30 minutes or 6-7 whistles. If you do not have a pressure cooker, cook this daal in a heavy base pan for 35-40 minutes. You can soak this daal overnight too, that way it will cook faster in the saucepan. Cook until the lentil breaks easily when you press it in between your fingers.
Blanch the spinach: In boiling water, add the spinach, cook this for 5-6 minutes on high heat and take the spinach out.
In a hot pan, add olive oil, the chopped onion, blanched spinach, and mix well. Now add the coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, salt. Mix well and let this cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat. When you see the onion has changed colour to light brown, add the chopped tomato. Mix very well. Let the tomato cook down properly, when they become mushy and almost done, add the lemon juice and the boiled chana daal. Mix everything properly. If you feel the soup is too thick then you can add a bit of water. Let everything cook together for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Your soup is done, you can eat this with steamed rice or just like that with a piece of gluten-free bread.
2. Dal Makhani
RESTAURANT-STYLE EASY DAL MAKHANI RECIPE
It’s safe to say that Dal Makhani is more loved than butter chicken in India. We just have to order dal makhani at a Mughlai or North Indian restaurant, it is our staple comfort food which we feel can only be made properly at the restaurants. The secret ingredient to dal makhani is ‘patience’, if you see the ingredients they are actually very simple. After my gluten problem, i decided to recreate the recipe in my kitchen, i made some good batches but i was still not very happy as i wanted that ‘restaurant’ like flavour. So i experimented a bit more and i now now i am very close to that flavour. Follow my recipe, make it at home, and you won’t be disappointed. So, shall we begin?
Time: Soak overnight (8 hours)
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Whole black lentil/ Urad daal black: 1 cup
Rajma /red kidney beans: 1/3 cup
Onion: 1 grated
Ginger garlic paste: 2 tsp
Tomato: 2 large or 3 medium ( Blended in a blender)
Cream: 1/4 cup (If you are using any heavy cream, plz use 2-3 tbsp)
Butter: 3 tbsp
Vegetable oil: 1/2 tbsp
Cumin: 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder: 1/2 tbsp
Cinnamon stick: 1 inch
Green Cardamom: 2-3
Black Cardamom: 1 (If you don’t have it, you have leave it)
Ground Nutmeg: 1 pinch (If you don’t have it, you have leave it)
Black Peppercorns: 5-6
Bay Leaf: 2
Star anise: 1/4 of 1 flower (If you don’t have it, you have leave it. I personally quite like the flavour of this daal when i add this spice)
Garam Masala powder: 1/2 tbsp
Coriander Powder: 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
FOR RESTAURANT-STYLE FLAVOUR YOU NEED: (OPTIONAL. IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE RESTAURANT-STYLE DAL, THEN FORGET ABOUT THIS STEP).
1 small piece of charcoal
½ teaspoon ghee or any vegetable oil
- Soak urad daal and rajma in plenty of water overnight. The next day discard the water and wash it 3-4 times under running water.
- Transfer them to a pressure cooker and add 1/2 tbsp salt. You need to pressure cook with enough water (water level should be 2″ high from daal), check after 7-8 whistles. You need to cook the daal with the grains still intact and mushy at the same time. Don’t worry this will happen on its own. Just make sure you don’t over-pressure cook them. After the pressure cooker has released the pressure on its own, open the lid and check the grains. (the toughest part is done, phew!)
- Now take a pan, add the butter and 1/2 any neutral vegetable oil. Now add the whole spices when the oil + butter heat up (cloves, cumin, black cardamom, green cardamom, bay leaf, peppercorns, nutmeg, star anise). Let them all turn light brown.
- Now add the grated onion. Fry it, till it turns golden brown.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the raw smell goes away.
Add the tomato puree, cover the pan and let it cook. Cook for about a few minutes until you see the oil separating from the sides.
- Now add the powdered spices: coriander powder, cumin powder (Garam masala will be added later). Mix well.
- Time to add the boiled daal to this mixture.
- If there is a lot of water in the pressure cooker, then you gotta just scoop out the daal part.
- After adding daal to the pan, add some water from the pressure cooker. If there is not enough water left then add 1/2 cup warm water.
- Mix well, cover, and cook on low heat for at least 30 minutes (I cook for close to 45 minutes). This slow cooking is very important to bring out the real taste of Dal Makhani.
- Keep stirring in between, and adjust water if you think that the daal is thickening too much.
- After 40 minutes add the cream. Mix well. (Dal makhani is neither too thick nor too thin).
- Add garam masala powder, mix very well and turn off the stove.
- Your Daal Makhani is ready. Enjoy with pulao or chapati.
- Serving tip: add a dollop of softened butter on top of the daal. YUM YUM YUM!
GIVE RESTAURANT-STYLE SMOKY FLAVOUR WITH THIS ADDITIONAL STEP:
Heat a small piece of charcoal on flame till it becomes red hot.
Transfer the charcoal to a small heat-proof bowl (A small steel bowl/Katori is the best choice).
Pour ghee on the hot charcoal.
Immediately place this bowl in the container that has daal makhani.
Cover for a minute and allow the charcoal to infuse its smoke. Now stir well, and serve.
3. Easy yellow dal: the everyday comfort food
Prep Time: 1 hour (time required to soak daal in water)
Cooking Time: 1 hour. If you use a pressure cooker then just 10 minutes.
Toor daal or Arhar daal: 1 cup
Water to soak: 2 cups
Water to cook with: 6 cups
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
FOR TEMPERING OR TADKA (IN HINDI):
PLEASE NOTE IF YOU WANT TO EAT DAAL WITH JUST GHEE THEN ADD MELTED WARM GHEE TO BOILED COOKED DAAL AND ENJOY IT. BUT IF YOU WANT TO ADD SOME EXTRA FLAVOURS THEN YOU CAN DO THIS TADKA BELOW.
TADKA CAN BE MADE IN MORE THAN 100 WAYS, I AM MAKING THE SIMPLEST ONE ALSO THIS IS WHAT I LIKE TO EAT EVERYDAY.
LESS DRAMA TADKA INGREDIENTS:
Red chilli powder: 1/2 teaspoon ( You can use hot paprika powder) If you wanna skip this, you can do that too.
Ghee or any veg oil: 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
- Wash daal nicely and soak it in 2 cups of water for 1 hour.
- Drain out the water and boil it in a pan with 6 cups of water with little salt and turmeric and 3-4 drop of oil.
You need to stir the dal in between to make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. You need to add more water if daal is not properly cooked. It would take around 1 hour for it to be properly boiled. If you are using a pressure cooker then 4 whistles are good also you need to just add 2 cups of water and not 6.
- To know if it is cooked, try to squish the lentil/daal with the back of a spoon, if it gets squished easily then daal is cooked.
- You can consume daal at this point too. This is the basic daal. Enjoyed best when you add a bit of hot ghee on daal just before eating.
- If you want to add more flavours to your humble daal then make the tadka.
- In a separate small pan, heat up ghee (preferably) or any vegetable oil.
- After the oil gets hot, lower the heat.
- Add the cumin seeds, the red chilli powder (if you have great, if you don’t have you can skip this. But I like the red chilli flavour, it adds a bit of colour which makes it interesting).
- Take this and spread the tadka oil over the cooked daal.
- Daal is ready to be served.
Sabzi: Sabzi is vegetables in Hindi. Listing down some of my favourite vegetable dishes.
1. Palak Paneer or Palak tofu
Prep time: 1o mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2 people
Spinach: 1 half bunch or 6-7 cups of spinach
Water: 4-5 cups
Paneer: 1-1/2 cups paneer (cubed into bite-size)
Tomato: 1 (finely chopped, this will make 3/4 of chopped tomato)
Green Chillies: 3-4 ( add more if you like your food spicier)
Onion: 1 thinly chopped
Ginger Garlic paste: 2 tsp ( take ginger and garlic, blitz in a blender with some water to make this paste)
Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
Bay Leaf: 2
Paprika or Kashmiri Mirch Powder: 1 tsp
Dry Mango Powder: 2 tsp ( If you don’t have the mango powder you can use lemon juice)
Garam Masala Powder: 2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Olive oil/ any vegetable oil: 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Step 1:First blanch the spinach, this helps to keep the spinach color bright. Boil about 6 cups of water in a saucepan, and let the spinach boil for 1 minute. Drain the water and put the spinach in ice-cold water for about 2 minutes. Remove from water and let this cool down a bit.
Step 2: After the spinach has cooled down a bit, blitz this in a blender and make a puree.
Step 3: Pan-fry the tofu cubes in a few drops of olive oil or any vegetable oil. Keep it aside.
Step 4: In a nonstick pan, add 2 tbsp oil, when the oil gets hot add the cumin seeds & bay leaves. After cumin seeds crack, add the onions, green chilies and stir fry for a few minutes till the onions turn golden brown. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, mix well. Add the tomatoes too. Let this cook for 2-3 minutes. Tomatoes should be tender, not mushy. Add coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, salt, dry mango powder and let this cook on a low heat for a minute or so. Now add in the spinach puree and mix everything well. let this cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally.
Step 5: Now you can add the tofu to the spinach puree. Fold them properly. Add the garam masala powder. Mix everything well. let this cook for another minute or two and your dish is ready. Serve with steamed rice and some raita.
Find the recipe with images here.
2. Kadhai Paneer or Kadhai Tofu
Tofu or Paneer: 1 packet (200 grams approx)
Onion: 3, chopped
Garlic and ginger paste: 1 tablespoon
Diced green capsicum: 1
Diced onion: 1
Tomato: 2 medium
Turmeric powder:1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds: 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 1/2 tsp (optional)
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
Kashmiri chili powder/ paprika powder: 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Dry fenugreek leaves or kasoori methi: 1 tablespoon
Fresh cream: 2 tablespoons (optional) (if you like you could use any vegan cream)
Vegetable oil of your choice
FOR MASALA POWDER:
Coriander seeds: 1/2 tablespoon
Cumin seeds: 1.2 teaspoon
Cloves: 2 (Optional)
Dry red chilli whole: 1 or you can use hot paprika powder
HOW TO COOK:
- In a pan, take 2 tsp oil and cook diced capsicum and onion. Do not cook them all the way, just till they turn brown on the edges. Remove from the pan. Set it aside.
- Marinate the tofu/paneer: sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt, paprika powder a pinch, half a lemon juice. Mix well.
- Pan-fry the marinated tofu/paneer until they turn brown.
- Make the masala powder: dry roast the spices on a pan or tawa on low flame till they turn golden brown. DO NOT BURN THE SPICES. Let them cool down, grind them into powder. Set it aside.
- In a pan, add some oil, fry the onions till they turn golden brown. Add in the ginger-garlic paste, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes have wilted. Turn off the heat. Let this mixture cool down. After it has cooled down properly, grind it into a paste.
- Again in a pan, pour some oil (2 tsp approx), add the coriander seeds (the distinct flavor of this dish comes from the coriander seeds so this is an important ingredient make sure you add the seeds), add in the paste you just made, add some salt, turmeric powder. Let this cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Time to add the masala powder you made. The paprika powder/Kashmiri chili powder. Mix in well with the paste and let this cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes or until you see oil separating from the masala.
- Add the pan-fried tofu/paneer. Mix everything properly.
- Add in a cup of water to this. Mix well. Cover the pan and let this cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Time to add cream or vegan cream. Mix well. Mix everything well.
- Now add the diced capsicum and onion.
- Add the fenugreek leaves. Mix well.
- The dish is done. Have it with rice/chapati.
Find the recipe with images here
3. Moong dal and yogurt chila (yogurt and moong dal salty crepes)
Find the recipe here.
4. Aloo paratha recipe.
Get the video recipe here.