A Mini Flashback - Garlic Masoor dhal and Okra fry

It's -17 C today and it's going reach -23 C tonight. I have no issues with coldness. More or less used to it but one problem is coldness makes me lame and useless in the evenings and during weekends. I simply eat and crawl under my duvet. Sigh! It's been three weeks already I haven't made any recipe and did a photoshoot, yes you guessed it right I'm digging my recipe bank! Since I haven't been doing any justice to my blog thought its Mondays let me be productive! So here is it. I have beautiful memory attached to this recipe.

My mum worked as principal (currently retired) for a private school in my home town (Coimbatore) for 29 yrs. The school was managed by three trustees. One of them was very close to our family, they were old couple from Punjab who were like our God parents. Uncle was a great artist, master in abstract oil paintings and aunty was dutiful house wife and very stylish lady. You know olden days people follow strict rules and they have wonderful principles. He was very health conscious man, who used to go for walking every morning at 6:30 AM for one hour and on his way back he used to stop by our house every day except Sundays to enjoy my mum's tea (used to be his fav) and discuss politics with dad. As kids we used to dislike uncle coming to house just for one reason, coz our mum used to wake us up early and we have be ready to wish Good morning to uncle. But what we used to enjoy is to have lunch at their house. Mostly it will be potluck, mum cooked for them and aunty cooked for us. She was great cook, this used to be one of our fav food, roti, dhal, onkra sabzi, brinjal sabzi, simple salad and masala dahi. Since aunty and uncle didn't have their own kids, they treated my parents as theirs, me and my sis were pampered!

During my childhood days, I was interested in wall paintings, still I'm. My parents were generous enough to let me draw on the walls. My dad, smart enough, he painted all the walls in the house with oil paints, so I had many chance to reuse. Main reason was they let me grow with my creativity. Every weekend I used to go to uncle house to get trained with strokes and play with colors, he took me to many painting classes, I did improve after that. These days I paint when I'm extremely stressed out on charts and I concentrate mostly on abstract since they don't need extreme perfection. I simply love to paint on walls becoz they are like big paper to fill in my thoughts and colors. When my sis was expecting her first baby I decorated room with lots of glass painted (where u paint on the glass, later peal and stick it on the walls) toads, stars, doggies, butterflies and dolls just for my niece to enjoy. As days went by, unfortunately uncle became a victim to intestine cancer and we lost him forever, but the knowledge of art he imbibed in me is something I cherish. Slowly we lost aunty due to age factor...but we are still filled with their fond memories. This is the recipe I dedicate to them with lots of love and just to say we miss you! My mum inherited this recipe from aunty and I inherited from mum.


For Okra Fry ( I made very small portion change accordingly)
Okra 150 grams ( Washed, well towel dried and diced in long pieces )
2 tbspn of Oil
2 Large onions ( Diced in large pieces)
2 Medium size tomato ( finely chopped)
1/2 tspn chilly powder
1 1/2 tspn coriander powder
1/2 tspn cumin  powder
Pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste

In a pan fry okras with one table spoon of oil, pinch of turmeric and salt, turmeric helps to keep the greenness in okras. After it is cooked leave them aside.
In the same pan add another table spoon of oil, fry onions till they are transparent, add tomatoes cook till oil comes out. Now add cooked okras and fry for 60 seconds. Add chilly, coriander, cumin powder and desired amount of salt and fry for 2 - 4 minutes till masala is well mixed and serve hot.

Masoor dhal 
Dhal 100 grams
1 tbspn of oil
3 pods of garlic ( Finely chopped)
1 Medium size onion (Finely chopped)
1 Medium size tomato (Finely chopped)
1 1/2 - 2 tspn of chilly pwd  (according to ur taste)
1 1/2  tspn of coriander powder
1/2 tspn cumin powder
Salt to taste
1 tbspn of finely chopped coriander

Pressure cook masoor dhal or pot boil them. Until it is cooked well. Don't over cook them. Masoor dhal are very small and thin version it doesn't take very long time to cook. Once it is cooked add cold water this prevents from over cooking.

In a pot, add one table spoon of oil, when it is warm add garlic, fry till turns pale brown, add onions fry it soft and tender. Next add tomatoes, fry till is cooked well and oil just starts to come out. Now add cooked dhal, next add chilly powder, coriander, jeera powder and salt to taste. Boil till the required consistency. Dhal should of running consistency.Garnish with chopped coriander, if deired with few fried garlic.

Enjoy both the recipes with warm roties and simple onion tomato salad.

For salad, finely chop the onions and transfer in bowl of water with few drops of lemon juice, this will mellow the raw onion flavour for about 5 mins. Mix with finely chopped de-seed tomatoes salt and pepper.


Unknown November 29, 2010 at 8:10 PM  

FAB pictures for a FAB combination plate

Soma November 29, 2010 at 8:39 PM  

Wonderful comfort food and a beautiful post.

I love that you got to paint the walls!!

So sorry about your uncle. I have lost my mom to stomach cancer while she was still very young....

Unknown November 29, 2010 at 8:47 PM  

beautiful post...some simple stories just get stuck with us from childhood...lovely...love the okra n daal too..will try soon!

Torviewtoronto November 29, 2010 at 9:01 PM  

Both veggies we love and make the same way this looks fabulous warm rotis and salad with this is perfect, pass the plate :)

Foodie Ann November 29, 2010 at 9:15 PM  

I can relate to your story...I had a door where I was allowed to draw anything I wanted....But now after few renovations at home its all gone...BTW your food styling looks gorgeous....:)

Cool Lassi(e) November 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM  

Excellent post Ananda! I didn't know cbe was your native place. I have stopped by for shopping and food(anna purna and sampurna).

Great photos as always.

Priya Suresh November 29, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

Both dal and okra fry looks sooo comforting and delicious..

Dimah November 29, 2010 at 9:51 PM  

This really looks and sounds fantastic! What a delicious combination of flavors!

Anonymous November 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM  

This is my all time fav dinner combo...Ooo you refereshed so many memories of Mom's cooked food.Wonderful clicks!

Flavia Galasso November 29, 2010 at 10:14 PM  

T hese recipe is really nice ...because is a very important memory to you.... I missed you!!!! .... hugs, Flavia

Flavia Galasso November 29, 2010 at 10:14 PM  

T hese recipe is really nice ...because is a very important memory to you.... I missed you!!!! .... hugs, Flavia

Pavithra Elangovan November 29, 2010 at 10:28 PM  

Mmmmm nice to read your memories dear.. by the way pictures are gorgeous and this kind of meal I love it. Healthy full meal!!!

Angie's Recipes November 29, 2010 at 10:49 PM  

I have been thinking of getting some okra...I guess I need to put the thinking into the action. The soup looks hearty and toothsome too!

Namitha November 29, 2010 at 11:32 PM  

Lovely pictures. You won't believe, but I have a similar pic, with okras in abasket ,but a different basket ;-) But I never got a chance to publish the pic so far :(
Maoor dal also looks wonderful

Alessandra November 30, 2010 at 12:08 AM  

Ciao, first time here, your blog is so beautiful!!!! I am following you!.

I laso like this recipe, You have lots of recipes that a good for me (I am a vegetarian) and the photos are great, solar! In fact they make me feel like your are taking the northern cold away with your styling :-)


My Kitchen Antics November 30, 2010 at 12:21 AM  

that was a really sweet post ananda..the meal presented is what id love right now..ona cold day like today.
And omg -17??? its 0 here and im praying it doesnt snow. But on the other hand, if i don have 2 get out of the house i dont mind the cold and even snow:)
have a fab week.

Unknown November 30, 2010 at 2:15 AM  

yummy.Thank u very much 4 ur lovely comment on my blog

Anna Johnston November 30, 2010 at 2:40 AM  

What a lovely story and such an awesome tribute to your aunt & uncle. I love your photography, you've managed to make everything look so wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
Oh..., and stay warm OK :)

art is in the kitchen November 30, 2010 at 2:50 AM  

Hello Ananda, I feel the same way over here even though not as freezing. This recipe is current for me 'cause it's the best for this kind of weather. Thanks for sharing! Keep warm .Cheers!

vegetarianirvana November 30, 2010 at 4:04 AM  

yummy yummy and your pictures are so delicious.

vegetarianirvana November 30, 2010 at 4:04 AM  

yummy yummy and your pictures are so delicious.

Unknown November 30, 2010 at 4:21 AM  

Stunning clicks, okra is my fav veggie. Looks so gud

Cheah November 30, 2010 at 6:19 AM  

Spicy food will be just what you need in this freezing cold weather! I see,..... you have an 'artistic' background,it reflects on your pictures. I like the okra dish, will be great with capati or just plain white rice!

Jan November 30, 2010 at 7:03 AM  

This is really tempting me... dal,chapathi and gumbo wonderful combination...


Treat and Trick November 30, 2010 at 7:57 AM  

You did it again! Such a stunning photo and great foodie dear. I agree with you those memories are imprinted in our mind as long as we live....

Swapna November 30, 2010 at 12:03 PM  

Beautiful post and pictures are gorgeous Ananda!!! Love the simple and healthy meal:)

Andrea the Kitchen Witch November 30, 2010 at 5:18 PM  

The finished dish turned out as lovely as I expected it would from the sneak peek :) Looks and sound amazing, I'd love a bowl of that right now, YUM!

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen November 30, 2010 at 5:31 PM  

A wonderful post and lovely recipe Ananda. I love masoor dal and make it quite the same way! Childhood memories with food are such a pleasure to read :)

Sarah Naveen November 30, 2010 at 6:24 PM  

Love..love..love..your pictures...do u use any extra lightings ??

enjoy the --- degrees..heheheh

Sanchita November 30, 2010 at 8:27 PM  

Simple yet delicious meal. I love all your photos but I think the last picture is the best one :)

Rachana November 30, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

A wonderful post Ananda. Bhindi is my favourite veggie and along with masoor daal is a great combo.

Stunning pics!

Suja Manoj December 1, 2010 at 12:17 AM  

Hi Ananda, there is an award waiting for you in my space ..please collect.

Binys Recipes December 1, 2010 at 12:35 AM  

wow complete lunch menu....looking just great.

aipi December 1, 2010 at 2:47 AM  

That's what I call soul food..fantastic shots!

US Masala

Tahemeem December 1, 2010 at 8:32 AM  

Spectacular pics... Amazing recipes :)...

Sanjeeta kk December 1, 2010 at 9:20 AM  

Lovely pictures for this comforting and healthy lentil, Ananda.

Couscous & Consciousness December 1, 2010 at 10:28 AM  

Ananda, what a beautiful post - what wonderful memories to treasure, and how lucky that your early creativity was encouraged. I have never cooked or eaten okra, but this dish looks wonderful and encourages me to try it.
Sue :-)

Sandhya Hariharan December 1, 2010 at 11:34 AM  

I m just loving it.... I will b making them straight away for dinner.. Love simple n authentic flavoured food.. and that too soo comforting:)

kavitha December 1, 2010 at 9:36 PM  

Very tempting Okra dish..I just love ur colour play.it awesome.:)

Devaki December 2, 2010 at 1:50 AM  

There are few things more wonderful than comfort food and bhindi and masoor dal are right up there!

Now cold I can stand - cold + howling wind, not so much! Masoor dal it is for tommorrow nite dinner. Thanks!

Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

M D December 2, 2010 at 9:22 AM  

It's lunch time here and your Masoor dal and okra tempts me. Love the addition of garlic. Nice recipe and clicks too.

Smitha December 2, 2010 at 7:45 PM  

Amazing clicks !!Dal must have tasted yummy with that garlic touch !!

Malar Gandhi December 2, 2010 at 10:54 PM  

loved ur photographs...perfect comfort food:)

Swathi December 3, 2010 at 12:09 AM  

Okra and masoor dal looks delicious. Love the story, sorry to hear about uncle.Life is like that somebody will be with us today is not tomorrow. Nice clicks.

Swathi December 3, 2010 at 12:11 AM  

Okra dish and masoor dal looks delicious. Love the story, Sorry to hear about your uncle. Life is like that somebody who is with us will not be with us tomorrow.

Raks December 3, 2010 at 7:16 AM  

The last picture makes me feel hungry instantly! Wonderful combo! Drooling!!

Nandinis food December 3, 2010 at 10:55 AM  

The pictures are very perfect and love the dishes!

Joyti December 3, 2010 at 12:29 PM  

It sounds like they were both a good influence in your life and that you have many fond memories...
The dishes looks very nice, comforting in this cold weather (but where do you find okra in the winter? Its one of the things my mom misses when it gets cold here).

Binys Recipes December 3, 2010 at 4:40 PM  

Dear loving Ananda there is an award for you...just tosay thx for all ur support.Also take a chance to let u know that ur comments have always been a source of motivation.

Malar Gandhi December 3, 2010 at 4:48 PM  


I have shared an award with you, please feel free to collect them:)

MaryMoh December 3, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

I love okra, especially fried with eggs. I can even eat that as a meal. Yours looks very delicious. Love your photos. They are all like a piece of art except that you don't paint them :D Yes, weather is so extremely cold. need lots of warming food like this....and...of course the duvet :D

Anonymous December 4, 2010 at 7:01 AM  

What a beautiful blog! Your photos are stunning and the recipe sounds delicious

Urmi December 6, 2010 at 8:20 AM  

Wonderful and delicious dish. I cannot resist myself. I appreciate for your beautiful presentation.

swapna December 6, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

Beautiful post dear....love ur shot. complete and fulfilling meal!!

Choclette December 6, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

I ldo like to hear your stories and now I have learnt that you are an artist as well as a great cook and academic. I've never taken to okra, but i love dahl - of any sort.

Radhika @ foodfor7stages December 7, 2010 at 12:06 AM  

A very touching post Ananda. Though people perish, memories last forever. Hugs to you.

And this will be the most scrumptious meal I would want to eat during winter.

Simplyfood December 7, 2010 at 1:06 AM  

What beautiful clicks and the platter of food looks so very delectable.

NIDHYA December 7, 2010 at 1:53 AM  

love all your clicks..

Aaha Oho

Ushnish Ghosh December 7, 2010 at 7:22 AM  

Dear Ananda
How are you?
Read this post twice, you have so nicely captured the incidents and childhood memories.
Okras are very expensive these days. But I will try the Masoor dal recipe, very different from the Bong version.
Have a nice week

C&G December 7, 2010 at 9:13 PM  

wow, all that spices and colours.. it beutiful, Giorgia

Satya December 8, 2010 at 6:57 AM  

Lovely pictures. Okra fry is looking so great. I am going to try that for sure.

Anonymous December 17, 2010 at 2:11 PM  

Good old memories!!! Oooops!!! sorry I should say Golden memories...after reading your blog for 3 times (I know i'm late ofcourse), now i feel like, God please take me back to my school dayssss!!!! I enjoi'd the memories more than the receipe (:P:P:P Sorry)...And not to forget to mention about the paintings- i still remember, when i came to your house for studies during my X std, I use to look at the beautiful drawing on the bedroom wall. That time i was thinking "LUCKY U", you parents have allowed you to do that :):D (little jealous also). Also i donno whethr u know r not, for one of the drawing competition that was conducted by Lion's club in our school, madam gave me you paintings for sample. That was actually a photograph...i still remember that :)...I cherish the memories of those days...ok ka...keep doing the good work..its already sooo big :P:P

RMM December 19, 2010 at 11:48 AM  

Hi Ananda...first time here..but u have me hooked !!!...ur blog is so lovely and pics are amazing..and the write up so appealling ...enjoyed reading it....and what i would give for that plate ...even the chappathis look so soft and tasty...droool...!!!!...will surely try out this recipe and let u know...Keep up the good work , Take care, Reny.

Unknown December 22, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

Sujitha, Thank you dear...haha i can't tell you how much of my fond memories you have refreshed :)

RM thank you very much for your kind words of appreciation, glad you have found thing interesting in my space...all ur words are my driving force :)

Anonymous January 21, 2011 at 1:56 PM  

Thought I would comment and say neat theme, did you make it for yourself? It’s really awesome!.

Unknown January 24, 2011 at 10:15 AM  

Anonymous, yes all the food pic displayed here are done by me...thanks for dropping by!

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