Friday, January 25, 2013

Doodhi Chana Dal

Started gymming this week after a gap of two months - two months which included the holiday season, two months of gorging on cookies, cakes, fried stuff and anything sugary, two months of lazing around and blaming the cold weather for the general inertia! The pounds have added on - I can literally see all the junk food deposits - love handles and all - ugghhh!

Now that I have started with the workouts though, I am hoping that I will exercise control over my palate as well! Abstinence is a word non-existent in my dictionary. What I hope to do though is make "Everything in moderation" my new mantra!

Anyone who has done something physically exerting after being a couch potato for a long time will understand what I am experiencing after hitting the gym for 4 consecutive days after the long break. Every part of my body is hurting - even those I didn't know existed! Yesterday's session was particularly brutal and it took a lot of will power for me to step into the cardio room today! Must say I am proud of myself. Don't ask me how I am rewarding myself for that  :p !!

But once I got back from my "punishment" session today I just did not have the energy to cook anything elaborate. I wanted to make something quick, yet filling and healthy. So I opted for doodhi chana dal. It has chana dal that takes care of the protein part and doodhi is one of those vegetables that has so many health benefits associated with it that it makes me wonder why it is not categorized as a medicine instead of a vegetable! I am serious - just google it. Doodhi/lauki/bottle gourd/ opo squash/sorakai - whatever you call it in your language - has so many traditionally healing properties associated with it that it should be on the "must have" list of every home. It is low in calories and fat, good for diabetics, good for digestion, has a cooling effect with high water content, balances liver function, helps treat blood pressure and heart diseases etc etc etc.

Well - exercise and doodhi chana dal - I think I have reached my "healthy quota" for the week - what say you??

Soaking Time: 1 hour     Preparation & Cooking: 20 minutes          Serves: 3-4

Chana Dal (Bengal Gram Lentil) - 1 cup
Doodhi/Bottle Gourd - 1, diced
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida (Hing) Powder - a pinch
Dried Red Chillies - 2

Ginger -  1 teaspoon, minced
Turmeric (Haldi) Powder - ½ teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder  - 1 teaspoon
Dried  Mango (Amchur) Powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Cilantro - chopped, for garnish

Oil - 1 tablespoons

  1. Rinse and soak the chana dal for an hour.
  2. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds and asafoetida powder. When the seeds crackle, add the dried red chillies and ginger.

  3. Now add in the dal, diced bottle gourd, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and mix well.
  4. Add enough water to cover the dal, close the pressure cooker and cook the dal for 4-5 whistles. Once the steam is all let out, open the cooker and add the garam masala and amchur powder and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  5. Delicious Doodhi Chana Dal is ready. Goes well with both chapathis as well as rice.

Sending this across to New "U" 2013 @ Zesty Palette.


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