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“Congress” Pulao and Khatte Dal

April 12, 2008

I was nostalgic about my hostel food the other day……you’re laughing!! Its true, the LSR Hostel food was really good….its more than a decade since I left it but I still remember the Rajma Chawal with Kaddu ki sabzi on thursdays, Aloo parathas for lunch on sunday and vegetable and meat biryani with dal for dinner�on sunday! I had half a cabbage, some carrot and four tomatillos in my fridge this last sunday and thought…I need to use these up…I feel like eating vegetable biryani with dal, just like we did on sundays in the hostel…’s where the north meets south idea came to me. “Congress curry”, I learned when I married G, is the poriyal made with cabbage (the white of the Congress flag), carrot (the orange aka saffron of the Congress flag)and peas (the green of the Congress flag). And I’ve recently discovered Pulao masala..this shouldn’t be a difficult meal to make, I thought…and it wasn’t

What You Need
For the Pulao
  • 1.5 Cups of Basmati rice
  • 2 Medium Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a Cabbage, thinly chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 cup of frozen Edamame
  • 2.5 Tsps of Garam Masala
  • 1.5 Tsps of Pulao Masala
  • 1.5 Tsps of cooking oil
  • some lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2.74 cups of water
For the Dal
  • 4 small tomatillos
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal, cooked
  • 1 Tsp of cooking oil
  • 1 Tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 an inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 3 Tbsps of chopped cilantro
How its done
  1. Wash the rice and set aside while you chop the vegetables and prepare for the pulao.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick fry pan and when it heats up add the onions and saute till the onions are transluscent.
  3. Add the rice and continue to saute for a few minutes till the rice changes color slightly.
  4. Add the chopped cabbage, carrot, garam masala, lime juice, salt and pepper and mix.
  5. Transfer to an electric rice cooker and let it cook (or if using a cooker, add water, close the lid, and cook till steaming, turning the heat down when it reaches full steam and switching off heat in 2-3 minutes after that).
  6. Now lets turn our attention to the dal- chop the tomatillos and microwave covered with salt for 2-3 minutes till they are mushy and cooked.
  7. Heat oil in a sauce pan and when heated add the cumin seeds.
  8. Then add the chopped ginger and chillies and saute a minute or so.
  9. Add the cooked tomatillos and the cooked dal, add water if too thick. Season with salt and pepper and cook till it comes to a boil.

The tangy dal is a perfect compliment to the spicy pulao…hmmmmm!!

  1. This reminds me of my hometown favorite restaurants and the best food in each restaurant. The picture is very appealing and the recipes are simple and healthy too.

  2. wow! The Tiranga magic in such a simple avataar. interesting. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make simple things into special themes.

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