Feb 4, 2013

Keera Dosakaya Pappu ~ Cucumber cooked with Lentils

Dal (Lentils) is one of our comfort food in India. It is rich in proteins and we always cook it with some leafy greens or squash vegetables to make it complete meal. There are several combinations that you can make dal with different vegetables. In India, Tomato Dal,  Palakura (Spinach) Dal  and Dosakaya ( Squash) Dal are very common as they are available in all seasons. Mango Dal tastes ( lentils cooked with raw mango) superb can be only made in Spring season as Raw Mangos are plenty in this season. In contradiction to this, here in United States Raw Mango is available in all time of the year this usually happens most of the time in my Kitchen (as VJ is a great fan of this). Dosakaya Pappu is the combination that i rarely cook, due to scarcity of good and fresh Dosakaya (Yellow). One day when I visited my sister(in Dallas), she was making this Cucumber Dal and she packed some ( yes, she is wonderful! :-) ) to-go for me. That day Kids and VJ absolutely loved this for Sunday Supper. I called her and asked for the recipe, she said it's from Vah-Reh-Vah site (she is also fan of this recipe site like me) and I followed her directions exactly from begin to end and made this wonderful Cucumber Dal is almost similar to Dosakya Pappu in taste. As Dosakaya is sour in nature, to resemble that taste here we will add some tomatoes and tamarind than the regular recipe. So from now on wards you don't have to run to Indian Store to make Dosakaya Pappu, as you can transform cucumbers into this wonderful Dal!  Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Cucumber Dal

Recipe Source: My Sister's Kitchen
Cucumber - 2 (small size)
Onion- 1/2 medium
Green Chili - 3
Tour Dal (Lentils) - 1 cup
Tomato - 1 (cluster)
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
salt - 2 tsp
coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
garlic - 4 cloves
lime juice - 1 tsp ( Optional)
Cilantro - for garnish
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Ghee ( Clarified Butter) - 1 Tbsp

For Indian Tempering:
Dry Red Chili - 2
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Chana Dal - 1 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 8 - 10 leaves (or 1 stem)
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp

Here are the detail steps to make Indian Tempering (Taalimpu)

Preparatory Steps:

  • Wash the Tour Dal and add 2 cups of water. Let it soak for 15 min and  add 1/2 tsp of turmeric to it and pressure cook in the cooker ( 3 whistles) until it is done. Let it cool off, and add 1 tsp pf salt to it and mash so that it becomes soft ( like puree).
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water. Or Place tamarind in a small bowl and 3 Tbsp water and microwave it for  1 min and keep it aside. 
  • Peel the Cucumber and trim the edges. Cut into length wise and core the seeds from it with a spoon.  Dice into medium size cubes.


  1. Heat the oil in the heavy bottom pan.Once the oil is hot add Chana Dal, Urad Dal, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds and let them roast for 2 min. Add Curry Leaves, followed by crushed garlic and turmeric powder. (You will get nice aroma of garlic.) 
  2. Now add the Chopped Green Chili and Onion. Let it cook for 2 min. (make sure Onions are semi cooked not fully cooked in this recipe.)
  3. Add Cucumber Cubes and mix it with seasonings and let it cook  for 3 min. Now add the chopped tomato and let it cook until it becomes juicy. 
  4. Now Add the mashed lentils to the pan and mix it well. Add 1 tsp salt, red chili powder and let it simmer. 
  5. Extract the juice from soaked Tamarind and add this to the pan. (Add water to the dal as needed)
  6. Add coriander powder and let it simmer for few min on low. Taste and adjust all the seasonings. 
  7. Add chopped cilantro and Ghee on top. Squeeze lime juice on top for some more sour twist. (This is my addition and optional, it's up to you). Switch off the stove and serve hot with white Rice and some Pappad on the side. Oh My..., Yummm!

I would call it the best comfort food on the planet, Do you Disagree?

will be back with some more comfort food recipes
until then take care



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