(Vegetable And Lentil Sides, Usili Varieties, Lentils And Vegetable Stir-fry, Vegetarian Side Dish With Lentils, Paruppu, Veggi Dry Sides With Dal)
Lentils or paruppu is a staple food item in every Indian kitchen. There is perhaps no Indian home where dal or lentils is used in every day cooking. There are hundreds of recipes which uses lentils as the main ingredient. There is in fact no person who does not eat dal or paruppu or lentil. It can be definitely called as India’s comfort food. A large percentage of Indians are vegetarians and lentils are their main source of protein.
There are many lentils in the list and each of it is cooked in their own way. Each region has its own way of cooking and their respective favorites. The method of cooking lentil based recipes may range from the simplest to the most laborious process. Ranging from the most basic cooking method of simply boiling it with dash of salt and adding a robust tempering right before serving, to a more tedious method of grinding the pulses to flour and cook and steam to make a dhokla or khandvi, lentils have come a long where we first knew it to be.
I have shared earlier the simplest recipes of making dal varieties in an earlier article. Today I will share with you of how lentils and vegetables can be combined to make protein rich and healthy recipes. Lentils, as we all know is protein rich, very low in calories, rich in minerals like potassium, iron, copper, manganese and also fibre dense which helps in easy bowel movement. And as far as vegetables are concerned, each of it has its own distinctive characteristics and nutrition that set them unique. When we cook vegetables with lentils added, the nutritive quotient of the dish becomes multi fold.
One of the simplest vegetable-lentil dishes that are prepared in a quick way is the parupp usili. Vegetables like onion, carrot, cabbage, beans, beetroot and capsicum are used to make paruppusili. Lentils like thuvar dhal and Bengal gram solely and sometimes a combination of both the varieties of lentils is used to make paruppusili. To increase the nutritive content even more I use equal proportions of red gram, yellow gram and Bengal gram. Paruppusili is a traditional dish that is predominantly cooked in Brahmin houses. It is a must prepare dish in a festive menu, wedding menu or any special occasion menu. My mother makes paruppusili whenever there is little quantity of vegetable at home. Traditionally the best combination including paruppusili is mor kuzhambu, jeera rasam and paruppusili. But it also goes very well with rice varieties like lemon rice, coconut rice, jeera rice etc.
One of the other method combining vegetables with lentils is making koottu. Koottu is a semi solid gravy made with vegetables like snake gourd, chow chow, carrot, cabbage, cucumber and cooked lentils with ground spices comprising of coconut gratings, cumin seeds and chilies. Koottu is usually mild in taste and hence it goes well as an accompaniment with spicy rice varieties like tamarind rice, sesame rice, vathakuzhambu, kara kuzhambu etc. The vegetable koottu is mixed with rice and ghee and given as a meal to small children. With all these new recipes, am sure none of us have to worry if we have to plan a menu and you find only little quantity of vegetable in the fridge. We can also resort to make a paruppusili or a koottu. Right?? Go ahead and make this new variety and impress your culinary skills to all.
Recipes With Vegetables And Lentils