Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lentils and Kale Pappu (Andhra Style Preparation of Lentils and Kale)

Victor Hugo was right when he said, "Necessity is mother of invention".
We lived in a small city in US, few years back; it was very hard to find Desi greens. So, I started incorporating the fresh greens that we get in mainstream market into my Andhra cooking. That’s when this ‘pappu’ happened. My initial trials with regular ‘kandi pappu’ (toor daal or pigeon peas) were not that exciting. The strong flavor (smell) of Kale completely overpowered delicate flavored toor daal. My search for a legume that can absorb Kale’s flavor without sacrificing its own flavor came to an end when I made lentil-kale soup. Wonderful! Lentils compliment Kale very well. I moved ahead and made this pappu. Ever since, I stayed faithful to this combo and make it often. This became one of my comfort foods. Try it and let me know.

What you need to make this Kale Pappu:
2 cups brown lentils
1/2 medium sized onion
1-2 green chili (optional)
1/2 bunch Curly leaf Kale
3 cloves garlic
2 small segments of tamarind or ½-1 tsp tamarind paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2-1 tsp paprika or red chili powder
Salt to taste
For popu (tadka/seasoning):
1-2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tsp each, chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves
½ tsp hing or asafetida
Prep Work:
Wash lentils well and soak for one hour. Discard this water.
Dice onion, slice jalapeno.
Kale – Wash kale well, take the veins out carefully and chop finely (not too fine).
Pound garlic cloves slightly.
Tamarind – if using dried segments, soak for 30 minutes, mash well and take pulp out.
  • In a saucepan, boil lentils in 4-5 cups of water, occasionally mixing.
  • When the lentils are halfway done, add onion, green chilies. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until onions become soft.
  • Add kale. Cover and cook on a low flame for 6-7 minutes or until kale is cooked well (meaning, kale can retain its shape, not mushy), and the lentils are well cooked.
  • Add garlic cloves and tamarind. Make sure that lentils are well cooked.
    Or, in a pressure cooker, add lentils, water, onions, green chilies, kale, garlic cloves, and tamarind. Make sure the tamarind is not touching lentils; otherwise, lentils won’t be well done. Cook until 2-3 whistles depending on the cooker you are using.
  • Add salt, turmeric, paprika or red chili powder. Mash well to form a coarse paste. Please do fancy with the ideas of using blender or mashing it into a homogeneous paste.
  • Now, move to popu step. In a small sauté-pan, heat cooking oil, add all popu items one by one in the order mentioned. When the mustard seeds stop spluttering, add this popu to the mashed mixture. Mix well and return the pappu to low flame and cook for 2 mins.Serve with roti or boiled white or brown rice.

Left: Pappu without tadka, before mashing. Right: Lentils and Kale Pappu
My Contribution to JFI-Green Leafy Vegetables


bina said...

Wonderful blog. Keep the recipes coming. I had never thought of this combination and am definitely going to try it out.

Vani said...

Thank you Bina, the limited variety of Organic produce, forces me to come up with such combinations. :-)
I need to make Muthias (your recipe) and post it.

sai krupa said...

It's so good to have the Lentils and Kale Pappu in an Andhra Style Recipes which looks very delicious.. Thanks for giving out the making procedural.

Anonymous said...

I tried this with masoor daal and came out excellent taste