The traditional Indian vegetarian meal which is simple, highly nutritious and comforting is the dal-chawal (lentil-rice) as known in N.India or pappu-annam as known to us Andhras, down south. No Indian meal is complete without the protein packed superfood, dal, which continues to be our culinary tradition throughout the length and breadth of the country since times unknown.
As its the dal month here at my site, today I am blogging a dal which is very dear to us Andhras, kandi pappu or yellow lentils. Yellow lentils, a major source of protein, form a part of the daily diet of the Andhra vegetarian meal. I have researched about these lentils and complied a list by which this lentil is known in other Indian languages.
- English – Red Gram/yellow lentils
- Hindi -Arhar dal
- Bengali- Arhar dal
- Marathi- Tur Dal
- Gujarati- Tuver Dal
- Tamil- Thuvaram Paruppu
- Malayalam- Thvara Parippu
- Telugu – Kandi Pappu
- Kannada- Togri Bele
Mudda Pappu is the quintessential comfort food of Andhras. Pressure cooked tur dal, mashed and salted is served as a first course in the Andhra traditional meal, and is eaten mixed with hot steamed white rice, a dollop of ghee and the famous Andhra avakai (mango pickle). No words can describe the down to earth flavor of the dal and comfort of this delicious combination. Its sure manna from heaven!!
Preparation of ‘mudda pappu’ is very simple. When cooked right, these lentils which are chewy yet tender, are very flavorful and comforting. Traditionally, Indian toddlers and children are fed a nutritious diet of lentil and rice with a dollop of ghee (clarified butter) during their growing up years.
Mudda Pappu Recipe
Serves 5-6 persons
1 cup kandi pappu (yellow lentil)
salt to taste
approx 1 1/2 cups water (enough water for the dal to immerse)
1 Roast kandi pappu lightly in a heavy bottomed vessel on medium heat till light brown, as shown in the picture, approx 3-4 mts. Both before and after dry roasting photos of the dal are seen in the above picture. The dal can be pressure cooked even without dry roasting. Its your choice.
2 Add just enough water to the dal till it is immersed. Pressure cook it. Once cooked, add salt to taste and mash it well.
3 Serve with hot steamed rice, clarified butter (ghee) and avakai (mango pickle) or dosavakai or any pickle of you choice. Other than this combination, most Andhra homes, eat mudda pappu normally in combination with a tangy-sweet flavored gravy called “theepi pulusu” or chaaru.
Mudda pappu-avakai-neyyi (lentils-mango pickle-ghee) combination, eaten with hot white rice.
The cooking time of dal can be further reduced if the lentils are soaked for 15-20 mts before pressure cooking them. Always add salt to the dal after it is cooked, or else the lentils will remain hard. You can make it more liquidy by adding more water. Its not necessary to dry roast the tur dal before pressure cooking.
Similarly, pesara pappu (split yellow moong dal) can be cooked on the same lines as tur dal without dry roasting and eaten with white rice and ghee. Pesara pappu doesnt need to be soaked in water before cooking.