The month of Chaitra in the Hindu Regional calendar is considered as the first month of the year. In Maharashtra the month of Chaitra starts with celebrating Gudi Padwa, i.e the first day of the year and ends with Chaitra Amavasya. 'Chaitra Gauri' on Gudi Padwa is an important event for ladies who invite each for Haldi Kunku or Haldi Kumkum in Hindi. Women observe nine days, called 'Devichi Navaratri' starting with 'Chaitra Gauri,' all the way till ‘Akshaya Tritiya’. 'Paanpoyi' or large pots of water are specially set up in public space in order to help the needy. "After the puja of the water pots, the very act of offering water to one and all is important on Gudi Padwa. People can distribute water this way till Akshaya Tritiya.
The other important attraction of Chaitra Haldi Kunku is Kairichi Daal and Kaari Panha, indicating the onset of spring and the welcome of raw mangoes. About two three days back I was speaking with my cousin P and she mentioned of attending Chaitra Haldi Kunku and eating Vaatli daal and the mere mention of Vaatli Daal tempted me to make it at the earliest. To add to my interest was also the quick comment by P that her MIL makes a very low oil version of it which is very light to eat. She explained in short how I could make it in the microwave partly and then cook in pan later. I have already mentioned earlier here that P and her MIL are great cooks and their Stuffed & Batter Fried Bread Roll was a post read by many..
Now, that the Chaitra month is already over, yet I did make the daal my way with the tips I had learnt from P and it really turned out light to eat and less oily. The original method of preparation makes use of loads of oil for roasting and cooking the daal. This method is far more easy, simplified and perfect for weight watchers like me. Yes, after a month of successful diet control and with 3kgs down I can tell everyone now that I’m watching my weight , I still have a long way to go but the process has begun, finally.
It is a very healthy preparation with lentils and raw mango and can be cooked in less than half an hour if you have soaked lentils in hand. It's spicy, tangy, slightly sweet..it's just very tasty and asafetida adds more flavour.
KAIRICHI VAATLI DAAL
2cups of Soaked Bengal Gram/ Chana daal
7-8 green chilies
1tsp cumin seeds
1small piece ginger
3baby raw mangoes
1tsp coriander powder
1/2tsp cumin powder
1/2tsp eno fruit salt
1/2 lemon's juice
1sprig curry leaves
1/4tsp asafetida (heeng of good smell)
Freshly Grated Coconut
a lemon wedge
Wash a cup of Bengal gram/ chana daal and soak for 3-4 hrs. It doubles in volume.
Strain all the water and keep aside. Coarsely grind the lentil with 5 green chilies, ginger, cumin and raw mangoes. If you do not have raw mangoes, amchoor can be used instead.
Transfer the ground lentils to a microwave safe bowl and add about 1/4cup water.
Add 1tsp oil, salt to taste, suagr, cumin and coriander powder.
Mix thoroughly and just before putting in microwave add eno fruit salt and give a quick stir. The fruit salt helps to make the lentil cook light and fluffy. This was a tip given by P's MIL, Sandhya Mavshi. Thanks so much Mavshi, this tip does work.
Heat it in the microwave for about 10-12mins, and keep mixing after every 2mins.
|after 5mins of cooking|
|after 10mins of cooking|
At this stage, either wait for cooling of the mix (like I did) else proceed with the next step. But waiting is advisable.
Crumble the cooled mix with fingers.
Heat about 3tsp oil and add mustard seeds to it.
Lower the flame and add asafetida, this prevents it's burning.
Add curry leaves and two slit chilies.
Tip in the cooled and crumbled lentils.
Mix the lentils properly and cook on high heat for 2-3mins.
Cover and cook under steam for 5-6mins again. Mix lemon juice. If you feel that the lentil is very dry, sprinkle some water and steam cook for 2-3mins, till soft.
Sending this to my event ‘Only’ Snacks & Starters hosted by Raji at Vegetarian Tastebuds and My Culinary Creations- Snacks