Full Meal : Lentils, Tamil Naadu Style Chicken Masala and Tindora

THREE accompaniments for rice that can be made really fast.
For the first time I'm sharing a FULL MEAL. It's really easy and I'll share why I have been able to make with less effort than. Here are the answers:

1 > Pre-cooked lentils

        2  > 1 tempering for 2 curries 

                 3 > cooking chicken in a pressure cooker

Kerala Style Lentil Curry

Like having boiled potato in your fridge, having cooked dhal (lentils) can make your LIFE  much easier, especially if you are a rice eater like my hubby and I. ;)
For sure I prefer to have FRESH food, and I'm more than proud to say that most of the time my fridge is EMPTY as I cook every day, and the needed quantity only. 
Fresh food, NO waste : happy me ! :)

But when I make dhal, I sometime make some extra and freeze it. That allows me to use it later when I'm in HURRY , it is also perfect to consume less power.

Let's come to the recipe. 

Take the following ingredients:
*2 cups moong dhal - 
soaked overnight as it cooks faster (optional) 
*2 minced cloves of garlic
*1/2 tsp  turmeric 

I pressure cook all together until well cooked - when the lentils can be easily mashed with a wooden spoon - that is right consistency.
[At this stage, you can refrigerate or freeze it for a later use.]
Before serving, heat your lentil with 1/2 cup coconut milk.
You can adjust the thickness of the coconut milk according to how liquid/thick you want your dhal curry to be.
Season with salt.
Add the tempering (recipe just below) and it's ready ! :)



Tempering aka TADKA is what will take your sad paste of lentils to another level - that's true for most of the Indian dishes that ask for a tempering at the end.

All the flavors come trough the tempering.
In this tempering I have used red onion instead of shallots. 
Why ? Time saver. 
But SHALLOTS are tastier for sure.

4 tbsp coconut oil 3 
tsp mustard seeds 
1 red onion very finely chopped 
1 or 2 green chilli chopped 
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes  
curry leaves - as much as you like, I took 1 handful 

In a pan add oil. 
When the oil is hot, splutter the mustard seeds. 
Add the onion first, when they become translucent, add all the remaining ingredients and cook until the onion starts browning. Turn off the flame : voilĂ  !

Remember, this tempering is for two dishes. Divide in 2 portions: 1 for the lentils and the other for the tindora.


    If you are not familiar with this vegetable, you will get them in most of the Indian grocery. 
    You can fry them, steam them, make a spicy masala that perfectly goes with chapathy as well (Oh YUMMM), and the list goes on.

    But this time I choose to simply cut them in julienne (thinly lengthwise). 

    This is may be the more time consuming part so feel free tut them in quarter, - If you do that way add 2 to 3 tbsp water in your pan to cook them. Recipe:

    Cut your tindora in julienne, put them in a medium hot pan.
    NO oil . 
    Stir to prevent them from burning. 
    I like them when they are not full cooked, when the crunchiness is preserved.
    As tindora can be eaten even row (yes they are really good in salads), you decide how long you should cook them. 
    6 to 8 min MAXIMUM for me.
    Turn off the flame, season with salt  and add the portion of tempering put aside for the tindora.
    You are DONE !

    Tamil Naadu Style Chicken Masala

    Let me guess, 2 vegetable curries are not enough for the carnivore you are, right ? hehehe

    This recipe worth a try. 
    My first attempt and it won the heart of my husband, a true meat LOVER
    I don't know if this recipe is a typical tamil style or not, but it's quite different from the recipes I have seen in Kerala. So I presume it's more Tamilian style - aaah whatever as long as it tastes good ! 
    I never cooked chicken in a pressure cooker before as it is a DELICATE meat, but it went well and SOOOOOO fast ! :)


    I followed the recipe (video at the end)  from A to Z ..hmm...no actually, from A to Y.
    The one and only DIFFERENCE is that she transferred her chicken from a wide open pan into a pressure cooker. 
    I skipped this "transferring" part. 
    I started with the pressure cooker and ended with that one and only pot. It perfectly worked!  
    Less mess and one pot to clean,isn't that a good deal?
    WARNING !! 
    Don't over pressure or else you will end up with a chicken soup my friend.

    The recipe is here, subtitled in English - I don't speak the language but it's well explained. It's really a nice recipe.  Try it for a change and let me know !