Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mushrooms, Badiyaan (spicy lentil dumplings) Stew

Mushrooms, Badiyaan (spicy lentil dumplings) Stew

When I was visiting India this time I asked my parents to make all the dishes that I ate as a kid. I was looking for a familiar flavor that Mom's cooking brings and I reminisce about when I am miles away.

My Mom spent her childhood in Punjab, India where Badiyaan or spicy lentil dumplings were made from scratch on white cotton sheets spread on a wooden cot, and then dried under the sun. They would be peeled off from the cotton sheets where they dried during the summer and saved in pantry, for later use. The cotton sheets were kept for use in the kitchen only. Badiyaan last for about two months stored in an airtight container. These are found in Indian grocery stores in most big cities of America.

Usually badiyaan are made with potatoes and tomatoes along with parathas or rice. My need for experimenting in the kitchen led me to try out this new combination and I was particularly glad to hear my eleven-year-old rave about it along with my husband, "flavorful, great outcome".

If I can get my kid to eat veggies in any form I feel I have had a successful day.


18 oz (227 gms) pack of fresh white mushrooms
2 medium-sized badiyaan (available at your local Indian grocery store) crushed into chunks
1 medium onion
1 turnip
1 beet if you are in North America (or beet root as they say in UK)
1 small red potato
2 medium Roma tomatoes
5 large cloves of garlic
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida or hing powder
3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2 cup water

For garnish

juice of half a lemon
4 -5 sprigs of green coriander or parsley (whichever is readily available) chopped

Rinse all the veggies. Peel the beet, potato, and onion, and chop them.
In a pressure cooker on medium heat add oil and stir fry the onions till they become translucent (usually takes about two minutes)
Add the badiyaan stir for another minute, then add the chopped garlic, turnip, beet, and potato.
Stir. Add the spices, stir again.
Add water. Mix well.
Close the lid of the pressure cooker and increase the heat to high; and follow the instructions on how to use a pressure cooker if you are new to it. When you hear the whistle, lower the heat to medium again. After two minutes switch off the burner.

Once the pressure is gone, open the cooker, and add fresh squeezed lemon juice. Garnish with chopped green coriander or parsley leaves whichever you like better. To me, both taste well.

Serve hot with your favorite bread. Rustic wheat bread goes well with this robust flavored dish.


Let me know how it turns out for you.