One Dish Meals {Recipe}: Dal Week Part-1

Most Indian households have at least one version of a dish where rice and pulses are cooked together, with or without vegetables, and with different combinations of spices. Whether it be the humble khichadi or pongal, or the slightly more exotic kadambam or bise bele bhat, these “one dish meals” are a perennial favourites.

Here are six recipes that our fellow IFFians shared with us.



Meera Jayaram: Hara Moong dal Khichidi with Palak


Rice – 1 cup

Green Moong Dal – 1/2 cup (Soaked for 2 -3 hours)

Sprouted Green moong dal – 1/2 cup

Palak – 1 bunch (Finely Chopped)

Green Chillies – 4 (Slit lengthwise)

Ginger – 2 inches (Finely chopped)

Garlic – 6-8 pods (Finely chopped)

Jeera – 1 tsp

Cloves – 3

Ghee – 5 tsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Buttermilk – 4 cups (Should be very think in consistency)


Heat 2 tsp ghee in a pressure cooker.

Add jeera, and when it starts to crackle, add cloves.

Add soaked green moong dal and rice, and sauté for few minutes.

Add finely chopped palak, green chillies and turmeric. Mix well and sauté for a few minutes.

Add sprouted moong dal, salt and buttermilk, and mix well.

Add 3 tsp ghee and pressure cook for 2 whistles on high flame and 2 whistles on low flame.

In a separate pan, heat 1 tsp ghee, and sauté finely chopped ginger, garlic. Add this to the khichidi and mix well.

Serve with curds and papad.


Sandhya Nag: Khichidi

This is what Sandhya has to say about the dish “Khichidi….with lots of vegetables and two type of dals…Moong and Massor…truley awesome…this is truley my innnovation…..cant have normal regular boring khichidi…


1 cup moong dal

1 cup masoor dal

2 cups jasmine rice

Dhania powder to taste

Chilli powder to taste

Salt to taste

Few pods garlic

Green chillies as per taste

Potatoes, green beans, peas, carrots, or any other vegetables in the desired quantity.

Cooking oil


Heat some oil in a large large pressure cooker. Add a few pods garlic and sauté for a few minutes

Add washed dals and rice, fry for some time.

Add vegetables and green chillies and fry for some time.

Add dhania powder , chilli powder and salt, and lots and lots of water.

Cook in the pressure cooker till soft- say 2 to 3 whistles.

Serve with a dollop of ghree on top. Khichidi goes well with sliced onions and papad.


Natasha Ramarathnam- Bisi bele bhaat

Here’s what she has to say about the dish- “Whether or not you can call a dish using store bought masala “authentic”, is debatable, but this is my mother’s tired and tested recipe, which never fails even for an indifferent cook like me.


1 measure tur dal

1 measure rice

About 250 gms of vegetables (you can use any vegetables you like- I normally use beans, cauliflower, peas, carrot, potatoes- a lot of people put in pumpkins)

1 medium onion cut into quarters

1 tsp haldi powder

Salt to taste

A handful of peanuts (or as much as you want)

1 tbsp grated copra

Green chillis

1 tsp oil

3 tbsp MRT Vangibhat masala

1 marble sized ball of tamarind

For tempering:

1 red chilli

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 sprig curry leaves

1 tsp oil


Cook the tur dal, with haldi powder, till soft.

Half cook the rice, add chopped vegetables and the onion, and cook till rice is fully done (the onion is essential, because it adds to the flavour).

Lightly fry desired quantity of peanuts and keep aside.

In a large kadhai and on a low flame, fry peanuts, grated copra, green chillies. When the copra is nice and brown, add the cooked rice, and dal, and mix well.

Add 3 tbsp of MRT Vangibhat masala, salt and tamarind juice, stir well, and let it cook on low heat for a few minutes. Depending on how mushy you want it add the peanuts (early if you like it soft, right at the end if you want it crunchy).

Make a tempering with mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chillies. Add a dollop of ghee before serving.


Meera Jayaram- Kadambam

I am not sure if I can call this Kadambam. I had this piping hot, spicy tangy with a hint of sweet prashad at Tirupati and tried recreating it.”, is what Meera has to say about the dish.


1 cup rice

½ cup toor dal

½ cup moong dal

Tamarind – a big lemon size (soak in water and extract the juice)

Dhania, Red Chillies, Methi seeds – dry roast and make a coarse powder

Curry leaves

1 tsp Mustard seeds

2 pinches Hing

1 tsp crushed pepper corns

1 inch piece of Jaggery (You can avoid this if you do not like hint of sweet)

Salt to taste

100 gms ghee

10 cashew nuts


Wash the rice and dals and cook in a pressure cooker for four whistles and keep it aside.

In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing.

Add the tamarind juice, salt, turmeric powder and let it boil.

Add the dry roasted masalas and keep boiling till the raw smell disappears.

Add jaggery and stir.

To this add the cooked rice & dal.

Mix thoroughly and cook on low flame for 5 min, switch off.

In a separate pan, heat the ghee, fry the cashew nuts till golden brown and remove.

Add crushed pepper to the ghee and fry for a min.

Add the cashew nuts, pepper in ghee to the dish and mix well.


Meera Jayaram: Chakara Pongal
1 cup rice

¾ cup moong dal

1 ½ cup jaggery (increase if you like it sweeter)

150 – 200 gms ghee
4 elaichis (powdered)
15-20 cashew nuts
10-15 kismis


Wash the rice and moong dal thoroughly.

Add to pressure cooker with 4 cups of water and cook for 4 whistles.

Remove the steam off, add the elaichi powder, jaggery (powder the jaggery) and mix thoroughly.

Add half a cup milk and cook on low flame for 5 min and switch off.

In a separate pan heat the ghee, fry the cashews & kismis and add this to the Pongal.

Mix well and Chakara Pongal is ready to eat.


Rekha Hegde: Sambhar SadamSambharshadam

“Here is a Quick version of Sambhar sadam for dinner…do try it out. Easy to make and tasty too”, is what Rekha says about the dish. It sure looks good!


1/2 cup arhar (tuvar) dal

1/2 cup rice

2 tsp- 1 tbsp sambhar powder

1 tsp tamarind (soaked in water for 10 minutes and strained)

salt to taste

For tempering

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

curry leaves

cashew pieces

10-12 sambhar onions (chopped)

oil for tempering


Soak the dal for 30 mins. Wash and drain the water.
Pressure cook rice and arhar dal with 2 cups water.

Add sambhar pd, tamarind and salt and cook for a while. Add 1 more cup of water if needed.

Heat the oil for tempering, put in mustard seeds, curry leaves, cashew pieces and 10-12 sambhar onions (chopped). Fry till onions are slightly golden and pour over the sambhar sadam.

Eat when it is still hot …with desi ghee on top.


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