Friday, October 30, 2015

Patoli - A Lentil and Bean Stir-Fry

My mother used to make this dish, though without beans. It was quite delicious, especially with hot rice and ghee, some good South Indian pickle and some pappadums. Lately, I love having it with rasam as the sour soup goes well with this dry dish.

I never really learned how to make it from her but I’ve tried it out using my memory of the taste.


1 cup chana dal or ½ cup chana dal and ¼ cup each of yellow moong and arhar.
1-2 large onions, sliced not too finely
2-6 cloves of garlic, sliced or ground
A small piece of ginger, in juliennes or ground
1-2 green chilies, chopped
Some curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of fenugreek seeds
A pinch of hing
½ tsp or less Haldi powder
½ tsp or to taste of red chili powder
2 tbsps oil 
Some coriander leaves for garnish


Soak the dal/dals for a few hours. Coarsely grind them in a mixer. 
Heat the oil on a low flame so that nothing burns. Add the mustard seeds and, when they begin to splutter, add the curry leaves, sliced onions, ginger, garlic, and green chilies. 
When the onions are translucent, add the ground dal/dals and stir well. Sprinkle the haldi, red chili powder and salt and keep stirring and scraping in case things start to stick. When the dal begins to brown a bit, your dish is ready. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve!

Note: Make sure the oil is adequate by observing if the onions appear to be more than the oil. This dish does require a little more oil than you would think.   
Variation: Add a cup of chopped, steamed beans of almost any kind: French, cluster, broad beans.
You can always try it with other vegetables such as some gourds, zucchini,  or bell peppers.

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