Vegetables & Lentils with Ground Spices


A lot of my recent posts have been bookmarked recipes, or the posts I have been using from the draft. With this heat, I have to reduce my time in front of the stove, doing a lot of salads, fresh fruits & quick grilling of fish or chicken. This is one nice recipe to use the seasonal veggies or may be to clean up the refrigerator, before you make your next grocery trip.

In the Eastern regions (Bengal & Assam) of India where I grew up, there are a variety of ways to cook up a mixture of vegetables; The procedure sound almost similar, but different spices are used. A few examples would be “Chorchori” (dry fry where the vegetables remain distinct) or “Ghonto” (almost same as the chorchori but this one is stirred a lot while cooking) or “Labra“.  While growing up I saw my mom use up the last bit of vegetables, the little of this & that left in the corners into one of the above mentioned dishes – not that they would not be cooked up with freshly bought vegetables. Nothing would be thrown away…

I do the same thing now, cook up a medley of  veggies, mostly seasonal as I get them, with different spices to add some variety. My kids are good & will eat all the vegetables I cook without a whine. I saw a recipe in Tasty Palettes, & cooked my vegetables using Suganya’s idea that day itself.. a little differently than hers & have cooked this quite a few times since then.


While Suganya cooks her lentils/dal first, I have cooked mine along with the vegetables, leaving the lentils unmushed & a bit crunchy, as my mom would cook moong with spinach (I will post that later). I love ginger & added some ginger in mine. The roasted spice powder have been unmodified & I have used her recipe. This recipe makes a complete  meal when served with rice or flat breads.

Vegetables & Lentils with Ground Spices

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  1. 1/3 cup Yellow Moong dal
  2. 3 cups Mixed vegetables, cubed (Colored peppers, potato, peas, zucchini, squash, white pumpkin, carrots, lima beans, beans..whatever you want to add)
  3. 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
  4. 1/2 Teaspoon grated Fresh Ginger
  5. Salt
  6. 1 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  7. Few Curry leaves
  8. 3 Teaspoons Oil, divided

Spice Mixture

  1. 5 Dry Red chillies (more or less as per your heat tolerance)
  2. 1/2 Teaspoon Black pepper
  3. 1 Tablespoon Urad dal (the Split Dehusked ones)
  4. 2 Tablespoons Grated coconut
  5. A Pinch of Asafoetida/Hing
  6. 7-8 Curry leaves


To make the Spiced Powder:

Heat a teaspoon of oil.

Roast red chillies, black pepper and urad dal until golden. Cool them &  grind along with coconut, asafoetida and curry leaves to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Cooking the Vegetables with the Lentils:

Heat 1 Teaspoon oil in a pan. Add the Moong dal & stir fry till they are golden. Add the vegetables, the grated ginger, turmeric & salt to the pan & toss everything together; Saute them for about 2-3 minutes, add half cup of water & cover the pan till the vegetables are cooked through. The vegetables should be cooked, but not mushy; they should be still be holding their shapes.

Now add the ground spice mixture  and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Heat the last one teaspoon of oil. Add the mustard seeds & curry leaves to the oil. Switch off the heat immediately once the mustard & the leaves start to splutter. Finish off by adding spluttered mustard seeds & leaves to the cooked vegetables in the pan.

Serve hot with rice or fresh flat breads.


I have used leafy greens in this recipe a few times & they taste good too. A whole some healthy meal in a bowl…proteins & all the nutrition you need from the lovely vegetables all combined with the very flavorful freshly ground spices! The best way to enjoy this dish is to buy seasonal & locally grown vegetables which are way cheaper & fresh than the exotic off season veggies, or just the right way to use up the little bit of everything that hide in fridge crying to be used, without tossing them out. Eat healthy without waste! Sending this to HOTM hosted by Ilva of Lucullian Delights; the theme is Budget Friendly Foods.

Related Posts:

Spiced Powder

Sweet & Spicy Vegetables

Bitter Melon & Potato Stir Fry with Poppy Seeds

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