Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ghiya kaddu vali chholyaan di daal and a lil' surprise :)

Its all about getting to enjoy the wonderful gifts the nature has to offer :). Besides turnips, all sorts of squashes and gourds made to my "no-no" list, when i was a child. Bottle gourd/doodhi/lauki/ghiya kaddu in all its green splendour was real fun to look at and play dumbells with, but i always kept it at an arms length when it came to edifying the same! Even the super-cute sounding names "Kaddu" and "Ghiya" didn't come to my rescue.....But real goodness is like magnet, it pulls you and hugs you :). So started my love-affair with the squashes.....and now i am a fan :).

Today, i'll make a very delectable and subtly flavored daal for all of us. This is a traditional Punjabi combination of Chana daal and ghiya kaddu. We Punjabis love Chana daal, though elsewhere, friends joke, it makes horse feed ;). Its called Chholiyaan di daal-daal made out of kaale chhole/Bengal gram. Punjabis also have a proclivity for gourds, especially the ghiya kaddu. This simple dish brings together the two widely loved flavors.

So, lets get going :).

We need:

  • One cup Chana Daal (Chholiyaan di daal-Punjabi)
  • One medium sized ghiya kaddu
  • 1/4 onion-finely chopped
  • 1 tomato-chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. Dhaniya seeds/coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Jeera/Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. oil/ghee
  • salt and red chilli powder to taste
  • A pinch of garam masala (not more)
Wash the chana daal thoroughly, soak in warm water and set aside. Wash the ghiya, scrape off the peel and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. SAVE THE GHIYA PEEL SCRAPES :). Add the ghiya pieces to the daal and pressure cook (5-6 whistles) with lil' salt. The daal and ghiya should be thoroughly cooked resulting in a creamy texture with the ghiya pieces not sticking out too prominently. Take a deep breath and enjoy the warm and sweet aroma of ghiya and daal blend :). While the pressure cooker cools down-lets prepare a tadka. Splutter jeera and dhaniya in hot oil/ghee, saute onions, add tomatoes and cook. Add turmeric and chilli powder to taste (preferably very lil'). Add this tadka to the daal. Let the daal-ghiya mix cook slowly for the flavors to blend in. Add just a pinch of garam masala to enhance the flavor of daal. Thats it-a simple classic is ready :). No cilantro, no green chillies. Serve hot with rice or chapati.

Ghiya provides a subtle sweet flavor to the already mellow chana daal, while dhaniya and jeera enhance the aroma of daal-ghiya combo. The final product should have the aroma of jeera-dhaniya top note, ghiya as the middle note and daal as the base (you'll actually relish each layer when you take a spoon-full). You can see that i'm smitten. Hey, i have reason to be! Try this and you'll know what i mean. No frills, this is an all time favorite. I preferably make it with ghee in tadka. You can also top it with ghee for extra aroma. (Thanks Anita, for the lil' nudge). Served here with hot chapatis and home made nimboo-mirchi-adrak achaar (in oil-Manisha has two great posts on achaar without oil).

And now the lil' surprise :)

Whatever happened to those chhilkas/peels we saved ;). This is the other wonderful part of preparing a ghiya kaddu dish. Lets see: do you love chutneys! YES-i hear you all :)). Here's the lil' surprise of ghiya-moongphali chutney :). Golden Girl once treated to me to a Marathi recipe of ghia/doodhi cooked with ground moongphali and lots of cilantro (will post the recipe sometime)-which got me to make this chutney-sort of an instant version :)).

  • Ghiya kaddu peels/scrapes-1 cup
  • Roasted peanuts-a fistful
  • One green chilli
  • Chopped Cilantro/Coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • A spoonful lime/lemon juice
Grind these together for a really delish, subtle chutney/sandwich spread. It goes great with Middle-eastern style food too :).

Richa tells you here about another delicious recipe from Ghiya, the ghia ke kofte :)

More Squash-a-thon :Methi-Zucchini sabzi :)


Asha said...

I LOVE Ghiya,got some in the fridge ready to right now.I love chutney you made.I will try and Dal of course is the ultimate food!:))

trupti said...

aaah...yes, this is the stuff I was hoping for. You didn't disappoint!

I love this stuff, it's so hearty with rotis, and that chutney,nayi recipe hai mere liye..must try it.

thanks Surili!


Richa said...

haanji! ummmmmm good!
kadon dhania little crush karke paao, it's good. the plate is so tempting, you make achar at home??? wow, i can never muster the courage to make it at home!
chutney is always welcome at my home, i make it with tori chilka as well, never tried with gheea, will do so now.
you are soooo right about staying away from veg as a kid, my top fav were alu, alu & alu. But now, there isn't one veg that i don't savour. (magnet huh!)
thanks for the mention, btw.

Anita said...

It's a good combination and there are so many regional variations (no Kashmiri ones, though!) Using Ghee can make a big difference to this dish. In one pot you get your dal as well as the veggie.

musical said...

First of all, sorry for the lil' slip-read Anita's note. The daal was indeed made in 1 tsp. ghee instead of oil ! (ducks for cover). I have updated-thanks for pointing that out-while writing this past midnight the word "oil" just slipped out of my fingers. My sincere apologies to everyone.


I knew you would love it :). If you love turnips, then you are likely to LOVE Ghiya-as in your case :).


Am glad i wasn't a disaapointment ;). BTW, you (and all the audience) can let me know what stuff you want me to feature and i'll be glad to cook it :). Cooking on demand is more pleasing.....cause it gives a feeling of sharing :).


Hello ji. I love Dhaniya :). But in this daal, it would have over-shadowed the mellow aroma of tadka and ghiya. I make turai/tori chutney too :).

The daal was amde with ghee/updated the post-Thanks a ton :). There are indeed many variations to this dish indeed and they all taste good :)

Manisha said...

Your farishte are at it again! Delicious food ready to eat. Right now I would do anything for someone to make me a garma garam roti like that one.

Achha, yeh Golden Girl kaun?

musical said...

Hey Manisha,

I will make that roti for you, drop in anytime.

Golden Girl is a friend from Graduate School-she's a Maharashtrian and the recipes by her Aayi are my source of knowledge on Marathi cuisine. This is just her online name ;).

Richa said...

hun maennu dasso cake kitthey bhejja' ;-)

Manisha said...

GG has taught you well!

Ah! Another reason to want to go to CA this summer! Garma garam roti! You'll give me other things to eat with it, too, na?

musical said...


You are really clever, girl. Everybody thought the apples were to fool people. Fool you did, and how! How about tagging that post with "April fools" tag ;). Consider the cake mailed to me.....i am going to prepare it sooooooon!


If you come to Southland (SoCal) sometime-do drop by.

Anything vegetarian you ask for :)).

bee said...

wow. nice. the tamilian kootu - with dal and veggies - usually uses toor dal, but with ghia they use chana daal.

musical said...

Hey bee, i make the daal-veggies stuff also rather frequently :). Embellished daals are welcome anytime.

btw, LOVE that picture of urs :).

Hope you are feeling much better now.

Sia's corner said...

wohoooo... i have one small bottle gourd sitting in my fridge for ages. its too small and soft for making koftas and i was thinking of making some southie dish. now ur recipe has come for my rescue:) thank u sweetie. this saturday its gonna be punjabi thali for us:)

Seema said...

Oh bottle guard dal is our all time fav too. And as your rightly said this with plain phulkas of chapathis is indeed an ultimate combo and very good for mr.tummy. Chutney with chilka looks good. Gottu try this one.
Thanx for dropping by my blog. Love your blog and will keep visiting often.

Coffee said...

AAHHH!!!!!! Even we gujjjus make this kind and call is doodhi chanaa ni daal...... the only difference is the bit of sour (tomato) and sweetness (pinch of sugar) that we add to this and the ultimate blissful daal!!!!!!!!

Your chutney looks delicious!!!! Not heard of it before!!!

musical said...


Hi! Soft and small doodhi is perfect for this daal. Enjoy your weekend lunch :). Sia.....whats next for stuffing :).


Welcome to my corner.....and yes, this one is a favorite through cultures :). Sort of national food :). I used to love the bottle gourd daal they made in our hostel messs in IISc Bangalore (ah! i am nostalgic). Thanks for the kind words.....


I have had the Gujarati style daal too, infact this daal from all Indian sub-cultures :). I added tameta, but no sugar-but i know sugar gives a different and even mellower taste :). Punjabis do add sugar to dishes-if we make this daal with Pumpkin then yes (even plain pumpkin, turnips) :).

Richa said...

'april fool's tag' yeah i guess it's just a little off in terms of the timing right?

koi changi movie suggest karo, for the wknd?

musical said...

Hello ji, koi gall nahin, timing is kinda' OK, 4-5 days don't make a difference for a celebration ;).

kiddan di movie chahidi e: comedy ya regular.
i watched Andaaz Apna Apna :).

Richa said...

AAA, old one with aamir right? o ta' dekh chukki.
comedy preferable, but aur bi chalangia'
i'm waiting for honeymoon travels (dvd) heard it's good

sra said...

Hi Musical! Came over after reading your comment at Jugalbandi. I imagine this dal tastes quite mellow and mild. Are you into perfumes - going by the mention of top note, etc.
Gonglu! There, I've said it - what a cute word!

musical said...


hmm, will have to think (puts on her thinking hat).....


welcome dear :).

i am into aromas of all kinds-including caught me right :).

and Gonglu, isn't that cute-in Punjab, sometime people call cute kids gonglu(just in a teasing sort of way)....., "bilkul gonglu e" :)).

Needless to say, i've heard that for myself a bit too ;).

Sandeepa said...

Hi Musical
Thanks for dropping by my blog and thus leading me here. I get to read about Punjabi Khana , wow !!!

I have a Punjabi colleague whose wife cooks amazing food and I get to sample every day, great food I must say. She uses Ghee a lot and the food is totally fab.
But tdo you all use Ghee a lot in your cooking, it definitely enhances the taste, but I don't use it much so was wondering.

We also make Lauki-Dal but not chana dal though

musical said...

Hi Sandeepa, thank you so much for dropping by :).

Ghee does impart a certain fragrance to the food-and some Punjabis (no generalizations though) do use ghee a lot. But then, the main role of ghee is more for aroma. So i use like only 1ts-. oil/ghee for cooking-yes! just 1 tsp.-and if its some dish like saag, chhole, rajma, lauki daal, shalgham etc which get more flavor from ghee, then i top the whole preparation with 1/2 tsp. ghee. So total 1+1/2 tsp. oil-not too bad.I don't like very oily food. and the choice ultimately varies from family to family.

I am glad you asked-just use a lil' (very lil') ghee to top the dish, and its good to go :).

Manisha said...

Is that what it means? Bilkul gonglu? And I thought it meant "upper-storey vacant." :-D

musical said...

well, do you mean khokhla? never heard gonglu intending to mean that way ;). Gonglu however is also sometimes used to allude to lazy folks :)).

Kajal said...

WOW….this is my all time fav dal.
It looks so yummy….
Good post.

musical said...

Thanks a lot, Kajal-i'll make more for you :).

Elaichi et Cetera- Pelicano said...

Musical- the dhal recipe with bottle gourd...gonglu..looks yumm, but what is really fascinating me is the chutney made with the peels!!! I remember that Shilpa had mentioned once somewhere that there was a chutney made with watermelon peels, I was intrigued, but I don't think it was ever posted(yet) you came right along and satisfied a curiosity for me, so definitely this added to my list..and blogroll.

musical said...

Hey Pel, welcome aboard :).
Thanks for the kind words and blogrolling me.....

I love that chutney for the creamy, peanutty flavor-its doubles up as a spead for the pita sandwiches too :).
I guess Bee's recent post on Jahni aloo posta also has a similar chutney made from ridge-gourd peels.

Watermelon peels.....hmm, thats quite innovative. Will have to try.

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