Tuesday, October 9, 2012


This recipe from holy cow! was delicious and wholesome. As I made it with squash and with carrots, it had a sort of autumnal feel to it. I changed the cooking method a bit, not because I think it's better, but because it was what I was more comfortable with. And for similar reasons of convenience, I used carrots instead of drumsticks and skipped a few other ingredients. Make sure to add salt to taste at the end.

This recipe made a huge batch; I would halve it next time. I should add that ultimately I preferred this dal and this one with broccoli to this recipe.

Kholamba (Konkani Sambar)
(from holy cow!)

3/4 c dry yellow split peas
2 c cubed winter squash
15 2-inch pieces of carrots
1 large onion, diced
8 large cloves of garlic, minced
For the masala:
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
15 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
2 dry red chillies
1 TB tamarind paste
1/4 cup coconut milk or 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
salt to taste

1. Boil the split peas with plenty of water and with 1/4 tsp turmeric until very tender and mushy. In a separate pot, parboil the squash and the carrots and set aside.
2. Toast the dry ingredients for the masala (I do this one by one in a toaster oven). Cool in a plate and transfer to a blender along with the tamarind. If you are using fresh coconut, toast it to a light brown shade. If you're using coconut milk, add it directly to the blender. Blend the spices with enough water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
3. In a cast iron pan, heat some oil, saute the onion, and then add the garlic and cook some more. Don't let the garlic turn dark brown or burn. Now add the blended masala and let it come to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for five minutes.
4. Add the cooked vegetables and the cooked dal. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it all cook on low heat, about 10 minutes, for the flavors to meld. Add water if the stew is too thick.
5. Add salt to taste. Serve hot over boiled rice. Serves about 8.


Eileen said...

This dal sounds fabulous! One question--what is tamarind extract? I've seen tamarind paste in the store, but not extract. I'm guessing I could sub the paste if needed, right?

Julia said...

Hi Eileen,
Oops! I meant to say 1 tablespoon tamarind paste; thanks for pointing that out!

Helen said...

What might be a good substitute for tamarind paste, if anything?

Julia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia said...

Whole Foods actually sells little jars of tamarind paste. But for a sub, pomegranate molasses would be an easy switch; otherwise, add lemon or lime juice at the very end.

Also, I should add that I preferred this dal and this one with broccoli to this recipe.