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Appetizers, Mains, Soups, Vegetarian

Kottu

Kottu
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Curry -- the word is almost meaningless. In this country, it usually refers to a dish flavored with curry powder or something served at an Indian restaurant, as if all Indian dishes with spicy sauce could be lumped into a ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes | Serves 4
  • 1 cup channa dal
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced red or green bell pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves, or more to taste
  • 4-5 small hot dried chiles (cayenne)

Step 1Wash the channa dal well, picking through and removing any dark pieces. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan and add salt to taste. Add the channa dal, return to boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cover. After 40 minutes, add the cabbage, bell pepper and turmeric. Continue cooking until the dal is thoroughly cooked and soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer.

Step 2Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and chiles and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes, reducing heat if necessary to avoid splattering. Stir the spices into the soup and serve.

Note: This south Indian soup is from Palwinder Kaur of Madras Tiffin Cafe in Cerritos. Channa dal is a lentil-like legume and is available at Indian markets.

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