Yu Choy Dal/Pappu
On my way out of the Oriental Store last week my eyes fell on the counter and I saw a bunch beautiful green leafy vegetable stalks that had tiny yellow flowers. I asked the person-in-charge what the green was and she said it was "Yu Choy". I asked her if she knew how the vegetable tasted. She said it tasted like spinach and offered me some to try. I tasted it and I felt like it tasted like spinach too :).
For a green leafy vegetable deprived Indian here in the US, I jumped at the opportunity. I bought half a pound of it. When I came home, I googled the name and found a TON of references to it. I learnt that Yu Choy is edible rape and it is widely used in Chinese cooking. It is used to make soups and also used in stir fries. That is all I needed to know make "Yu Choy Dal" out of it. I basically plucked the leaves from the stalks and roughly chopped them up. I did not have the hearts to throw away the stalks so I just ziplocked them and put them back in the fridge. I am thinking about throwing them into some soup.
Now coming to the dal, I did spice the dal up a bit than I usually do by adding cloves + cinnamon + elaichi powder, a tsp of coriander powder, a tbsp of ginger. When the dal was cooking, it eminated a lot of fragrance than when I cook a regular spinach dal. It was hard for me to figure out if it was because of the additional spices I added or just the Yu Choy itself smelled so good. But whatever was the case, it just made it really hard to wait for it to finish cooking. I had to release the pressure for the cooker manually just so I could get my hands on the dal. And I should mention that this is a very easy recipe to make.
On to the recipe now
Cooking the dal
- 1 cup toor dal
- 1/2 lb Yu Choy with stalks, leaves plucked and chopped. Roughly 2 cups of packed, chopped Yu Choy leaves
- 1 medium onion, coarsley chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-5 Indian green chilis, split in half
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp (cloves + cinnamon + caradamom) powder (optional)
- salt to taste
Put all the above ingredients in a pressure cooker and add about 4 cups of water and pressure cook until 3 whistles.
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp jeera seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 1 broken red chili pieces
- 1 sprig curry leaves, chopped in half
Small cast iron skillet/tempering pan or smallest sauce pan available
Put the oil in a pan on medium-high heat, add all the ingredients in the order listed. Take off from heat after the mustard and jeera seeds splutter.
Add the tempering to the dal above, garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serving Suggestion: This goes really well with chapathi or rice.
This is also my entry to Sweetnick's ARF/5-a-day Tuesday this week!