Lentils are a very important source of proteins for the vegetarians. They can be cooked in a myriad of ways starting from appetizers , main course, side dish, or desserts. Each part of the country has their own style of preparing them.
“Wadis” are ground lentils, that are spiced, made into balls and sun dried. They are then stored in air tight containers for a long period of time. The time of the year when the vegetables are scarce, or a day when the grocery is yet to be done, these come as saviours. The town of Amritsar in Punjab is associated with making these Wadis, hence the name.
Onion and garlic are an integral part of the recipe. I have modified it to a no onion garlic recipe, using only ginger and tomatoes.
Here is the recipe.
Recipe; Serves four as main or six as side dish.
Wadis ( Store bought ) 8-10
Potatoes cut in wedges 2 cups
Heeng ( asafoetida ) 1/4 tsp
Jeera ( Cumin seeds ) 1 tsp
Canola oil 4 Tbsp
Ginger puree 2 tbsps
Tomato puree 4 Tbsps
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Paprika 1 tsp
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro ( chopped ) 1 Tbsp
Take 2 tbsp of canola oil in a non stick pan on medium high heat. Add the wadis. Fry, changing sides till they get a reddish colour. Collect them on kitchen towel and keep aside.
Take the rest of the oil in the pan on medium heat, add the heeng and jeera seeds, saute for half a minute or till the seeds change to slightly darker colour.
Add the potatoes, turmeric powder, salt. Cover and cook till the potatoes are almost done. Add the ginger paste, saute for a couple minutes, add the chilli powder, paprika, jeera powder and some water. Cook, stirring often so that the spices do not catch the bottom of the pan. When you see the oil leaving the spices add the tomato puree, the wadis and two cups of water. Let it all come together, the wadis absorb lot of water, so depending upon how much gravy you desire, add water. Using the spatula break the wadis into smaller pieces which is easy to do now. Check to see if the potatoes are done, adjust salt if needed. Garnish with cilantro.
Serve it with a side of either rice or roti.