Express Meals - Kohlrabi Dal

As if all the events in blogosphere weren't tempting enough, my friend Mallugirl has gone a step further and thrown a challenge in the face of us exhausted bloggers - express meals. She wants to know if we can whip up a decent meal in 10-30 minutes.

10 minute meals in my kitchen are heated leftovers, but 30 minutes is right about the time I spend on a weekday meal. For Mallugirl's challenge, I stuck with good ol' rice and dal, letting the pressure cooker do most of the work. If you have the standard 3-4 burner stove and a good knife to make prepping easy, express cooking can be a breeze. Some tips I follow -
- keeping most of the ingredients at hand before I actually begin cooking (mise en place)
- preparing vegetables (ie. peeled, chopped and stored in ziploc bags in the refrigerator) whenever I can
- planning menus in advance
- multitasking!


NOL KOL - MASKA SANG AMBAT (Kohlrabi & Drumstick Dal)
(serves 2-3)
2 small kohlrabi
4-5 pieces of drumsticks
1 cup red gram (tur dal)
1/2 tomato, chopped*
salt to taste
Masala -
1/4 cup coconut, grated
1/4 onion, sliced
2 tsp sambar masala*
Seasoning -
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
curry leaves
pinch of asafetida

Express Cooking -
Rinse rice and dal in 1-2 changes of water. Set aside for 7-10 minutes. Meanwhile remove drumsticks from freezer and place in a bowl to thaw. Wash, peel and chop kohlrabi into cubes. Slice onion and chop tomatoes.

Place pressure cooker on fire. Combine kohlrabi and 2 cups of water in a sauce pan. Cover and let cook on moderate heat.

Lightly roast onion on a pan. Grind along with coconut and sambar masala into a fine paste. Keep aside. Add chopped tomato and drumsticks to kohlrabi. When soft add coconut masala and cooked dal. Add enough water to reach desired consistency. Season to taste and bring to a boil.

On another burner, prepare a tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafetida. Pour over dal and cover. Serve hot with rice.

Make a quick raita, roast a few papads, add a dollop of pickle and you have a complete, satisfying (2-3 vegetables + protein from dal) meal.

* Traditionally Konkani ambats use tamarind pulp but I prefer tomato to tamarind in this curry
* Sambar masala is not the South Indian sambar but the Konkani version. Use any mild, red masala instead
* Use radish, mangalore cucumber, ash gourd etc in place of kohlrabi



Blogger Raaga said...


I made vatana ambat today. That's my express lunch with beans upkari and rice :-)

Cooking with a 4 burner stove, good knives and being organized goes a long way in quick cooking.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Roopa said...

Thats a perfect meal! :)

1:00 AM  
Blogger mallugirl said...

Thanks a lot! A new kind of dal for me as my express dal is just plain dal and ur looks so spicy!yum. wghat would we do without 4 burners?

6:51 AM  
Blogger FH said...

Absoultely delicious! I mad Wadi Moong wadi) Ambat too.Thanks for the Konkani sambhar masala.RCI K'taka is next from 26th Aug! (Hint!!:D)

8:37 AM  
Blogger Saju said...

what a lovely simple meal. Dal with bhath! Heaven!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Bong Mom said...

Best food for me :) All time great and fast.
The Konkani sambar powder, is it available in stores ?

10:08 AM  
Blogger Suganya said...

Hi this is a lovely recipe.....Looking great......real express meal....

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drumsticks in dal... mmm .. mmm .. mmm. That sounds tasty :) :)

And the photo is super-neat ...gleaming steel, colorful dal all of it :)


12:31 PM  
Blogger Coffee said...

That dal looks like a comfort food to me :) Perfect meal Ashwini! :)

9:25 PM  
Blogger SMN said...

HMm the dal really luks tempting thnx for the recipe..

10:25 AM  
Blogger Saju said...

I have been wanting to try kohlrabi, your recipe looks tempting, good place for me to try this vegetable

5:23 PM  
Blogger Pooja said...

wow ! thats great meal , just by looking at the pic , i am feeling hungry :( , let me rush to kitchen and make something for me.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Suganya said...

This is really a express meal....Love it....Nice picture...

5:04 PM  
Blogger Poonam said...

Perfect! I agree with your express cooking tips!

9:21 AM  
Blogger Bong Mom said...

I thought you said you were trying to get in the groove. What happened ? Wake up !!! No frying-shrying ?

9:31 PM  

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