PAC [Beans and Lentils :)]

9 Sep

So this one is actually a typical South Indian recipe. I tend to call it PAC at home; it’s a short form for the Tamil version, pronounced as Perr-ooppoo-archa-karrrmadu. That just means ground lentils mixed with veggies. You know why I call it PAC though. So here’s how you make it.

a) Take some Chana Dal (lentils). Soak it in water for around 45 minutes to 1 hour.. Take it out and drain the water.

b) Grind the lentils into a rough paste in a mixer, just so the lentils aren’t whole or even half pieces any more.

c) Cut some French beans into small pieces. Cook the french beans and the ground paste in a pressure cooker for around 10-15 minutes. This is to soften it up a little and its something I universally do, it reduces the time it takes to cook and consumes less oil too.

d) Keep the paste in the fridge so it dries up. I tend to keep it overnight ideally but any time will do..as long as the water’s drained off and the paste is dry and crumbles if you break it up with your hands.

e) Take the dried paste and crush all the pieces into smaller pieces so the size of all the pieces is more or less even. You don’t need to do this and can directly fry the paste, but it’ll take much longer and you’ll have to use quite a bit of oil to prevent it from sticking to the frying pan.

f) Once the paste is broken up into a number of small pieces, take the amount you need and put it into a separate vessel. Take an equal amount of french beans and put it into the same vessel. Mix both well. The quantity doesn’t matter too much…you can out more beans or more paste…depending on what you like more; I just tend to put equal amounts.

g) Fry a little mustard, cumin, salt and turmeric and add the beans and lentil paste to it. You can grind some red chillies and add it to this if you’d like it a little spicy. Add any other dry powder to it to give it a taste that you would like but it’s not needed.

h) Fry it on a low flame, by the way, with just enough oil to ensure that the mustard and cumin splutter. Since everything is already cooked, you do not need to fry it for too long. Once everything is mixed, take it off the flame and serve with rice, rotis or bread.

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