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Mixed kathol or Gujarati-style lentils

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

Gujarati cuisine is well known throughout India for its freshness, mild flavors and healthy ingredients. It is light, flavorful and a touch on the sweet side. Gujarat is located on the Western coast of India and the region is hot and semi arid. The cuisine has developed to be light and to cook quickly, adapting to the temperature and the land. Here is a deep dive into Gujarati cuisine. This dish is a classicand a favorite that brings out the best of this cuisine. The combination of lentils and beans, add different flavors and textures, are cooked in a mild classic curry that is delicious and nutritious. This dish is served a part of a larger meal or "Thali" accompanied by vegetables, fried dishes, khadhi, paper thin and soft chappatis and rice or kichadI. Here is a descriptive article and a well done video of a Thali.

This recipe is from the Queen of Indian cuisine, Tarla Dalal. She has published numerous cookbooks over time changing with the trends and the tastes. This recipe is from an old Gujarati cookbook that is packed with all the classics.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


1/4 cup kala chana (brown chickpeas)

1/4 cup moong (whole green gram)

1/4 cup chawli (cow pea / lobhia)

1/4 cup matki (moath beans)

1/4 cup hara vatana (dried green peas)

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds (rai/sarson)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)

1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)

4 small round red chillies (boriya mirch)

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1-2 green chilies, finely minced, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon tamarind (imli) pulp

1 tablespoon jaggery (gur)

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)

1 teaspoon besan (bengal gram flour) dissolved in 1-2 tablespoons of water

Salt to taste

Wash all the pulses (kathols) and soak them in enough water overnight.

Drain, add 2 cups of water and cook in an Instant-pot or pressure cooker on the bean setting. Set aside.

Meanwhile, the oil in a non-stick kadhai or pot and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds crackle, add the red chillies, green chilies and ginger paste. Sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.

Add the cooked pulses along with the water, tamarind pulp, jaggery, chilli powder, turmeric powder, besan mixture and salt, mix well and simmer on a medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve hot with rotlis and rice.

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