Spicy Swiss Chard Saute


1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 to 4 fresh green chillies, minced (according to desired heat level)

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and diced, leaves rough chopped (no, we will not waste the stems)

1 tomato, diced

1/4 cup split moong dhal, soaked at least 2 hours and drained

Salt to taste


1.  Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the cumin seeds.  When the cumin seeds just start to brown, add the green chillies and red chilli powder (make sure your exhaust fan is on and don’t breathe in the fumes… trust me).  Saute for just a minute and then add the turmeric powder, garlic, ginger, onions and chard stems. Add about a 1/2 tsp of salt at this time.  Saute until the chard stems are just beginning to soften.  If the mixture becomes too dry, you can add a tbsp or two of water.

2.  Add the chard leaves in batches, adding more to the pan as it wilts.  (I had some extra spinach when I made this, so I added that too.  However, it isn’t necessary for this recipe.)  Saute until the chard has wilted and the water has mostly cooked off.

3.  Add the tomato and saute for a few minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.  Stir in the moong dhal.  Serve warm as an accompaniment to rice and dhal, or Indian breads.


Kosambri… It’s Just A Salad

Kosambri, also known as kosumali, combines fresh veggies with moong dhal, lemon juice and a few other ingredients for a simple salad that is a refreshing addition to any Indian meal.  This recipe requires a little advance prep as the moong dhal needs to soak for a few hours.



1/2 cup split moong dhal

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and finely diced

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 or 2 green chillies, split lengthwise

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dhal

1/4 tsp salt



1.  Soak the moong dhal in water for 2 or 3 hours.

2.  Drain water from the moong dhal.  Put the diced cucumber, moong dhal, green chillies, lemon juice, cilantro and salt in a bowl and mix.

3.  In a small frying pan, heat the oil.  Add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot.  When the mustard seeds start popping, add the urad dhal.  Saute until the urad dhal browns.  Remove from heat and add to the cucumber.  Toss well.  Add salt if needed.

4.  Serve immediately.  Kosambri can be kept in the fridge, but tends to be better if served just after preparation as salt pulls water from the cucumber and creates a mushy, slushy salad.

Variation:  Substitute grated carrot and finely diced tomatoes (seeds removed) for the cucumber, and increase the lemon juice by half.