Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Fragrant Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar

Fresh Tuvar (Toor Dal, Kandulu)
Fresh Tuvar (pacchi kandulu)

Toor dal is among the most easily digestible of all food, and can serve as central element in a meatfree diet. The nourishing toor dal starts its life as an oval-shaped bean in beautiful green, neatly tucked in a row in a tuvar pod. Each tuvar pod contains about four to six plump tuvar beans. Exquisitely dense and full of spring-flavor, fresh tuvar, like green peas and green garbanzos, is a culinary delight when lightly cooked.

At Nandyala, fresh tuvar pods appear at farmers markets for a few weeks during summer time. Streetside vendors sell boiled tuvar pods in paper packets for as little as your pocket change. At our home, we used to simmer the whole pods in salted water and then shell the pods to snack on the cooked beans. Luckily, in recent years, the local Indian grocery shops in the United States have started importing fresh tuvar from India. Already shelled and in frozen avatar, a pound is usually priced at two to three dollars. It’s a good buy.

If you haven’t tried this protein powerhouse yet, you must now. Lightly cook fresh tuvar beans in salted water for a delicious snack. Or add them whole to vegetable curries or kurmas, and to rice preparations. This lentil lifeline instantly livens up any preparation.

For today’s meal, I made basmati pulao with fresh mint and tuvar. Easy to cook, incredibly fragrant and best of all, it’s so rich in flavor because of fresh mint and tuvar, that it needs little enhancement. Imagine pasta or orzo tossed in flavorful mint pesto ; almost the same taste here, but with basmati rice.

Fresh Coconut, Mint and Tuvar
Fresh Coconut, Mint and Tuvar

(for four to six people)

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup fresh tuvar
¼ cup roasted cashews
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peanut oil

To prepare masala: Take about 2 cups fresh mint leaves in a Sumeet style mixer. Add two tablespoons of fresh, grated coconut, 5 green chillies, 4 cloves and a one-inch cinnamon piece. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and blend them together to fine paste.

To prepare Mint Pulao: Heat the oil in a big pan over medium heat. Add the onion and Tuvar. Saute to tender. Next, add and cook the ground masala paste, over low heat, stirring for about five minutes, until it turns to pale green from bright green color. To the cooked masala, add the basmati rice, salt and about 5 cups of water. Mix. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until water evaporates and rice cooks to tender. At this stage, add the cashews, and fluff the rice gently with a spoon. Let it sit, covered for five minutes and serve hot.

This mint pilaf is definitely delicious enough to eat on its own, but I have prepared aloo kurma and cucumber raita to go with it. Good meal.

Mint Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar
Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Mint and Tuvar ~ for Linda’s Toor Dal Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Basmati Rice,Fresh Tuvar (Kandulu),Mint (Tuesday December 4, 2007 at 9:16 pm- permalink)
Comments (16)

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16 comments for Fragrant Basmati Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar »

  1. Hey am the first one to comment! I am drooling over this serving of pilaf Indira! A very simple and yet rich tasting meal! Your combo with aloo kurma and raita is worth a treat!

    Comment by Nirmala — December 4, 2007 @ 9:56 pm

  2. That is a new recipe to me and definitely looks healthy!
    Lovely pics!

    Comment by rachel — December 4, 2007 @ 10:03 pm

  3. OMG, Indira! Tuvar and mint in coconut shell — you ought to frame that and present it to a museum. That is a work of art.
    The beautiful pilaf is art of the edible sort 🙂

    Thank you for another superb toor dal treat!!

    Comment by Linda — December 5, 2007 @ 1:06 am

  4. Wow.. pilaf with toor, never ever imagined the combo.. This is very unique recipe, and i am sure you aloo kurma and raitha enhanced the wonderful flavor of the pilaf to utmost!!

    Comment by Kalva — December 5, 2007 @ 4:40 am

  5. Wow,
    thats Geat idea, and the pictures are breath taking….

    Comment by Pooja — December 5, 2007 @ 8:46 am

  6. Hi Indira,
    I do have some frozen Tuvar in my fridge.I am from London.I don’t think we get the actual fresh pods like we do out in India but i make do with the frozen variety. I have never made pulao with this.Will definitely make this.I usually use the toor in some curries .I also use it in making Upma.It tastes delicious.So, i know what u mean when u talk about its flavours.


    Hi Sowmya,
    Me too, I love to add fistfuls in vegetable curries and also to upma. Fresh tuvar is the best.
    – Indira

    Comment by Sowmya — December 5, 2007 @ 9:15 am

  7. This looks absolutely delicious Indira.. and that picture with the coconut is fabulous.

    Comment by Laavanya — December 5, 2007 @ 9:34 am

  8. Simple ingredients, delicious meal. I have not tasted fresh tuvar yet, Indira. Thx for the info, will go looking for it.

    Comment by Suganya — December 5, 2007 @ 9:50 am

  9. It looks really good.
    I nowfor sure you are a real lover of tuar dal, as u’ve been posting them a lot 🙂 and each of them look delicious

    Comment by Happy Cook — December 5, 2007 @ 10:39 am

  10. That looks great! we make it pretty regularly, so I can vouch for how good it tastes! nice one Indira:)

    Comment by Mansi — December 5, 2007 @ 11:13 am

  11. I used fresh tuvar back in Hyderabad, mainly as & in curries. We used to get them in pods and yes, they were very tasty! In US, I haven’t tried them so far…Thanks Indira, shall check the frozen variety soon!

    Comment by Madhavi — December 5, 2007 @ 12:30 pm

  12. Nice pics Indira. My friends from Gujarat use this fresh tuvar very often. Isn’t it also used in Undhiyo?

    Comment by Anjali Damerla — December 5, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

  13. Hi Indira,

    I have observed that you use fresh coconut quite often. How do you extract the flesh from the shell? I have a hard time separating the flesh from the shell and end up with cuts and scratches. Is there an easy way out? Do you use any graters?

    Appreciate your reply. Thank you very much.

    Comment by jasper — December 5, 2007 @ 9:02 pm

  14. Wow, Indira, yet another of your incredibly creative combinations of photographs and recipe! I love tuvar dal, and I love this evocative photo of tuvar, coconut and mint. It reminded me of my first glimpse of fresh tuvar – a heap of pretty, shapely pods in the market in Dakor, a dusty little temple town in Gujarat.

    Comment by Uma — December 6, 2007 @ 9:03 am

  15. Dear Indira,

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe. Your idea has opened a whole new chapter in cooking. The coconut picture is so beautiful!. I wish I can frame it an hang it in my kitchen as an inspiration to cook health, fresh and nutrious meals for my family.

    Is this he same masala that you use for making Aloo bhath?

    Thanks again,

    Comment by padmaja — December 6, 2007 @ 9:42 am

  16. Great Receipe 🙂 Thank you 🙂

    Comment by Nirav — December 20, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

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