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Sooji Appe with Khatti Dal (Semolina Balls with Sour Lentils)

I am by no means going to pretend I know how to make South Indian food. I grew up in a Punjabi family where my mom mostly made North Indian food (with the occasional nod to Chinese food mixed in). This is my recipe for South Indian inspired food.

When I want to make a quick meal, my go to is Sooji Appe with Khatti Dal (Samber like dal). My kids love it! Appe or Appam are small round balls of goodness that are made in an appe pan.

No need to fry when you have this pan. The secret to my Khatti Dal is MTR sambar paste. Sambar powders pale in comparison to this paste. The paste has the perfect spice and sourness added to it already. No need to add tamarind. Trust me when I say get the paste and skip the powder. You will need the typical spices for Sambar, like black mustard seeds and curry leaves. Of course I made it in my faithful Instant Pot. If you haven’t gotten it yet, what are you waiting for?

This is how I made it:

Sooji Appe with Khatti Dal

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • FOR APPE:
  • 1 cup coarse sooji (semolina)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp ENO (Can be purchased at http://amzn.to/2tlkcjX or use baking soda)
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp salt or to taste
  • FOR DAL:
  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chilis
  • 2 tbs MTR sambar paste
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

1

Rinse the urad dal a couple of times in water. Soak in enough water so that the water covers the dal. I suggest soaking overnight or for 4-5 hours.

2

Set Instant Pot to medium Saute.

3

Add oil.

4

Once hot, add black mustard seeds and curry leaves. Stir and cook for about a minute.

5

Add onions and cook until slightly brown. Add more oil if needed.

6

Once onions are slightly brown, add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.

7

Add paste, salt and stir around for a minute.

8

Strain the dal and add to the pot.

9

Add 2 cups of water.

10

Give it a stir.

11

Hit cancel button on the Instant Pot. Close lid on Instant Pot.

12

Set valve to closed.

13

Press Beans/Chili button on the Instant Pot. Once done, let pressure release naturally.

14

While that is cooking, make appe.

15

In a bowl, add the sooji, yogurt , salt and water and mix.

16

Add the chopped tomatoes and onions and mix.

17

Take a tsp of water pour it on top of the sooji mixture so it creates a small puddle. Add the ENO to that so it starts bubbling. Once it bubbles, mix it in the sooji.

18

Take the appe pan and set it on the stove to medium heat. If pan is not non-stick, spray with Pam.

19

Add about a tablespoon of appe, to each round cavity until completely filled.

20

Cover the pan.

21

Cook until almost set and then flip the appe with a fork.

22

Cook for a couple of minutes until the appe are cooked through.

23

Repeat until all the batter is done.

24

Once pressure is released, open lid to Instant Pot.

25

Serve with Appe.

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