Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Three greens and lentils.

Sappina huli  is a favorite in our house. It is nutritious , tasty and comes together quickly and in one pot. To break it down, it is a mix of cooked lentils and vegetables  laced with freshly ground spices.
For this version, I used three kinds of greens - Spinach, red chard and Amaranth and the taste was divine.

1 cup cooked split   pigeon peas or pink lentils
1 bunch spinach washed, cleaned and cut into ribbons
1 bunch red chard (stalks and leaves)washed, cleaned and cut
1 bunch Amaranth  (stalks and leaves)washed, cleaned and cut
2 medium tomatoes diced
*1 to 2 teaspoons of concentrated Tamarind paste( to taste.)

For the spice paste
1/4 white onion chopped
*1 teaspoon coriander seeds
*1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek powder
*4 curry leaves
6 to 8 dried red chilies or to taste
2 tablespoons hulled pumpkin seeds (Pepita)

For tempering
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
*1/4 teaspoon Asafetida
2 dried red chilies

Take the cooked lentils , greens and tomatoes in a  fairly large stockpot.  Add some salt to taste and cook until the greens are  tender and melting and the tomato has broken down.
While this is cooking make the spice paste. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend to a smooth  and thick paste . Add water as necessary.

Add the spice paste to the lentil mixture. Add tamarind paste ( start with one teaspoon). Taste and balance with additional salt and tamarind as  required.

Heat the oil in a small skillet or saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. (Careful! The mustard seeds pop and crackle and fly). Then add the red chilies and garlic and stir for a minute. Don't let the garlic brown. Finally add the Asafetida and take the pan off the heat.

Pour the hot oil mixture over the lentils. Serve hot over rice.

* Can be found in Indian grocery stores.


  1. I haven't heard of this dish before but it sounds really good!

    1. Thanks Mandee, These lentil vegetable soups/stews that go by different names: Sambar, Pulusu, Huli are an integral part of the South Indian diet.