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Author Notes: Usili is a dry lentil hash spiced with dried red chillies and usually paired with a green vegetable ( green beans, cluster beans, sometimes even the banana flower, which is my absolute favorite) .
It is a dish made in South Indian households at least once a week and eaten with rice and a daal dish ( rasam, sambar, etc) . I chose broccoli this time as I wanted to use a fresh local vegetable. —Kris
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 cup toor dal ( yellow lentil)
- 4-6 dried red chillies
- 1 pinch powdered asaefotida ( hing)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- Soak the dal and red chillies and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in water for 2 hours.
- Drain the water and grind this mix with as little water as possible. You can use a food processor or blender.
- Cut the broccoli into even florets. You can prep and cut the stem as well. Boil this in salted water for 6-8 mins till its tender.
- Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Cover the pan with a lid as the seeds will go all over the place when it crackles.
- Once the mustard seeds have popped add another tablespoon of oil and the dal mix and stir well. Keep the heat on medium low and cover and cook for 10 mins.
- Stir every minute or so to ensure even cooking . Make sure the mixture does not burn. Another tablespoon of oil if required.
- Taste this mixture and add salt is required. When it is almost fully cooked add the broccoli and mix it well.
- Serve it hot mixed with rice ( and a dollop of ghee of course) or as a base for a wrap with some mint chutney, cucumbers and yogurt.