I don’t know why I never had dill sabji until just a couple of years ago. I had just never given it a look before.Dill, known as sowa in Hindi and shepu in Marathi has a strong flavour — that is why it is used as an herb in most parts of the world — think dill pickles. Since we grow ample amounts we can make it into a subji.
If you already are averse to dill, as many people apparently are, then sabjis may not be the for you. But do try using the dill in your cooking and if you have kids try and get them to like it.
Dill is an excellent source of calcium, dietary fiber, and minerals such as manganese, iron, and magnesium and it tastes good!
Here are a few ways to use it.
Dill Ambode (Pakoras of the South)
I put these in my handy toaster oven and sprinkled olive oil on top but you can fry them if you like. If you are baking them, them make the balls a bit flatter, rather than round for even cooking. When grinding the chana dal do not grind too smoothly — you should be able to bite a chana or two.
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 1 cup chana dal
- 1 tablespoon dill leaves, chopped(you can use as much or as little as you like)
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- 3 green chilies (or to taste)
- 1 tsp ghee
- salt to taste
- Oil for sprinkling or deep frying
- Soak chana dal for 2 hours. Drain and grind coarsely with the green chilies (with no water) and pour into a mixing bowl.
- To this ground dal, add the chopped dill leaves, onion, hing and salt to taste. Mix the rice flour with ghee and add to the mixture (this helps maintain the crisp texture) Mix well. Make small balls of the mixture.
- Heat oil. Once it is hot, flatten each of the balls and drop into the oil and fry until browned and crispy.
- This makes about 15-18 aambodes.
Lemon-Dill French Beans
This dressing actually goes with any salad, not just beans.
- French beans – 1/2 kg
- Shallot or onion – 1 tbsp minced
- Fresh dill — 4 tsp
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Mustard, preferably whole grain – 1 tsp
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring an inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add green beans, cover and cook until tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk dill, shallot, oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add the green beans and toss to coat.
- Let stand about 10 minutes before serving to blend flavors.
Dill Potato Subji
- 1 bunch of fresh dill leaves
- 3 medium size potatoes
- 5-6 garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper/red chili powder
- 2 tbsp oil
- Remove the dill leaves from the stem. Wash these thoroughly in water and then chop them. Also peel, wash and chop the potatoes
- In a kadhai, heat oil.
- Add the chopped garlic.
- Fry them for a minute. Then add the potatoes.
- Fry the potatoes for 3-4 minutes on a low flame.
- Now add the dill leaves along with the cayenne pepper and turmeric powder. Mix everything very well.
- Add salt and about 1/2 cup water.
- Cover and cook the dill leaves & potatoes for 8-10 minutes.
- Check in between to see if the water has not dried up. If the water dries up, you could add some more water.
- This dish is a dry dish, so ensure that no water remains when the vegetables are done.