Kulith (କୋଳଥ) Waffles

My mother packed me a bag of kulith (କୋଳଥ) lentils on my way back from India- since I had specifically asked for it. I wanted to recreate my grandmother’s କୋଳଥ ଡାଲି (kulith dal), but instead invented some breakfast waffles. Didn’t regret the decision since the waffles turned out fantastic. Enjoy!

Special tools:

Food processor; waffle maker.


Makes 6 waffles

  • B1: 1 cup split kulith lentils soaked overnight and drained + 1/4 cup fresh (or frozen) coconut + curry leaves from 10 stalks + 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds + 1/4 cup EVOO
  • B2: 1 large (Idaho) potato
  • Finely chopped: 2 jalapenos + 1 quarter onion + salt to taste


B1: Use the regular blade and pulse the lentils –without adding any water– till breadcrumb consistency. Add the rest of the B1 ingredients and pulse a few times. Next, replace the blade with the coarse grater blade and shred the B2 ingredient (potato, with skin on). Then mix in (manually) all the chopped ingredients till the batter is homogenized.

Use the waffle maker as per the manufacturer’s  instructions.  I used 1 cup of batter per waffle which worked out perfect.

Serve hot with any chutney or accompaniment of your liking. Or, have it neat like I do 🙂

Notes, hints, tips:
  1. Kulith is also know as horse gram for obvious reasons. But the pundits hail it a superfood!
  2. As the waffles cooked, the aroma of Indian breakfast wafted through the house. Was it the jeera ? Coconut ? I began to miss my recent India trip even more.
  3. The lentils I used was split (and also possibly pre-toasted).
  4. Use a a pair of heat-proof tongs and a spatula to gently ease out each waffle.
  5. The potatoes bind and form the body of the waffle giving it a soft texture. If you prefer a firmer texture, you could add some besan or flour of your choice.

Dandelion Vatana Dal

Yes, dandelion, the pesky weed in your lawns. My friend once told me that her parents, back in the days, used to pull over in the middle of the highway and harvest dandelions from the roadside, which was a choice green back home in Istria. I am reminded of this story every time I encounter a healthy, luscious bunch of dandelions from the farmer’s market.

Here is an interesting treatment, with unexpectedly sumptuous results, that may help you embrace this nutrition-dense, bitter green. Scroll down for two more: pancake and grain salad. Enjoy!

Special tools:

Food processor.


  • Lentils: 1/2 cup vatana (or garbanzo) soaked for at least 2 hrs + 1/2 cup tur dal
  • 1 bunch of dandelion greens + 1 green jalapeno
  • Veggies: 2-3 medium potatoes
  • Allium: 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Aromatics: 2 tsp of your favorite (Indian) spice-mix (like curry powder)
  • Acid: 1 tbsp vinegar
  • Baghar/Tempering: 1 tbsp ELOO + 2 tsps mustard seeds + 1 red dried chillies, hand-torn into small pieces + 2 stalks of curry leaves
  • salt to taste


Pressure cook the vatana+tur lentils with the garlic and chopped vegetables + salt to taste, till tender. Process the dandelions leaves and stems and the green jalapeno pepper (not blend!) till broken down into tiny pieces, but not any more (i.e., not blended into a paste).

Extended baghar: Heat oil and mustard seeds till the seeds begin to sputter. Add the curry leaves and chillies. After 30 seconds or so, add the spice-mix and make sure it does not burn. Then add the processed greens + vinegar and saute for a minute or so. Season with salt to taste.

Mix the dal and the baghar. Serve hot.

Notes, hints, tips:

  1. ELOO = Extra Light Olive Oil.
  2. You may also check https://health.clevelandclinic.org/dandelion-health-benefits/.
  3. The “AAA” principle (Allium, Aromatics, Acid) is a good rule of thumb to build the flavor base for lentils, meat, vegetables or any combination thereof.
  4. Cooking the garlic along with the staple reduces its intensity but provides the oomph.
  5. I heat the oil along with the seeds, so that it does not need babying and you can afford to be distracted with other tasks and the sputtering of the seeds acts as a natural timer the beckons you back to the stove. Don’t stray too far away though.
  6. Use you favorite spice-mix, be it quatre épices or Madras curry or vadouvan or Berbere or simply mirepoix. Change the tempering spices accordingly- here I have a very Indian take with whole mustard seeds, curry leaves.
    When I travel to India, I bring back a variety of high quality spice-mixes (trying to cover the expanse of the country, like a Kashmiri Rogan Josh, a Rajasthani bharwan, or Goan Xacuti, ….). India offers a fascinating array of not just spices, but also spice-mixes, tried and tested over generations.
  7. Dandelion Garbanzo pancake/waffle: Here is another addictive (believe me!) dandelion-legume treatment. See pictures below. It could be prettied up a bit, but who has the patience 😉
    Soak 2 cups garbanzo beans for 4-6 hrs (or, until it meets the bite-test). Drain.
    Pulse in a processor till a coarse paste: garbanzo + 1 bunch dandelions, stems and leaves + 2-3 scapes (or other alliums) + 1/4 cup EVOO + a few green chilies + 1 tsp whole cumin seeds (optional) + 1 1/2 tsp baking soda + salt to taste.
    Mix in chopped onions and shishito peppers. Use 1/2 cup measure to scoop each pancake out. Flatten and cook for 4 mins on each side on a non-stick pan. No extra oil is necessary.

Spelt garbanzo dandelion Salad: This is surprisingly delicious! Use a wok that can stand high heat to flash-dehydrate the greens.
1 cup garbanzo, soaked for 5-6 hrs and then microwaved (with a few tbsps of water) till tender (5 mins).
Cook 1 cup of spelt in 2 cups of water for about 1 hr or until tender.
Pulse 1 bunch of dandelion in a food processor, with some green chilies and allium (scallions) till it is coarse.

Dehydrate the pulsed dandelions on high heat in a wok (with very large surface) for 10-15 minutes. Add the cooked and drained garbanzo and grains in the wok. Mix in salt to taste and. Add about 1/4 cup good quality EVOO and juice of 1 lime. Top with diced scallions.

Future of Food: Fonio

I have not met anyone who does not like couscous (expect my daughter).  I discovered fonio while browsing the shelves at Kalustyan. Move over, couscous. This little-known African grain blows even couscous out of the water.  And wait until you hear more. Popularizing grains such as this actually not just diversifies your diet but that of the world, releasing pressure on the Big 3 (wheat, corn, rice), and ultimately food security for the planet.

Special tools:



  • 1 cup fonio grains
  • allium: 1 scape OR a quarter medium onion, diced
  • spices: 1 tsp jeera + 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns + 10 curry leaves
  • Veggies: 1 pepper, charred and slivered + 1 cup sprouted urad (or moong)
  • 1 tbsp oil; dash of turmeric; salt to taste
  • Topping: 1 tbsp EVOO to moisten


Fonio: Toast fonio lightly and pour 2 cups hot water. Cover and turn off heat. After 10 minutes, fluff with fork.

Heat 1 tbsp oil. Add jeera + whole peppercorns. When the seeds sputter add the curry leaves. Saute for 15-20 seconds. Add the allium, Mix for another 10-15 secs. Mix in the turmeric and then add the veggies. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add salt and then mix in the fonio. Mix well for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tbsp EVOO and mix well.

Serve warm (with guacamole).

Notes, hints, tips:

  1. Fonio can also be steamed. Although that might take longer, it yields even fluffier fonio.
  2. Use fonio anywhere you would have used couscous. Note that couscous is made from wheat while fonio is a different grain. It is also being touted as a superfood.

Ajika Millet with Miner’s Lettuce

Georgian seasoning blend, Ajika, brings depth brightening the grains; fish provides the protein and seasonal Miner’s lettuce (purslane greens) tops it off. A quick, easy, toothsome rounded meal. Enjoy!


A kerai or wok.


  • 1 cup millet cooked as per packet instructions (simmered in 2 cups water, for 20 mins)
  • 1 Can fish (5 oz Albacore tuna OR wild sardines)
  • Sofrito: 1 tbsp oil + 1 small shallot diced + 2-3 garlic pods minced
  • Seasonings: 1 tbsp Georgian Ajika + 1/2 tsp black lime powder + 1/4 tsp urfa biber (Turkish) pepper + 1 tsp dried crushed mint greens + salt to taste
  • Topping: 1 1/2 cup Miner’s lettuce (purslane greens)


In a wok, heat the sofrito ingredients till fragrant (3-4 mins). Add the seasoning ingredients and mix in till the spices bloom (2-3 mins). Add the canned fish and let mix well, breaking up the fish into smaller pieces. Mix in the cooked millet. Finally add the greens, cover and let wilt (2 mins).

Serve hot.


  1. You can use any seasoning of your choice (for example adobo or curry or Bayou seasonings). This is a very forgiving recipe.
  2. The black lime powder is a tangy flavorful agent worth experimenting with, if you have not already done so.
  3. The recipe is resilient enough for any other grain (rice, farro, spelt, barley, rye, … ) as well.

Kibbeh Casserole

A meat-n-wheat sumptuous casserole for Superbowl. A little unusual but mighty addictive. Also, with guilt-free mustard greens. Enjoy!!


A food processor; oven; 5 qt casserole.


Makes enough to feed a small party (8-10) of Superbowl revelers.

  • Stuffing:
    • 1 lb ground meat
    • 1/2 cup onion diced
    • Spices: 1 tsp ground allspice + 1 tsp cinnamon powder + 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • Salt to taste
    • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • Bottom and Top Layers:
    • 3 cups bulgur wheat grains (cooked in 5 cups water for 10 mins till soft and fluffy — or follow package instruction)
    • 2 bunches (8 oz each) greens (mustard or spinach or any other green)
    • 1 lb ground meat
    • 1 cup diced onions
    • Flavoring: 1 tbsp dried marjoram + 1 tbsp dried mint + 1 tbsp dried basil + 1 tbsp allspice powder + 1 tbsp cinnamon powder + salt to taste


Stuffing: In a saute pan brown the ground meat. Mix in the rest of the stuffing ingredients. Set aside.

Lightly oil the bottom of a large casserole dish.

Use the food processor to make the bottom and top layers. Given the volume, you may want to process the bottom and top layer separately. Halve the recipe for each layer. I use kitchen scissors to coarsely chop the greens right into the processor. Run the processor for a minute or so till the greens are coarsely and evenly chopped. Then add the rest of the ingredients and and process till homogenous. Dump this into the casserole dish and press for an even bottom layer.

Layer the stuffing on the bottom layer. Process the top layer as per the bottom layer. Carefully spread the processed mix, in about 1/2 cup chunks over the stuffing. Then gently press the top into an even layer.

Score with a wet, sharp steak knife as in picture. Brush with water. Tightly cover with aluminum foil.

Bake at 475 F for 40 to 50 mins [test doneness by piercing with knife]. Remove foil, broil for 10 mins.


  1. This meat in a meat-n-wheat casing (kibbeh) is adapted from The Lebanese Kitchen by Monique Bassila Zaarour.
  2. The ground meat can be lamb OR bison OR bison/beef mix. I have not tried with poultry or tofu- but that could be a good experiment.
  3. I added the greens to round out the nutrition profile.

Fermented Teff Crepe

An amazing minimalist one-ingredient crepe! If you don’t count water and the horde of wild yeast (from the natural environment). This is not quite the (white) injera I have had at many Ethiopian restaurants, but a fairly toothsome dark contender. After many laborious experimentation, here is my streamlined version –utilizing a Proofer– for a seven-day version. I.e., one Sunday to the next. Enjoy!


A Proofer.


  1. Sunday 1: Mix 2 cups dark teff flour in about 3 cups warm water in a glass bowl. Mix well with wire whisk and cover. Ferment at 86 F, in Proofer, for 5 days.
  2. Friday 1: – Pour out the entire top liquid (that may even look alarmingly funky).
    – Bring 1 cup water to boil in a small saucepan, add 1/2 cup of the fermented residue (which has the consistency of clay) and thicken while constantly stirring with wire whisk. In a few minutes, it thickens. Add this to the remainder of the fermented residue in the glass bowl. Mix with wire whisk till homogenous.
    – Add 2/3 to 1 cup water and mix well.
    – Cover and continue to ferment at 86 F, in Proofer, for 2 days.
  3. Sunday 2: Pour out some on the top liquid layer.
    – Heat a non-stick crepe pan. You may have to very lightly oil the pan before the very first one.
    – Pour 1/3 cup batter onto the crepe pan and swirl it around.
    – Cover and let cook undisturbed for 5 mins on medium heat.
    – Carefully peel off the pan with the help of a spatula.


  1. This has been inspired from from many sources: https://www.daringgourmet.com/authentic-injera-ethiopian-flatbread/ https://www.preservedgoods.com/post/ethiopian-injera .
  2. I have had tried various fermentation catalysts like yogurt, fenugreek seeds etc, but in this version II don’t use any.
  3. The fermented teff flour has a sweet nutty flavor, almost that of molasses. I was also reminded of a sweet aroma from my grandmother’s village kitchen, but couldn’t place my finger on quite what.