Exploring Puerto Rico

Exploring Puerto Rico
At Cafe Puerto Rico in Old San Juan

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dhakaiyya Boot Bhaji

Not having gone to the gym for over two months and suddenly hitting the old gym routine for the past two days, I am sore as shit! Even lying in bed with my laptop on top of me hurts. Sweet pains. Wincing, I am telling myself that I have to keep on blogging whether you are all actually reading my blog or not. Sadly, no one commented on my last two entries. Are they really that boring? :-(

I have to say I am quite enjoying my new office location. Office, home and gym are all within a block radius. But a part of me misses the 35 min walk to my old work place. It allowed me to catch up with my mom every morning and the walk would seem a breeze. I would call her as soon as I would enter the elevator in my building and hang up as I reached my office desk. So I guess no more excuses now. Need to hit the gym at least 4 times a week to make up for the sudden decrease of walking routine!

Ok, enough rambling. I will share with you my recipe of boot bhaji (fried black lentils). If given the choice, I like mine plain. But Mus on the other hand likes it with potatoes and tomatoes. So with a big bear in my household, potatoes are usually added to increase the enjoyment level. So here goes my boot bhaji recipe. The potatoes play a good trick when some of them melt and actually become the base of the gravy in the dish. YUMMY!

-- 1 cup Kala Chana (black lentils)
-- 1 onion thinly sliced
-- 3 cloves of garlic minced
-- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
-- 1 big potato diced
-- 2 tomatoes diced
-- 1/2 tsp each turmeric, red chilli, black salt, 1tsp each of coriander and cumin
-- Sprinkle of lemon juice
-- Salt to taste
-- 1/4 cup canola oil
-- Cilantro to decorate
1. Soak lentils overnight and add in a pinch of baking soda. This will make them cook faster.
2. Wash the lentils very well and add them to the pan where you will cook them.
3. Add in the onion, garlic, ginger, oil, potatoes, all spices and cover with enough water. Bring the mixture to a boil and lower the heat and put on a lid and let the lentils cook. It will take 2-3 hours. Check from time to time, stir, and add hot water if needed. Taste for salt as well.
4. When the lentils are getting tender, add the tomatoes and lemon juice and cook for another half hour.
5. Before taking the lentils out, sprinkle some cumin and black salt for flavor. Decorate with some cilantro.


  1. Hello Sabrina! I subscribed to your blog just to be able to sing praises of your food again and to get the recipes and try making some of these delicious dishes myself. I have always wanted to make boot bhaji...its yummy and do I dare think healthy?!? either way, I have always wondered why we only have this dish one month of the year! I say it's a good year round dish. Having said that...thanks for posting the recipe..I fully intend to give it a go. Also, eagerly awaiting the chadnichok chotpoti recipe whenever you post it :) And of course, whether you are sick of hearing it or not, thanks again for having us over!!!
    -ishrat :0)

  2. I hope my recipes are full proof. I have a friend who tries them and swears that they turn out great! :-) Do try the recipe. It is quite healthy. Use olive oil instead of canola oil. It only has about 1/4 cup of oil or you can even use less about 3-4 tbsp and the lentil is all protein. Rest is just a potato and some tomatoes. So I don't see the unhealthy part. And like you, I feel that this should not be eaten just during Ramadan. So I do make it every couple of months as I love it :-) Chotpoti is next on my agenda. But my laptop fell yesterday and stopped working. Counting on Geek Squad to work their magic. So will post as soon as the computer is fixed.
    Hope you're keeping well and the doctor appointment went great yesterday. Heading to NY soon? big hug your way!

  3. Hope your laptop is fixed soon....mine had crashed last year so I know the pain!
    Yes, heading to NY on Friday :) hugs to you too!