This month’s Indian Cooking Challenge was very simple, as in simple to make and a very simple dish too. But as they say the good things in life are always simple, this Dal too turned out to be very good.
Every region in India has its own version of the Dal. Tadka Dal in the north, Amthi in Maharashtra, Saaru in Karnataka, Sambhar in the South and so on. The Gujrati version is a bit sweeter and has a whole lot of flavours, that of Kokum, spices and all the vegetables that you can put in it.
As always, I made it at the last minute and decided there and then that it wont be the last time that I make it. This gives a good change from the normal version of Dal that we are used to.
The recipe is from the Book Sukham Ayu, written by Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe with us.
For the Dal
- 1/2 Toor dal
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 4-5 pieces of Dry Kokam / Tamarind pulp
- 1 tsp Jaggery
- 4 Hard dry dates (Kharik), halved – I didn't have this so skipped it.
- 1 tbsp Groundnuts
- 2 Green Chillies, slit
- 1” Ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
- Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped
- Rock Salt
- Vegetables such as drumstick, yam, cluster beans etc (I have skipped this)
For the tempering
- 2 tsp Ghee
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1-2 dry red chillies (I used only one since the ones I have are very hot)
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
- 5-6 Curry Leaves
Cook the Dal along with turmeric till completely cooked and mushy. Mash the cooked Dal to give an almost smooth paste. Transfer it to a thick bottomed pan and bring to boil.
Add one cup of water along with all the ingredients listed for the dal except for the Garam Masala and Coriander leaves. Let the Dal simmer for about 10-15 minutes, keep stirring.
In a small kadai, prepare the tempering by heating the ghee and then spluttering the mustard seeds. Then add the fenugreek seeds. Reduce the heat and then add the rest of the ingredients for tempering.
Pour the tempering over the simmering Dal and mix well. Let it cook for 5 more minutes. Now add the Garam Masala and the coriander leaves and switch off the heat.
Serve hot as an accompaniment to Roti-Sabzi or with steamed rice for a comforting meal.
My Notes: Delicious Dal! S lapped it up with her Chapati & asked for more, and that in itself is a testimony. You can hardly expect a 3 yr old to appreciate something in a better way than that but then she went ahead and told me that the Dal was yummy!
Dont skip the Rock Salt, it really makes a huge difference to the taste.
I also didn't add any vegetables to the Dal. I would definitely like to try it with the vegetables next time, but this time we liked it just as it was.