Madhur Jaffrey writes evocatively about Dals in Curry Bible, “you can take meat, fish and vegetables from an Indian, but you cannot take away his dal – the core of his meal.”
Dal = pulses or legume, forms an integral part of Indian cuisine. For vegetarians, it is a major source of protein. Though it is cooked in every household, the finished product varies from kitchen to kitchen.
There are unlimited ways to make this humble ingredient, from simple to exotic, from mild to spicy. Depending on the region, pulses are cooked plain, with vegetables, with fish and mutton.
India tops the list of Global Pulses production. Ironically, it is also the largest consumer.
Presenting here is simple Arhar Dal/ Pigeon pea, almost a regular feature in our major meals.
Here’s what I did…………
1 cup – arhar dal/ pigeon pea
1 nos – medium sized tomato, finely chopped
1 nos – small sized onion, finely chopped
2 nos – garlic pods, finely chopped
1 nos – green chilli, finely chopped
1/4 tsp – ginger paste (optional)
1 tsp – finely chopped fresh coriander/ cilantro
1/2 tsp – tumric powder
2 tsp – oil
1 tsp – ghee (optional)
1/2 tsp – cumin seeds
2 cups – water
Salt to taste
Wash and pressure cook the dal/ pulses with 2 cups water and salt, upto 2-3 whistles.
Once the pressure cooker cools, uncover and whisk the dal into smooth submission.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the chopped garlic till fragrant ( I prefer to fry them to light brown).
Add the cumin seeds and once they splutter, add the chopped onion, green chilli and fry till translucent.
Tip in the chopped tomato and ginger paste. Add the tumeric powder. Cook till tomatoes soften.
Pour in the boiled dal/ pulses. As it starts boiling, lower the heat and cook for 2-3 mins.
Garnish with ghee (optional) and fresh coriander.
Serve hot with rice or chapati.
Happy cooking !! 😊
Cheers !! 😄