1/2 cup chana dal (split bengal gram)
1/2 cup toovar dal/pigeon peas
1/2 cup green moong dal (split green gram)pasi paruppu
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 whole dried red chillies
Pinch of asafoetida
1 medium size tomato finely chopped about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
2 tbsp finely grated garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander leaves
Clean, wash and soak the dals in water for about 15 minutes and drain .after 15 to 20 minutes add salt and 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles .
Heat the oil in a pan, crackle the mustard seeds , then add the cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaf, red chillies and asafoetida and sautee for a few seconds.
Add the onions, green chillies, garlic and ginger and sautee .
Next add the tomatoes, chilli powder and turmeric powder and stir well.
Note the oil separating from the masala.
Next add the dals and 1 1/2 cups of water, and salt and simmer for few minutes.
Remove from flame and add the lime juice.
Garnish with coriander leaves,
Serve hot with rotis, phulkas or rice. rice.
Adding onions, Garlic is optional. This dal tastes equally yummy even without onions and garlic .
More about Dals
Lentils are a staple ingredient in South Asian cuisine.
It also refers to the thick stew prepared from these pulses, an important part of Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, West Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine.
It is regularly eaten with rice in southern India, and with both rice and roti (wheat-based flat bread) throughout northern India and Pakistan as well as Bangladesh, East India, and Nepal where Dal Baht (literally: dal and rice) is the staple food for much of the population.
Dal is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet.
Split toor dal, a common variety of dal
The word dāl derives from the Sanskrit verbal root dal- "to split". Dal is sometimes referred to as a "dal bean" instead of just "dal".
Dal preparations can be eaten with rice, as well as Indian breads in North India. In India, it is eaten with rice and with a wheat flatbread called roti.
The manner in which it is cooked and presented varies by region.
Dal has an exceptional nutritional profile.
It provides an excellent source of protein, particularly for those adopting vegetarian diets or diets which do not contain much meat.
It is typically around 25% protein by weight, giving it a comparable protein content to meats.
It is also high in carbohydrates whilst being virtually fat-free.
It is also rich in the B vitamins thiamine and folic acid, as well as several minerals, notably iron and zinc.
Toor dal, i.e. yellow pigeon peas, is available either plain or oily.
It is the main ingredient for the Tamil Nadu(a south Indian State) recipe called sambar. In Karnataka it is called togari bele.
It is also known as Arhar dal.
Chana dal is produced by removing the outer layer of kala chana (black chickpeas) and then splitting the kernel.
Yellow split peas, while not commonly used on the Indian subcontinent, are very prevalent in the Indian communities of Fiji Islands, Guyana and Trinidad, and are popular amongst Indians in the United States.
There, it is referred to generically as dal and is the most popular dal, although masoor dal and toor dal are also used. It is prepared similarly to dals found in India, but also may be used in a variety of other recipes.
Kala chana are small chickpeas with brown skins. In the U.S. and Canada, it is known as Desi chickpea and the variety most used is called 'Myles'.
It is very disease resistant.
Kabuli dal, known for its black coat, is an average-sized chickpea. It grows naturally with the black coat, and it is said to be nuttier in flavour.
Mung dal by far the most popular in Bangladesh, is also known as mung bean.
Lobiya dal - black-eyed bean
Urad dal, sometimes referred to as "black gram", is the main ingredient of the Tamil Nadu(South Indian state) dishes idli and dosa. It is also one of the main ingredients of East Indian (oriya and Bengali or Assamese) pitha.
The Punjabi version is dal makhani. In Karnataka, it is called uddina bele. It is rich in protein.
Masoor dal is red lentils. In Karnataka, it is called kempu (red) togari bele.
Rajma dal - kidney beans
Panchratna Dal is actually a dal mixture made by combining five varieties of dals (hence the name Panchratna - meaning five 'panch' jewels 'ratna').
It is the combination of the five different dals cooked together that gives the final dish its unique flavour.
Split and whole pulses
Although dal generally refers to split pulses, whole pulses are known as sabit dal and split pulses as dhuli dal.
Pulses with their outer hulls intact are also quite popular in India and Pakistan as the main cuisine. Over 50 different varieties of pulses are known in India and Pakistan.
Most dal recipes are quite simple to prepare. The standard preparation begins with boiling a variety of dal (or a mix) in water with some turmeric, salt to taste, and then adding a fried garnish at the end of the cooking process.
In some recipes, tomatoes, tamarind, unripe mango, or other ingredients are added while cooking the dal, often to impart a sour flavour.
The fried garnish for dal goes by many names, including Chaunk and tadka. The ingredients in the Chaunk for each variety of dal vary by region and individual tastes.
The raw spices (more commonly cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafetida, and sometimes fenugreek seeds and dried red chili pepper) are first fried for a few seconds in the hot oil on medium/low heat.
This is generally followed by ginger, garlic, and onion, which are generally fried for 10 minutes.
After the onion turns golden brown, ground spices (turmeric, coriander, red chili powder, garam masala, etc.) are added.
The chaunk is then poured over the cooked dal.
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