A traditional Indian meal includes Roti/Rice, Curry, Pappu/Dal, Rasam/Sambar and homemade yogurt! Pickles and Chutneys that are available in Indian Kitchens all through-out the year also make a frequent or regular appearance (based on the likes) on the plate and so do vadiyalu/papadams whenever we are feeling a little fancy.
So, in short, ‘Lentils‘ are a very important part of our regular eats. Different kinds of lentils are used to make different dishes:
Toor dal (Pigeon peas) for Pappu, Dal, Pappu Charu
Chana dal (Split black chickpeas) for Sambar; also added in tempering to add crunch to a few curries or to rice varieties like Lemon Rice
Urad dal for Dosas and Idlis
Moong dal for vegetable Khichdi, Pongal, Pesarattu
this list can go on and on…
I regularly make Spinach Dal and Tomato Dal. Quite easy to make….just put everything into the pressure cooker and cook for a few whistles and then add the tempering. Super tasty and healthy!
Prep + Cooking time: 30 mins
To cook dal,
- Toor dal – 1n1/2 cup
- Tomatoes – 2 large or 3 medium-sized – diced into not medium-sized chunks
- Onions – 1/2 – chopped
- Green chillies – 3 or 4 – slit length-wise
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1n1/2 tsp or to taste
- Salt – 1n1/2 tspor to taste
For the tempering,
- Oil – 2 tsps
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Garlic – 1 or 2 cloves chopped
- Dry red chillies – 2 halved
- Curry leaves – a handful
1. Take toor dal in the pressure cooker. Rinse the dal well under running water. Add about 3 cups of water (double the amount of dal) to the dal.
2. Add the chopped onions, tomatoes and green chillies to the dal now. Also add spices – turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Give a nice mix. Cover with the cooker lid and whistle/weight and let the dal cook for 3 whistles (may require more or less whistles as per you cooker).
3. When done, remove the cooker from the stove and let cool for at-least 5 to 10 mins until all the pressure leaves out of the cooker.
4. In the meanwhile, take a small pan for tempering, add about 2 tsps of oil. When hot enough, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, garlic, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Let them splutter in the oil for about 2 to 3 minutes making sure they don’t get charred.
5. When the cooker has cooled, remove the lid, add the tempering and give a nice mix. Add a cup of water or more if you like the dal to be of thin consistency.
6. Adjust salt if needed and move into a serving bowl.
Enjoy with warm white rice and some papad/papadams/vadiyalu. Add ghee (clarified butter) if not counting calories!