Dal is the comfort food of South Asia. Mixed hulled or split lentils and peas of all sorts are cooked to a soup like consistency and served with steaming white rice, pickles/acchaari, a fresh chutney/chatni, a serving of sabzi/vegetables, and perhaps some roti or pappadums. Dal is a healthy, affordable, protein and fiber rich staple of South Asian cuisines. This is our usual recipe, it's super simple and very tasty.
1/2 C onion, diced finely
2 green chilis, chopped
1 tomato, finely diced
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1/2tsp paprika + 1/2tsp cayenne)
1 C masoor dal/red lentils
1/2 C chana dal/split yellow peas
1/2 C moong dal/hulled green gram
2 tsp salt
Here's what to do:
1) In a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat ghee or cooking oil. Fry diced onion until translucent.
2) Add tomatoes, green chilis, garlic paste, and salt while continuing to fry for 3 more minutes or until tomatoes are softened. Stir in Kashmiri mirch and turmeric powder, fry for 2 minutes.
|Looks a little watery at this stage.|
|The dal is done!|
Here in South Asia we have to rinse dals thoroughly and look for insects, pebbles, twigs, or stems. I learned this the HARD way (pun intended). Please use your discretion as to whether your dal needs cleaning.
I would not recommend cooking this type of dal in a pressure cooker. Tiny particles of masoor dal can clog the steam vent leading to a possible explosion. I've never heard of this actually happening but that's what it said in the booklet that came with my pressure cooker.