Saturday, October 9, 2010

Masoor-Channa dal tadka (Tempered red lentils & gram dal)

I am not a big fan of masoor (red lentils) dal, because I feel they stand apart even after cooking them. Hence, I always combine them with toor dal/pigeon peas or channa dal (gram lentils) to make it the way we like it. Here is one such simple dal tadka (tempered lentils), that goes in my everyday cooking. 

Ingredients:
Red lentils/Masoor dal: 1 cup
Gram dal/Channa dal: 1/2 cup
Turmeric: a big pinch
Oil: 2-3 drops 
Salt: According to taste
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves/Cilantro: 1 tbsp (finely chopped) 


For tempering:
Ghee/Clarified butter or oil: 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 4-6 nos (adjust according to the heat needed)
Tomato: 2 nos (finely chopped)
Onion: 1 medium sized(finely chopped)
Curry leaves: a string


Method:
  • Soak the gram dal/channa dal in water for about 30-45mins. 
  • Wash both the lentils thoroughly in running water & add 3 cups of water to the washed dal. Add oil, turmeric powder to the lentils & cook it in the pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles. Allow the cooker to cool for 10-20mins.
  • Meantime, finely chop the green chillies, tomatoes & onion.
  • Mash the lentils gently with a potato masher & keep them aside. 
  • Heat oil in a broad wok. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds. When cumin turn brown, add ginger-garlic paste & saute till the raw smell of the ginger-garlic is gone. Follow it by curry leaves, green chilli & onion. Saute till onion turns translucent. Finally add tomatoes & cook for a minute. Add salt, mashed dal & boil the dal on a medium heat. (If needed, adjust the consistency of the dal by adding more water)
  • Turn off the heat & add lemon juice, coriander leaves & mix well.
  • Serve the tempered dal with steamed or lightly flavored rice. Goes well with chapathi/roti too.
Notes:
  • It is important to soak the channa dal, as it takes more time to cook, while the red lentils cook faster.
  • Leafy vegetables like spinach, methi(fenugreek leaves) could be added to this dal. The leafy vegetables must be added along with onions, so that they get cooked properly.
  • This dal tastes great without lemon juice too.
Other dal recipes: