Dal and Rice or Dal and Roti even, Dal and Buns - eaten everyday to satisfy and satiate more than just hunger pangs, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner the humble lentil has become ubiquitous with Indian cuisine.
Each family has their own recipe for the making of the 'dal -curry' and their own favorite main dish - either hot cooked soft white rice, or a fluffy 'chappati" ( a wheat based flat bread) or a hot baked bun!
Growing up, mine was no different, and I've carried on the tradition with my own family.
I love the ease of making this simple, rustic dish and eating it any time, by itself or making it an accompaniment to another dish any way I choose.
Dal Curry - a very mild and nutritious curry made up mainly of lentils, tomatoes, chilies, and spices. Heat level can be adjusted according to taste.
Dal / Lentils (black, yellow or red) ~ 3/4 cup - (feel free also to mix for texture and color)
Onion, red or white - 1 (Chopped)
Garlic - 6 cloves ( chopped fine )
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves - 1 bunch (cilantro)
Cumin seeds -1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp (you can also use Panch Phoran - a premixed spice blend)
Curry Spice powder - 2 tsp (i really like this South Indian curry powder)
Oil ~ 1 1/2 tbsp
Dry red chillies ~ 3 Nos
Salt to taste
Optional: 1 sliced tomato.
First wash and pressure cook the lentils by adding 3 cups of water, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, half of the garlic and a pinch of salt for 8- 10 minutes or 2 whistles on a medium flame. Turn off and allow to cool.
In the meantime heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, mustard seeds- ( for a variation you can also use Panch Phoran - a premixed spice blend) and dry red chillies and when its pops, add chopped onions and remainder of the garlic and saute till soft.
Then lower the flame and add 1 tsp of Curry Spice powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and fry for less than a minute.
If using tomato, add the chopped tomato and fry for 3 -4 minutes.
Add the cooked dal and boil till the gravy thickens.
Once thickened, add remainder of the curry powder, and chopped coriander leaves.
Mix well and remove from the flame after 2 minutes.
It is quick and easy to make and is a great accompaniment with any dish -even sliced bread. Indians eat it with paratha, chapati or rice.
Ease your soul with foods like dal that comes with all the goodness of protein rich lentils. Humble and comforting recipe to start your day or night!
You can buy all the ingredients for dal - right here:
ONE STOP DAL SHOP