Eating out is fun and adventurous. You get to try yummy new dishes without the hassle of cooking, table setting and washing up. It’s exciting to dress up and watch the waiter go by with trays laden with food that isn’t yours.
But sometimes the overpriced plates of pasta drowning in white sauce just don’t cut it. Sometimes what you need is good ol’ dal chawal.
Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.
It’s perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters (especially after Bakra Eid) alike.
If you’re a newbie to lentils, fear not. This was the first dal recipe I ever made, and I’ve made it a dozen times since. It’s super easy to cook. It involves none of that pressure cooker hassle. I’ve never used a pressure cooker and never intend to use it in the future either. That thing gives me the jeepers! Its the fault of all the horror stories told about the pressure coolers exploding.
Lentils cook beautifully well by simply boiling them in spiced water.
There’s two parts to this recipe: the cooking of the lentils and the tempering. I’ve tried to explain each one of the steps involved as clearly as I could.
It’s a classic Shireen Anwer recipe (bow down for the queen). So you can’t go wrong with that!
Do give this recipe a try. It’s spicy, creamy, and reminiscent of the dal you get served on the roadside restaurants.
Coupled with roti hot off the tandoor or plain boiled rice, this dhaba dal is sure to become a family favorite in your house.
250 g chana dal/split chick peas
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi powder)
½ cup ghee or cooking oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp garam masala (all spice powder)
Green chilies, finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Soak the dal in water for 3 to 4 hours. Then wash and place in a pan along with; 3 cups of water, salt, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Cook on medium high flame till dal is soft and is cooked completely.
For the tempering/tarqa:
In a small pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions till brown. Then add in the tomatoes, garlic and the chili flakes. Cook on high flame, mixing continuously, till tomatoes turn mushy and the oil comes on top of the surface. Add in the chopped green chilies, and garam masala powder. Mix well.
Pour the tarqa on top of the prepared dal and mix the two together.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with plain white rice.