138. urad dal (split black gram curry)
My favourite dal
Split urad dal (split black grams) is easy, tasty and creamy without the cream. I tend to make this dal every week and serve it with hot chapattis. As I have mentioned before, vegetarians need to include various types of beans in their daily diet to meet the protein requirement. Dals or curries are a good option to have with rice or chapattis. Also known as white lentils, they are a rich source of protein, high in dietary fibers, provide energy and rich in magnesium and folates. During one of my health check ups in India, I was asked by the doctor what our daily meal was. I replied that we normally had dal, roti or rice and sabji with chaas (buttermilk) nearly everyday for lunch. This led to a discussion how many Indian families think that the traditional meal of dal, sabji and rice or roti is unhealthy. Contrary to their belief, its a balanced diet, we just have to be careful of the serving he suggested. I couldn’t agree with the doctor more. Feed a balanced diet to your family and children and not just junk food.
URAD DAL ( SPLIT BLACK GRAM CURRY)
1 cup split urad dal (white without skin)
2½ cups water
2 cups water
1 cup finely chopped onions
8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 big tomato
½ inch ginger or 1 tsp ginger paste
½ to 1 tsp green chilli paste
1 one inch cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 to 1¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 tbsp oil
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tbsps fresh chopped coriander
- Wash the dal and let it soak for about 1 hour in the 2½ cups of water.
- In the meantime get the chillis, garlic and onions ready.
- Cut the ginger into thin strips or make a paste.
- Chop the tomato finely or grate it.
- Put the lentils with the water in a pressure cooker. Add the turmeric powder. Cook for 3 whistles. If you do not have a pressure cooker, cook it in a pot with more water over low heat.This may take about an hour.
- Heat the oil and ghee. Add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, mustard seeds and asafoetida.
- Add onions and stir fry till they are light brown in colour. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir fry for a minute or so.
- Add the cooked lentils, remaining 2 cups of water and salt. Mix well.
- When it begins to boil, lower the heat and add the tomato.
- Let the dal simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir it occasionally so it does not stick at the bottom.
- Garnish with fresh chopped coriander or with extra tadka.
- For the tadka or tempering, heat about 2 tbsps of ghee, add more cumin seeds, ½ tsp mustard seeds and a tbsp of finely chopped garlic or onion. Stir fry till the onion or garlic becomes brown.
- Pour over the prepared dal and serve immediately.
- For the tadka can use chopped green chilli instead of garlic or onions. Can also use cinnamon, cloves and pepper for tadka.
- Serve with a dollop of butter.
- If the dal becomes too thick, add extra water.
- For a more spicier curry, increase the amount of garlic, onion and ginger.
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