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Author Notes: Punjabi Dal is a thick, wholesome version of the ever-popular lentil curry that is bursting with flavour. Popular in the North of India, this is best with a dollop of ghee and scooped into roti parcels with your fingers. On my holidays in Delhi as a child, the rotis would be laced with white butter, which we kids would promptly smear all over our mouths as lip-gloss! In case you’re wondering, I don’t roll out the rotis on battle ravaged days - I’ll always have a pack of ready-made ones in the freezer for those meals. The original recipe was an inspiration from Monica of the Spice Club (http://spicediary.com/2013/10/13/urad-chana-dal-masala-spicy-punjabi-dal/). My version here uses a batch of home made tomato curry sauce as a shortcut. This dal is lovely mopped up with flatbreads. Roti liberally rubbed with butter is best. —Mallika
- Half cup Split urad lentils
- Half cup Channa lentils (Split Bengal Gram)
- Half cup Tomato Curry Sauce (recipe https://food52.com/recipes/35952-indian-tomato-curry-sauce)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 pinch Asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 handful Chopped Fresh Coriander
- 3 tablespoons Oil or Ghee
- 1 dash Salt, to taste
- Wash the lentils well in a sieve with cold running tap until the water runs clear.
- Then bring to boil with twice as much cold water, and bubble on medium high for at least 30 minutes until the mixture resembles a thick soup. You’ll have to keep adding water to prevent the mixture from drying up too much and burning.
- Just remember to add half a cup of hot water at a time only. I always keep a boiled kettle ready when I make dal.
- Check for salt at this stage, and add it to your liking. Then make the tadka. Bring the ghee to heat on medium in a small saucepan.
- When it’s hot, add the pinch of hing and the cumin seeds, and as they sizzle up stir the tadka into the dal.
- Ladle into a bowl, sprinkling the garam masala and fresh coriander (if using) on top to serve.