Monday, September 8, 2008

Tadka Dal ( Toor Dal with Instant Seasoning)

This is a tasty and easy-to-cook Toor Dal dish.

1 cup Toor Dal
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tbsp garlic chopped finely
10 curry leaves
2 slit green chillies (optional but preferred)
1 tbsp cooking oil
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsps melted ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp asafetida powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp red chili powder
2 whole dry red chillies
1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

  • Soak Toor dal for 30 minutes. Mix this with the chopped tomato, chopped garlic ,1 tbsp cooking oil, turmeric powder in a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water to it and cook till one or two whistles. Switch off flame.
  • When cooled, open the pressure cooker and add salt. Stir the boiled lentils well to blend into a smooth consistency. If it is too thick, add some warm water and stir till the consistency is right.
  • Heat the Daal through again. It shoudl be piping hot before you carry out the next step in this recipe.
  • Heat the ghee on a medium flame, in a small pan till hot. Now add first mustard seeds and then cumin seeds, fry till spluttering stops. Add the curry leaves and green chillies and cook till spluttering stops. Turn off the fire and add the asafetida powder, whole red chili and red chili powder. Stir to mix well and immediately add this tempering mix to the boiled lentil mixture otherwise red chili will burn . It will sizzle and might splutter a bit, so be careful when you do this. Stir well.
  • Garnish with cilantro and some tadka ( tempering).
  • Serve hot with plain boiled rice.

Do You Know:

Tempering/ Instant Seasoning/ Tadka/ Baghar/ Chonk is the technique to add flavor to a dish in a flash. Spices and herbs are added to hot oil/ghee. Hot oil extracts and retains the aroma, essence and flavor of the spices and herbs.

This tempering is done in two ways. 1. As the first step in the cooking process, before adding the rice, vegetables or lentils. 2. Pouring the tempered oil over dal. Spices and herbs cooked this way retain and enhance their flavors.

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