Dhabas are famous for their dals which have distinct flavors due to slow cooking on tandoors, use of whole garam masala, and butter tadka on the top. You can simplify the process by cooking in pressure cooker.
If you prefer, you can add pretty much any side dish and raita you like to enhance this already perfect combination.
- ½ cup Arhar or Tuvar Daal
- ½ cup chana dal
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1” cinnamon stick
- 5-6 cloves
- 2 brown cardamoms
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 green chilies chopped
- 1 large tomato chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp chat masala
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
- 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- A big lump of butter
- Soak chana dal in water for 1 hour.
- Thoroughly wash the Arhar dal and put both the dals into a pressure cooker. Add 4 cups of water to it. Add soaked chana dal, 1 tbsp of cooking oil and turmeric powder to it. Stir well.
- Cover the pressure cooker and set on high flame. After the first pressure release, reduce the flame to simmer and cook for two more pressure releases. Turn off the flame and open the pressure cooker when it is cool.
- Stir the boiled lentils well. Mash the lentils against the side of the pan. If it is too thick, add some warm water and stir until the consistency is right.
- Heat ghee in a frying pan. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamoms; fry for few seconds. Add onions and fry until light brown. Now add ginger and garlic paste and fry for two minutes till it is pink. Stir in chopped green chilies, tomatoes, red chili powder and salt. Cook till tomatoes become pulpy.
- Pour this masala over dal. Put it on slow heat and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes. Mix lemon juice and chat masala.
- Heat 2 tbsp of butter and pour over dal.
- Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and ‘chaunk’ (ghee with red chili).
- Serve with Nan or Tandoori Roti, sabji, raita and onion salad.
Do You Know?
Dhabas are local restaurants that are commonly found in India on highways or near petrol pumps. These usually serve Punjabi food, which is heavily-spiced and fried. Since most Indian truck drivers are of Punjabi descent they prefer Punjabi Food and music.
The food in Dhabas is typically inexpensive and has a 'homemade' feel to it.
Many Indian restaurants in Europe and America have adopted it as a part of the name.