Traditional Indian Dahl
( SERVES 4 )
This recipes has been shared with us by Perzen Patel, award-winning food blogger (bawibride.com) and host of Kiwi Foodcast, a podcast devoted to New Zealand’s diverse food scene. Of this recipe Perzen says:
Many Indians will tell you, “Going on vacation and eating a wide variety of food is great but the day that I come back home, all I want is a bowl of dahl". There is nothing quite like the simplicity of dahl to make you feel like you are right back where you belong – home. It is often the first item of food served to kids and eaten in an Indian home on a weekly basis. Every family has their own recipe for dahl, some like it spicier, some prefer their lentils blended and some like it with more ghee. Here is the one I ate growing up.
For the dahl
|2 tsp||Turmeric powder|
|2 cups||Raw Toor Dahl, or yellow split peas|
|4 cups||Water, up to 5.|
For the Tadka
- Soak the toor dahl in water for at least 30 minutes but preferably a bit longer. This step is crucial in ensuring the grains break down effectively and will make your dahl creamier. Once soaked, drain out all the water. You will note that the raw dahl has almost expanded – this is a good thing!
- If you have a pressure cooker pour in the dahl with about 4 cups of water. You should have a ½ inch layer of water over your dahl. If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can make this in a saucepan but I recommend you soak your dahl overnight in that case so that it cooks faster. You may also need to keep topping up the water to ensure the dahl doesn't burn at the bottom of the pan.
- Add in the turmeric and the salt.
- In the pressure cooker, cook for about 20-30 minutes. In the saucepan, you may need 45 mins - 1 hour. What you want, is the lentil to crush easily when pinched between your fingers. The dahl will have soaked up the water.
- Give it a quick blend using a hand blender or if you wish to have an arm workout with a whisk and there you have it – amazing, simple, dahl.
- Most kids will like to have it just like this with a bowl of rice. If you prefer a bit more flavouring you can make a tadka. The one I've suggested above is a very simple one. You can also add curry leaves, mustard seeds and some chopped tomato to your tadka if you prefer your dahl to have more zing.
- Remember, more tadka ingredients means you may need to add a bit more ghee.
- For the tadka, heat up the ghee in a small saucepan until it is sizzling hot. Add in the minced garlic and stir until it is brown. Add in the cumin seeds and cook for another minute or two. Pour the sizzling hot ghee onto your dahl and mix.
- Eat with a bowl of hot rice with some pickle on the side.