Dal is a staple in Indian homes - prepared at least for one meal if not two. As I kid I remember enjoying dal for both lunch and dinner. Moong was our lunchtime favourite and for dinner Arhar or Toor Dal always won hands down. Other dals were always included in the diet and my Mum always alternated between making the wide variety of dals and beans that are available in India. Today I follow this tradition of cooking dal at home. Often I use the pressure cooker as it is perfect to get dals ready in a jiffy. But sometimes I like to soak dals for up to two hours before cooking and then slow cook them in a stock pot on the stove!
Today's recipe is a stockpot version of the Chana Dal with Tarka | Tempered Chana Dal. Its the simplest recipe you could lay your hands and the end result is superbly creamy and delicious!! You can just scoop spoonfuls into your mouth and enjoy it a soup or dip chunks of freshly baked bread in it. We love this dal with rotis or parathas!!
3/4 cup chana dal (Bengal Gram Dal)
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
1/4 tsp lal mirch (Red Chili Powder)
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2" piece ginger, minced
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 small onion, sliced fine
2 cloves garlic, sliced fine
1/2 tsp zeera (cumin seeds)
- Wash the chana dal and then soak it in plenty of water for about 2 hours.
- When ready to cook, drain all the water from the dal.
- In a large stockpot, add the oil and heat to smoking point.
- Reduce the heat, the add the hing, followed by the cumin powder.
- Next add the minced ginger and garlic. Stir and fry until fragrant.
- Now add the haldi and red chili powder. Give a quick stir, then throw in the chana dal.
- Stir again and add 21/2 cups of water. Bring the whole to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
- Now reduce the heat to a medium high and allow the dal to cook until tender.
- As this happens, the water reduce. Add more water is needed, about a quarter cup at a time.
- Once the dal is cooked, reduce heat and cook for another five minutes till the dal thickens. Stir continuously.
- Once the dal has a creamy texture, turn off the heat.
- Now prepare the tempering by heating the ghee in a small saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and fry until transparent. Add the cumin seeds and turn off the heat.
- Allow the tempering to sit for a few minutes before stirring it into the dal.
Food Event: Walk Through Memory Lane August 2013 hosted by Avika and created by Gayathri @ Gayathri's Cook Spot.
Vegan Substitute: Use oil instead of ghee while preparing the tempering.
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