Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Simple Yellow Dal (Lentils)

This is a very easy yet tasty dal that all kids love. I've kept the flavour mild and simple so that even your little kids can enjoy this one!

simple yellow dal lentils
Simple Yellow Dal Lentils

1 cup yellow toovar dal (you could substitute with yellow split moong dal)
5 cups of water
1 onion chopped fine
1 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
salt to taste
1/2 lemon 

For the tadka (seasoning):
2 dry kashmiri red chillies broken
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds 
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
5 cloves of garlic chopped fine
1" piece of ginger choppped fine
2 - 3 tbsp of ghee
curry leaves

Wash and soak the dal for 15 mins in water. Drain and reserve.

In a pressure cooker, add the dal and the 5 cups of water. (I usually use the ratio of 1 cup dal: 5 cups of water.  If you are using 1 1/2 cups of dal, then you would need to add around 7 1/2 cups of water). Add in the raw onions, turmeric powder, hing and salt to taste. Dal usually requires a bit more salt so about 1 tsp of salt should do. If you need to add more you can adjust later. Close the cooker and increase the heat to full. Wait for the pressure cooker to whistle and then lower the heat to the first or second lowest setting on your cooker and time for 15 mins.

After 15 mins, take the cooker off the heat. Pressure cookers are dangerous and need to be handled with care so this is what I usually do when I need to open it; to release the steam you need to lift off the counterweight gradually and bleed off the steam, I usually do this by levering the weight with a fork and adjusting it to let out the steam gently or just run the sides of the cooker under water until it has suffficiently cooled down to reduce the pressure in the cooker.

Do NOT attempt to open the cooker without letting off the steam as this could result in some serious steam burns.

Transfer the dal to a serving dish.

simple yellow dal lentils
Simple Yellow Dal

In a small stainless steel tadka pan, heat the ghee. When nice and hot, add in the broken chilly. I always used kashmiri chillies as they are nice and mild. Add in the chopped ginger and garlic and let it cook nicely taking care not to burn it. Then add in the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and hing. Lastly throw in the curry leaves. Take care as they tend to splutter. Pour the hot seasoning over the dal.


Note: I didn't add the mustard and cumin seeds first into the oil as should be usually done, as the garlic and ginger will take some time to cook and I didn't want the spices to burn, so I added them after the ginger and garlic had cooked.

Squeeze some lemon over the top, to brighten all those flavours and serve hot with white rice!

simple yellow dal lentils
Simple Yellow Dal