The Tuvar or Arhar or Dried Pigeon Peas are family favorite. I make these dry beans in so many ways. The dal tadka is a bit dressed up version when I cook just dal and rice, without the normal Indian affair of few more things.
I am wondering that why I didn’t post it earlier. Better late than never. It is often enjoyed with plain basmati rice along with some salad and Indian pickles in my house. This is one dish where I don’t have to beg or threaten anybody to finish their food . Their plates are happily emptied and I get to see contented faces. It can’t get better than that!
I had mine with rice, some chopped salad with lemon dressing and instant green chili pickle. Amazing! I have been eating it since childhood but it makes me a happy girl everytime. Such is the charm. You will often find it mentioned in the menus of Indian restaurants.
Now getting down to the recipe! Dedicating it to Sir Johnny of KitschnFlavors. Johnny, one more for you.
Serves : 4-6
Dry Pigeon Peas/Tuvar/Arhar : 1 cup. I normally do 1/4 cup per person or a handful per person.
Water : 2&1/2 cups if using pressure cooker or 4 cups if using a pan. May need more water in pan as per the dal’s quality. Keep an eye on that. It’s better to wash and soak the dal for 20 minutes in lukewarm water for quicker cooking.
Turmeric : 1/2 tsp
For Tadka or Tempering :
Ghee/Oil : 2 tsp
Onion : 1/2 cup Chopped fine
Tomatoes : 1/2 cup chopped fine
Ginger : 1 tsp freshly grated or minced
Curry leaves : 5-7, optional
Cilantro leaves : 2 tbsp, chopped fine
Dry spices :
Black Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Asafetida : a fat pinch, optional
Dry Red Chillies – 1-2. If you break them and add then it will add more heat.
Garam Masala : 1/2 tbsp, or to your taste
Red chili powder : 1/4 to 1/2 tsp, as per taste. You may use kashmiri chikni powder or fancy paprika for color.
Kasuri Methi : 1 tbsp, optional
Sugar or jaggery : 1 tsp, optional. I sometimes add it and sometimes skip it for variety.
Lemon juice : of 1/2 lemon, optional
Salt to taste
- Cook dal with water and turmeric powder in pressure cooker for 1 whistle and then simmer and cook further for 5 minutes. Switch the burner off and set aside. If you are using an open pan, then cook dal with mentioned amount of water and turmeric and cook till tender and the grain is slightly mushy. Do soak it beforehand for faster cooking.
Meanwhile start working on Tadka/tempering. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and lower the flame. Once they start crackling, add asafetida, whole red chillies, curry leaves and onions to the pan and sauté for about 4-5 minutes on middle lower flame till the onions turn slightly golden.
Add tomatoes and ginger. Add Kasuri methi and all the dry spices except sugar, cilantro leaves and lemon juice. Sauté on medium flame for about another 5-7 minutes till tomatoes are mushy. Add 1/4 cup water, sugar, salt and cilantro leaves. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add boiled dal to the tempering or vice versa. Cook further for 5 minutes and done. Eat with rice or chapatis. I can drink it up plain. Always add lemon juice in individual portions. If you add lemon juice in the whole cooking pan, then you cannot reheat it since it will make the dal bitter.
I hope you will try it some day!