Dal is one thing that is cooked most often in Indian households. It is like a lentil soup or curry, but can have several variations; from Toor Dal to Chana Dal, Mung, Urad or even mixed Panchvati Dal, there is no end to how much you can customize! However, the taste and flavor of the Dal depends on the origin of the recipe, like this Toor Dal cooked in Gujarati style will be different from the Makhani Dal made in Northern India! But each Dal recipe is unique on its own, and makes for a healthy, filling dish that can be enjoyed with rice or bread.
Priya from Akshayapaatram asked for recipes that deck up on a wedding buffet table, and you might wonder how a simple recipe like Toor Daal fits the bill!! But let me tell you – any Gujarati wedding feast is incomplete without the traditional Vara ni Dal, or Toor Dal. It has a characteristic taste that comes from spices like cinnamon, cloves, curry leaves and fenugreek, and the Tadka is made of Ghee, instead of oil, giving it that rich velvety feel which keeps you getting up again for another cup of Dal! Try it, and you’ll see for yourself why this fuss-free recipe is so cherished even on wedding occasions.
Toor Dal (Vara ni Dal – Gujarati Style)
2 cups Tuver Dal
10-12 raw peanuts
1 tsp each of mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 tsp methi seeds(dried fenugreek)
2-3 cloves (lavang)
5-6 curry leaves
3-4 pieces of dried kokum
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste
a pinch of asafoetida (hiing)
salt – to taste
sugar or jaggery – to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder(dhana-jeeru powder)
lemon juice – to taste
1/2 tomato – chopped
3 tbsp coriander – chopped
Take the tuver dal and pressure cook it (covered upto 5 whistles) with a little extra water to make it soft. Add the peanuts, jaggery and kokum in the cooker along with the dal.
Now take a saucepan, add some mustard and jeera seeds, black cloves, and a pinch of asafoetida. When the seeds start to splutter, add the cooked dal in the pan. Use a hand blender to make a thick soup and add water to achieve the consistency you like.
Now add salt, sugar, lemon juice(to taste), and all the dry spices. Add curry leaves, chopped tomatoes, green chili-ginger paste, half of the chopped coriander and bring the mixture to a boil. Then lower the flame, cover partially, and let it cook for another 8-10 mins.
Garnish with the remaining coriander leaves. Serve the traditional Gujarati Dal with a hot plate of Jeera Rice!