19 August 2007

Twice tempered dal

Dal is one of the must-haves in any Indian home. I, for one, cook at least one dal-based item everyday. Deciding what dal to cook is a bit of a daily dilemma. Most mornings, I just cook a little tuvar dal first thing in the morning, and later decide what my menu for the day is likely to be. On a good day, my daughter usually wants 'parappu-saadam' (dal and rice) for her lunch-box. Or if I'm luckier she wants to eat that for breakfast. Which is why I make a little rice and dal before I start heating water for my morning tea!

Sometimes I think dal is highly underrated. A few years ago, I was planning a party. And as I'd decided to get it catered, I was bouncing off the menu I'd planned with a few party-hosting pros. As I read out and counted the items ordered, one of them said that dal does not count. Apparently, I had to have dal, but not to count that in the number of items I wanted to serve. It was not a 'course' per se. That was a bit of a kicker. And, after the party, the dal was the only item of which I had no leftovers! The serving bowl was wiped clean! The humble dal somehow doesn't seem to get its full due sometimes.

Sometimes, after back-to-back culinary experiments, A usually asks for a 'simple lunch' of rice, 'simple dal' and some vegetables. And on these days he asks for my 'simple' dal. And I must confess, its a simple, soothing comfort-food. Low on time, effort and preparation, and very very satisfying. My secret to my 'simple dal' is that it's tempered twice. And its exponentially as tasty, or so A claims.

Twice Tempered Dal

1/2 cup split (yellow) moong dal
1/4 cup split (red) masur dal
1 pinch Turmeric
1 tbsp Ghee
1 pinch Hing/asafetida
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tbsp Butter
1 small Tomato (chopped)
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
Chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Wash and cook dals with enough water and turmeric.
Adjust salt to taste.
Heat ghee. When hot, add cumins seeds.
When the cumin seeds start to splutter, add Hing.
Add this tempering to the dal.
Combine butter, tomato, ginger garlic and garam masala in a small frying pan (or whatever you use for tempering).
Simmer the mixture till the fat separates and the raw smell of garlic has gone and add to the dal.
Stir the dal well and garnish with chopped coriander before serving.


Saju said...

Yummmmmmmmm! I mean burpppp!!
I agree with you about dal, though we usually only have it once a week. Twice tempered looks twice delish/1

Pragyan said...

So true..dal is so often ignored. But without dal, a meal is incomplete. Nice recipe. I usually mix all the tempering! Will try your method someday soon. :)

Pragyan said...

I am passing you the "Rockin' Girl Blogger" tag. Have a great day.

Lakshmi said...

Looks yumm and interesting way of tampering it twice.

Rachna said...

twice tempered? thats interesting... yeah nothing lik lain dal chawal....