Dal and Lentil Dishes

Dal Chaawal – Comfort food for the Indian Soul

A simple Dal chaawal aka Rice and Lentil curry lunch or dinner is comfort food to the Indian soul. This simple Masoor Dal Tadka (Seasoned Dal made out of Orange Lentils) is by far the tastiest dal I make. We love this dal at home!!
Masoor Dal or Masur Lentils is a tiny orange lentil that is actually called “Poor man’s Dal” since it is the cheapest of the dals. More popular in the north than the south, I make this dal at least once a week since it is simple, quick to put together and the kids will eat it without complaints.

Masoor Dal Tadka with Rice and a yummy salad of Moong sprouts and cucumber
Masoor Dal Tadka with Rice and a yummy salad of Moong sprouts and cucumber

You will need:
1 Cup Masoor Dal – Wash and Soak for 10 minutes in water
2 small cloves Garlic – Peeled and Washed
4 Green chillies – Wash and Chop
1 Medium Onion – Peel, Wash and Chop fine
1 Small Tomato – Wash and Chop fine
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Curry powder
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:
2 tbsp Ghee
1/2 tsp Cumin or Jeera
Hing or Asafoetida

1. Wash and soak the dal for 10 minutes. This makes the dal cook more evenly.
2. Then place the dal in a pressure pan, add the peeled garlic, 1/2 of the chopped green chillies, turmeric powder and about 3 cups water and pressure cook for just about 1 whistle. This dal cooks fast and it is tasty when the grains are somewhat separate. I usually cook just about 1 whistle and turn off the stove before the 1st whistle. This cooks the dal perfectly. Cool the pressure pan/cooker.
3. Chop the onions, tomato etc.
4. Heat the ghee (or oil) in a small pan. When it is hot season with cumin and hing.
5. Add the chopped onions and the remaining green chillies. Fry for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder. Saute until mushy.
6. Add the curry powder and add this seasoning to the cooked dal.
7. Add salt to the dal and 1/2 cup of water if needed.
8. Boil this dal for about 5 minutes until well blended.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice and ghee.

Delicious Masoor Dal and Rice served with salad
Delicious Masoor Dal and Rice served with salad

Sprouted Moong and Cucumber Salad

Sprouted Moong and Cucumber Salad
Sprouted Moong and Cucumber Salad

You will need:
1 cup sprouted Whole Moong
Soak the Whole Moong overnight, drain and keep covered in a sprouter or tie the soaked whole moong in a muslin cloth or kitchen towel and place in a warm place. The sprouts should be ready in about 8 hours. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to an week.
1 Small Cucumber – Wash and Chop into cubes
1 Green chilli – Wash and Chop fine
Chopped Cilantro
Salt to taste
1 tsp Lime juice

Combine all of the above, mix well and serve cold.


Dal and Lentil Dishes, Gravy Curries, Mango

A DIY Project and Mango Dal

I am so excited about this post..last week I found M Khan of unkhanny.com – a lovely blog with wonderful recipes, some great myths debunked straight from the Dr.’s mouth, lovely beauty facts and tips and some awesome DIY ideas!! I so fell in love with this DIY idea of hers that I had to try it right away!!!

Dal to go...
Dal to go…

I stopped by the store yesterday to pick up some Mason jars and had a fun time putting together this great Dal To Go Gift idea 🙂 I did improvise a bit with the dal recipe itself from M Khan’s recipe… I added in the jar my signature home made Chilli masala powder, some home made cumin powder, amchur and turmeric powder. I toasted the seasoning ingredients as she has suggested and love that all one has to now do it to add the ingredients of the jar in a pressure cooker, add some salt and ghee for good measure 🙂 and cook until soft and of course serve hot!!

Some pictures from my DIY Photoshoot 😉 A handwritten recipe also goes out with each jar…..Huh…whom do I gift it to now?? 🙂

Thank you M Khan for this great idea!!







To continue the Dal Saga I am going to share with you today a Dal recipe from my kitchen..it is a South Indian Dal recipe, more specifically an Andhra dal recipe called “Mamidikaya Pappu” or “Mango Dal”..With the onset of summer raw mangoes in all forms and sizes are now available in the market in India..

The Mango Market and season in full swing Photo Courtesy: thetimesofindia.com
The Mango Market and season in full swing
Photo Courtesy: thetimesofindia.com
Yummy Mangoes Photo Courtesy: Internet
Yummy Mangoes
Photo Courtesy: Internet

I miss the vibrant markets of India, the abundance of vegetables and fruits and the hot summers.. But I am not one to fret over it 🙂 I do enjoy my local groceries and whole foods market here in the US. I was lucky to find some raw mangoes in our Indian store here in the US..

Green Raw Mango
Green Raw Mango

I saved one of these babies to make my mom’s signature Mango Thokku. The other I used up for the Mango Dal below…

You will need:

Ingredients for Mango Dal
Ingredients for Mango Dal

1 Cup Toor Dal
3/4th Raw Mango – Peel and cube, discard the large seed
1 Large tomato – Chop roughly
5 Green chillies – Slit lengthwise
2 cloves Garlic – Peel
1/4 Onion – Chop
Turmeric Powder

Combine all of the above in a pressure pan or pressure cooker. Add about 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Allow the pressure from the cooker to cool.
Open the lids, Use a large ladle, masher or a hand blender to slightly mash the dal. If the dal is too thick you may add about 1/2 cup water. Add salt to taste and boil uncovered for 5 minutes.

Delicious Mango Dal
Delicious Mango Dal

Season with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, dry red chillies, some chopped garlic and some hing.You may also add chopped onions for seasoning.

Serve Mango Dal with Hot Rice, Papad and Pickle...
Serve Mango Dal with Hot Rice, Papad and Pickle…

Serve hot with rice, papad and pickle..or just plain with hot steaming rice 🙂
Hope you enjoyed my post! Thanks for stopping by…

Dal and Lentil Dishes

Ridgegourd Dal (Turai Dal/ Beerakai Pappu/ Heerekai Tove)

Today’s recipe is another dal recipe. Traditionally in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and many other parts of India, a vegetable is combined with a dal to create a Vegetable Dal dish that is typically served with Rice. A South Indian meal is not complete without rice and dal. Comfort food that is healthy and nutrtitious with both the combination of vegetable and dal for protein. Serve this with papad on the side and you have a simple meal to satisfy your foodie soul.

Ingredients for the Dal
Ingredients for the Dal

You will need:

1 Large Ridgegourd – Peel, Wash and cube
1 Large Tomato – Wash and cube
3 cloves garlic
1 Medium sized onion – Chop fine (Save some for seasoning)
1 Cup Toor Dal
5 Green chillies

Method: Combine all of the above in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover it. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp Sambar powder, 1 small piece tamarind. Close and cook for 3 whistles. Allow to cool and all pressure to dissipate. Opne the lid and using a wooden masher or hand blender, coarsely mash the dal mixture. Make sure you dont mash into a paste.
Add salt to taste, add about 1 cup of water and boil in an opne pan for 5 minutes.
For seasoning: Heat a little oil, add mustard seeds, hing and cumin seeds to splutter. Add curry leaves, onions and saute until golden brown. Pour this seasoning over the dal mixture. Garnish with grated (optional) coconut and chopped cilantro. Serve hot with rice.

Comfort Food- Ridgegourd Dal
Comfort Food- Ridgegourd Dal

Happy Cooking 🙂