I have so many things I want to share, and lots of catching up to do. Please bear with me. Today, I’m sharing with you the comforting and simple tomato dal. One thing I must tell you is I never measure. I’ve been trying to measure some things so I can write the recipes properly, but with spices, I just approximate. Just so you know, it is not exact… but thats what’s fun about cooking! You can always personalize to your own taste. 🙂
Here is what I did:
- 1/2c moong dal (or masoor)
- 2-3c water
- 1/4t turmeric
- ghee or oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- few curry leaves
- hing- a pinch
- 2 green chilies sliced lengthwise
- 1 dried red chili broken, or 1/2t red chili powder
- 1/2 red onion or 1 shallot diced (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- 1 inch ginger grated
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- coriander leaves
- squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Wash the dal and put into a pot with the water and the turmeric. Boil for 20-30 mins, stirring occasionally, and try to break up the dal.
In a small pan, heat ghee or oil, when hot add the cumin seeds, then the curry leaves, then hing, then green chillies and red chilies if using. Stir around then add the onion (if using- and cook until they are soft,) Then only add the ginger and garlic, otherwise it will stick to the pan! Once the delicious scent of ginger-garlic wafts into the air, (just a few seconds) add the tomato. I’ve heard its better if you squish them with your hand before adding, but I don’t bother with that. Now add salt and chili powder. Always add salt after the tomato so that it draws out the water and softens the tomato.. ‘wink’. Cover for a few minutes, then mash the tomato fully. Once its cooked properly you will see oil at the edges of the mashed tomato mixture.
Add to the dal and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Add the coriander leaves (cilantro) and lemon juice – if using. Only add lemon juice after you switch off the heat because sometimes lemon turns bitter when boiled. I’m full of tips today, lol.
Serve this with rice or chapathi and a dry veggie side/subji/palya such as aloo gobi – coming soon!
This is sort of a cheat sambhar. The cheat part is the dal. Toor dal is traditionally used, but it does take more time to cook. So today I have used masoor dal(*you could also use moong dal)000000. The flavor is a little different, but still tasty. This particular sambhar goes especially well with idli, but also good with rice.
This is enough for 2-3 people… you could make a bigger batch if you prefer.
- 1/3c dal rinsed
- 1 1/3c water
- pinch of turmeric
- 1 red potato chopped
- handful of green beans chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- half red onion chopped
- 1/2t mustard seeds
- methi seeds
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1t sambhar powder
- 1t coriander powder
- 1/2t red chili powder (or less)
- tamarind (1Tbs size soaked in water)
Wash the dal and add to the pressure cooker with water, turmeric, and the veggies up to and including onion. Pressure cook for 2 whistles. This can also be done in a regular pot for about 20 minutes since masoor dal cooks fairly quick.
Once it whistles, remove the pan from the heat and wait for the pressure to release. In the meantime, heat a pan and add a couple teaspoons oil. I often use coconut oil for health reasons and I think the flavor goes well with Indian food. Add mustard seeds once the oil is hot and they should start popping almost immediately. Add a pinch of hing and the methi (fenugreek) seeds. Then add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Cover the pan for a few minutes and the tomato will become very soft. At this point, mash the tomatoes in the pan then add the masala powders. It will form a paste like consistency and you will see oil at the sides of the paste. That’s exactly what you want. Now, add the tomato mixture to the dal and bring it back to a boil. Squish and squeeze the tamarind pulp into the water and strain. Add to dal. You will probably need to add another cup or so of water at this point (I use the water to rinse out the tomato pan, so I don’t lose any of that yumminess). Boil the sambhar (more like a simmer) for about 10 minutes to cook the tamarind, then turn off the heat. Let it sit for some time so the flavors blend before serving (if you can wait!).
Payasa/payasam is another name for kheer.. but here I have used only coconut milk not cow’s milk.
- Take out your trusty old pressure cooker.
- In it roast a TBS or two of cashews and raisins in ghee.
- (I prefer golden raisin, but didn’t have any on hand)
- Remove from the pan and keep aside.
- Also in the cooker add 1/2c split moong dal – roast in ghee until it smells good.
- Add 1.5c water and pressure cook 2-3 whistles.
- While that is cooking, Boil 1/2c jaggery in 1/2c water till melted. Remove the foam, and strain if necessary.
- Mash the dal.
- To the dal add jaggery syrup and 1c coconut milk (I used canned Thai brand organic)
- Add 1t cardamom powder.
- Bring back to a boil for a few minutes till the flavors combine and it slightly thickens.
- Stir in the dried fruits and nuts.
- Serve hot/warm.