Dal Fry is such a ubiquitous dish that it finds a place in almost every menu that offers Indian food. However, and when I think back, it is quite strange that I’ve not made this dish ever for the children and S, considering it used to be a staple in my repertoire pre-marriage! So anyway, while planning on my menu last week, I decided to make this at last and it was very well liked by everyone at home.
This is a fairly easy dish to make and makes the dal thick, unlike traditional dals. So when you cook the dal, make sure you do not add too much water while cooking, so it retains its thickness.
- 2 cups toor dal, washed and soaked in warm water with a pinch of turmric powder for 30 minutes
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large red tomato, finely chopped
- 4-5 pods of garlic, grated or made into a paste
- 1 inch piece of ginger, grated or made into a paste
- 1 tbsp ghee or oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp carom seeds (optional)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 3-4 dried red chillies
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Coriander leaves to garnish
- In a pressure cooker, cook the dal for 5-6 whistles. If using the stovetop to cook the dal, cook till it is very mushy and becomes whole and smooth with a paste-like consistency. Keep aside.
- In another pan, heat the ghee and when it warms, add the cumin seeds and carom seeds one after the other, with a few seconds of stirring in between.
- Now add the dried red chillies and stir for a few seconds. Next add the chopped onions and stir well, letting the onions become translucent.
- When the onions become translucent, add the garlic and ginger and let them cook for a while.
- Now add the dry ingredients – salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and stir for around 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture becomes mushy and the tomatoes lose their shape and become soft.
- Now add the cooked dal and stir well. Check for seasoning and add what is missing. Add the garam masala and let it cook for around 5-10 minutes. You can add water to make it the consistency you like.
- Switch off the gas and add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with plain or jeera rice and a vegetable of your choice.