Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Perfect Daal recipe...

Its been ages since I have written anything, and now after all this time, I thought about writing on something that is currently going on in my life -- Cooking lessons!! :D

It was way back during the monsoon of 2006 that she had cooked the daal for me... and that was the most amazing daal I had ever had... even better than Bhagat-Tarachand... and now I have mastered the art of cooking that perfect daal recipe after a zillion unsuccessful attempts..
I am just sharing it with you all...

Dal (Serves 6)


Moong dal: 2 katoris


Tomatoes: 2-3

Green chillies

Red chillies (optional)

Garlic: 4-5 cloves

Coriander: handful

Spices: Red chilly powder, turmeric, heeng, jeera, dhaniya powder (optional) [use a small plastic spoon to measure out the spices and salt]

Salt and sugar

Lemon: ½


1. Cook the dal in a cooker (take as much water as amount of dal, add extra water at bottom of cooker). When cooked, mash it up with a ladle.

2. Chop finely: tomatoes, green chillies and coriander. Leave separate from each other.

3. Lightly mash the garlic until it splits.

4. Keep all ingredients ready beside you to put in dal, because if things burn, it tastes awful.

5. Heat a kadhai or aluminium vessel (not steel). When all moisture has evaporated, put in 2 large spoons of ghee (add more or less according to preference; more the ghee, tastier the dal). Things will need to be added as soon as it heats up, and very quickly, so be careful things don’t burn.

6. When ghee is hot, sprinkle a pinch of heeng. If it splutters, ghee is hot enough; if not, wait till it splutters. Then add a pinch of jeera, chopped chillies, and garlic. Stand back, chilly seeds are dangerous in hot ghee; then add jeera and dhaniya powders (opt), half a spoon of turmeric, and 1 spoon of red chilly powder. Stir and quickly add chopped tomatoes and half the chopped coriander. Stir for a few seconds.

7. Add the mashed up dal to this mixture. By now, it should be reddish brown or brownish red. Hold the vessel with a sanshi (pakkad, whatever) and stir everything together. Add water until desired consistency.

8. Now add salt as per preference; usually 2 small spoons should be enough. Add 2 pinches of sugar and stir in.

9. When the dal begins to boil, squeeze in the lemon [take care to avoid seeds falling in] and add the remaining coriander. Serve hot.

For the tadka (optional):

In a ladle, heat 2 spoons of ghee. Add a pinch of jeera, red chillies, and very little red chilly powder. Quickly pour over the hot dal and serve.