Dal and Roti are among India’s oldest food items. They are the most basic vegetarian diet available. The closest equivalent in the West can only be Bread and Butter. They even occupy the same mental space as B & B. Earning oneโ€™s livelihood is often said asโ€œEarning oneโ€™s Dal Roti”. There are like a 100 varieties of lentils and pulses, each of which can be cooked in many different ways. Each region, each household have their own tweaks n versions. In all, this humble lentil soup can probably be cooked in a thousand different ways and these variations are equally healthy, as lots of traditional spices like turmeric, cumin … are used along with the already protein rich lentils. A true Indian meal would not be complete without Dal !

This is a North Indian version Dal as far as i remember and my mums recipe ! She used to serve this with tandoori roti but i think i’ll just pass with the regular roti !

To start you’ll have to get these two lentils shown below. Don’t have the English names for them but are very easily available at all Indian stores or supermarkets which store Indian stuff … duh … the same thing :)) .The one on the left is called Yellow Moong Dal and is smaller in size.The one to the right is called Tuwar Dal and is slightly larger in size…though both are just called yellow dal !

  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1/4 cup tuwar dal
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger /garlic
  • 2 dried red chillis
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • corriander to serve
  • lemon to serve
  • 1 tbsp ghee ( clarified butter )
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp corriander powder
  • 1tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Start with soaking the lentils separately in warm water for two hrs.Then pressure cook the tuwar dal for about 2 whistles and then open the cooker and add the moong dal and let it cook further for 2 more whistles. Set aside.The reason we do this, is moong is softer that tuwar and if we cook them both together then we wont have the thick texture in the dal and it would be very smooth and runny .Thought there is nothing wrong with that, i just like the chunkier version.
Now in another pot start frying the ginger, garlic and onion in the olive oil till it is soft. Add in the tomatoes and cook it till it disintegrates and add in all the spices except the garam masala.Let this cook well for about 5 mins and then add the boiled lentils to this.Mix throughly and let it simmer on a slow gas for about 10-15 mins. Meanwhile prepare to temper the dal…or like we call it … the “Tadka”.Take a really small pot…the smallest u have in the kitchen and heat the ghee in it. Once its all hot add the dried red chillis and stir around till fragrant.Be carefull it might splutter, add the garam masala and instantly put it all into the dal.This really fills up the kitchen with a wonderful aroma.Usually my mum would use curry leaves as well but they are very difficult to find around here so i manage without it.But if u ca get your hands on some Indian ones…please go ahead and use it. Check for salt. Squeeze the lime, garnish with corriander, slice some raw onions and serve it with hot rotis…! this food touches the soul !

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Comment :

noreply@blogger.com (Anonymous)

Great presentation for a great ethnic meal! My family actually grows lentils in Canada of all places.


noreply@blogger.com (Kelly-Jane)

That looks so good! I just feel I need to have some of that right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

noreply@blogger.com (Victoria)

I love Indian food, it’s a birthday tradition to have indian every year. and that chocolate cake in your previous post looks fantastic. I cannot wait for the recipe. =)

noreply@blogger.com (The Culinary Chase)

Yum! By the way, can use split peas?

noreply@blogger.com (Rose)

I have never hear of dal roti before. Although I am not much aware of all the indian cuisine. Looks delightfully exotic with all these spices.

noreply@blogger.com (millufe)

I love ethnic food, can buy retort pouch of dal in Japan. Should I try to cook it? Your photo is tempting me! By the way, I made your “steamed scallops”. It was delicious. Thank you.

noreply@blogger.com (Ellie)

Looks divine! I adore dal and roti, but I usually go to my best friend’s house for her ma’s cooking when I need a hit! It’d be nice to try making this myself ๐Ÿ™‚

noreply@blogger.com (Kate)

Nolan wow…i’ve never heard of Anyone who grows lentils at home…must really taste different n nice ! home produce .

kelly – jane..i wish u could ๐Ÿ˜€

Victoria wow thats a really neat tradition, just hope u have indian food more than once a year though…!

the culinary chase…u could use any lentils…sometimes i mix 4 kinds…it end up tasting wonderful !

rose…you’ll find this in every indian household.

millufe , i’m so happy to hear you tried the steamed scallops :)))).as for the dal pls do try it ..i tell u you’ll be licking your fingers.Have it with some crusty bread or just steamed rice !

ellie …i think u’ll get a totally different high when u try your own…but then again they say “never get high on your own supply !!! “…haha no just kidding , why dont u make some and let your friend try it !

noreply@blogger.com (jenjen)

Gorgeous photographs!

I too love dal and roti, it’s one of my favourites in Indian cuisine.

noreply@blogger.com (swee)

i loooooovvveeee dal, especially those thick and mashy ones. yummmm

noreply@blogger.com (bea)

This is a real lovely dal! Makes me realize I have not cooked lentils in way too long!

noreply@blogger.com (Dilip)

I am a dal junkie and loved this post…great recipe great dish…as an Indian we often have dal…thanks for sharing

noreply@blogger.com (Kate)

swee…gr8 people have similar tastes !:DDD
bea … well i cant wait to see what you do with lentils…u are so extremely talented !

dilip …thank you for dropping by ! i love dal too !

noreply@blogger.com (swee)

Hi Kate, I need to ask you a couple of Questions regarding the Apple and Passionfruit mousse cake. I’m planning to make it for my bday 2nd cake this saturday (when it comes to birthdays, there’s never too many cakes. hahaha)

would u mind emailing me at swee.san@gmail.com ? Thanks muchie

noreply@blogger.com (Freya and Paul)

Gorgeous pictures! Not sure I’d want to bite into one of those chillis but I would definitely enjoy everything else!

noreply@blogger.com (Nora B.)

kate, that looks delicious. I love dal, but I am too lazy to make it myself so I wait till I return to Singapore to have some. It’s on my most requested list of what my mom has to cook for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

noreply@blogger.com (gilly)

Hi Kate! This sounds wonderful – I’ve been experimenting more and more with lentils and curries lately, and dal roti sounds like something that I will definately try soon!

noreply@blogger.com (BUSI2204)

Funny to see these comments about Dal/Roti. I just ate it and you are all invited for some Dal/Roti tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

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