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Dal/ Daal/ Dhal

- submitted by Dahlia on 11-05-2008 
(Dal, Parippu Curry, Paruppu Kulambu, Pappu)
        Dal refers to a thick stew made with dry split beans (pulses). It is a traditional dish in india and pakistan. It is usually served with rice or roti and papad with a dollop of ghee to enhance the flavour. A slight variation of dal is the sambhar made in south india. Some other variations of dals are made with whole beans(green gram, rajma, channa etc) also known as saboot dals. 
        Most of dals are prepared by boiling the dal with salt, turmeric powder and required amount of water. After the dal is nicely cooked, a tadka is added on top. Sometimes different vegetables are added with the dal and thus the different dal varieties like raw mango dal, tomato dal, spinach (palak) dal, methi (fenugreek leaves) dal, lauki (bottlegourd) dal, ridgegourd dal, cucumber dal, zucchini dal, yellow squash dal, pumpkin dal, capsicum dal, watermelon dal, mustard greens dal, beet leaves dal, swiss chard dal, collard greens dal etc.
Dal - 1 cup (you can use any type of dal or a mix of dals)
Vegetable - 1 cup chopped (you can use your choice of vegetables like squashes, raw
mango, leafy vegetables etc.)
Onion - 1/2 (chopped) 
Garlic - 4 cloves
Green Chillies - 2 (chopped)
Tomato - 1 / Lemon juice - 2 tblsp / Tamarind - blueberry size
Oil - 2 tblsp
Dry red chillies - 2
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Cilantro - handful finely chopped
Ghee/ Butter - 1 tblsp

Mustard Greens with Moong Dal

1. Pressure cook the dal along with the vegetable, onions, turmeric powder, green chillies, salt and tomato. Instead of tomatoes, you can also use little tamarind juice or lime juice for sourness. 
2. Cook everything together with enough water for 2 whistles. After the pressure comes down, open the cooker and add the tadka.
Note :- The normal ratio of water for a thick dal is 1:3 i.e 3 cups of water for 1 cup of dal. If you want a thinner dal, increase the amount of water.
3. For the tadka : Heat oil in a pan, splutter the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Add dry red chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves and finely chopped garlic cloves. 
4. Cook on low flame  till the garlic is cooked. Add this tadka on top of the dal for flavour and as a nice garnish. 
5. Add finely chopped cilantro and add a dollop of ghee/butter on top before serving.
6. Serve with rice or chappatti.
Trditional Method
1. Pressure cook the dal until it is nicely cooked but ot mushy for about 2 whistles and keep aside. (Traditionally toor dal is used.)
2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies.
3. Add asafoetida and turmeric powder to this.
4. Next add finely chopped garlic cloves and fry it on low flame till it turns brown. 
5. Next add the onions and saute for a while. Next saute the vegetable that you use and saute for a minute.
6. Add water to cover the vegetables and add the dal. Add some chopped tomatoes or little tamarind juice or little lemon jice for some sourness.
7. Add required amount of salt and let it cook for 10 minutes till all the flavour blends. Add water as needed to your desired thickness.
8. Add finely chopped corriander leaves and a dollop of ghee and serve with rice or chappatti.
Some variations
  - Some people like to mash up the dal with a masher before adding the tadka.
  - In kerala mostly moog dal is used and a ground paste made of coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies is added to the dal.
  - You can use different dals like masoor dal, moong dal, toor dal, channa dal, mix of dals and also use different vegetables. You can also make plain dal without any vegetables.
  - If you use raw mango to make dal, you need not add anything else like tomato/ tamarind/ lemon juice for sourness.
  - You can also make dals with whole beans like whole moong (green gram), rajma (kidney benas), channa (chickpeas), whole urad dal (dal makhni), lima beans etc.

Bok Choy with masoor dal

Tomato Dal

Palak Dal (Spinach with moong dal)

Methi Lauki Dal (Fenugreek leaves and bottlegourd with toor dal)

Zucchini with masoor dal and lemon

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Comments (5)

Person Dr DBBajpai   (August 14, 2013)
I am very much impressed to see the contents of the web site. You are doing a best job and please keep it up always.

It will be much better, if you provide / suggest recipies for different disease conditions and ailments like BP, high and low, diebetes, cancer, hepatitis, aids, hiv, etc etc.

Dr DBBajpai, M.D. , Ph.D.
Ayurvedic Diagnostician and Chef ETG AyurvedaScan Investigator
Person Gail   (July 25, 2013)
I would love to cook Palak Dahal in a Pressure Cooker but how long is 2 Whistles? See recipe above. Namaste
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (July 26, 2013)
Hi Gail. It would just take about 10 minutes in the pressure cooker.
Person raji   (March 4, 2013)
hi Dahlia

while going through the gooseberry dal, i could not find the mention about gooseberry. can u clarify. when i click on the same, all other dals recipes are appearing. when to add the gooseberry?
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (March 5, 2013)
Hi Raji, This is a general recipe for making any type of dal. It is a very simple and quick recipe. You just pressure cook the dal, any type of vegetablesand the other ingredients. Finally you give a nice tadka..

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