One thing we order each time we visit an Indian restaurant is Daal fry or Tadka Daal. Whatever be the starter, or the main vegetable, this humble Daal Fry has always maintained the same position on the Dinner Table for us. And am sure tahts the case for most of you guys, unless you are specifically having a regional cuisine like South Indian meal or Biryani etc. There is no fix recipe for Dal Fry... it usually depends on the Restaurant, chef, region, cuisine and your taste. It can be made using any yellow dal, and it will still be called Dal Fry if there is this aromatic tempering on top. The most commonly used lentils for this are Arhar ki Daal ( Pigeon peas ), Chane ki Daal ( Bengal gram ), and Moong ki dal ( yellow split Moong ).Today with this recipe, I have explained the recipe for Tadka dal using yellow Moong and Arhar dal.
Moong daal is one of the most appetising and light meal one can have. And that’s the reason people usually consider it to be an ideal meal during sickness. This factor also makes it an excellent food for Vegetarians, elderly and pregnant ladies. It is also a great source of dietary fibre, iron, protein and essential vitamins. Being naturally low in fat and cholesterol free definitely add this to my list of super-foods.
Tadka or chaunk is the Hindi word for tempering. In this technique the spices are fried in oil, thereby releasing essential oils & thus changing the flavours and aroma of the final dish remarkably. Tempering is very much a part of Indian Cuisine, being added to Lentils, Chutneys, Rice dishes and even Raita in some regions…
Here in this recipe, I have used a mixture of Moong dal and Arhar dal. That’s my usual combination if I have to prepare it for everyday dinner,which I prefer to keep light. Sometimes I also add red Masoor dal ( split red lentils) to this combo. Or sometimes plain Moong daal does for me.. it’s a mix and match thing, which tastes good in each combo you prefer.
What you need?
- ¾ cup Yellow Moong dal
- ¼ up Arharr / Toor Dal ( Pigeon peas)
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4-5 garlic, crushed lightly
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped small
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ¼ tsp red chili powder
- 1 or 2 green chilli – slit ( Or dry red chilies )
- a pinch of asafoetida (heeng)
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp oil or ghee or butter
- 1 tsp salt ( more or less, as per your taste )
How to make?
- Wash both the lentils thoroughly and soak for 20-30 minutes. Rinse and cook with water, salt and turmeric for two whistles. Turn off the flame and open when the gas ease off.
- Open the pressure cooker, and mash daal well with the help of a masher or ladle or big heavy spatula.
- In a pan, heat Ghee and splutter Cumin seeds into it.
- Add bay leaves and Asafoetida, fry for 10 seconds. Then throw in green chilies ( or dry red chilies ) , chopped garlic and fry for half a minute.
- Add chopped onion and salt, mix well and fry for 1-2 minutes on medium-high flame. It should turn brown. Immediately add red chili powder and Garam Masala and turn off.
- Take Daal out in a serving bowl, spread sizzling Tadka on top and keep covered until you serve. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
- Like I said above, this Dal can be made using various combinations. Just keep the method of preparation same and mix and match to see which combo you like most.
- You may also add grated ginger along with garlic. Usually it is not used in Restaurants, but most Dhabas prefer it that way.
- Green chili or red dry chilies can be used interchangeably.. depending on your taste. Red chilies give better colour and strong aroma.
- You may also add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds along with cumin seeds.
- Garam Masala is added towards the end, cover the pan/vessel after adding it to dal so that the aroma sinks in well.