The first time I had perfect dal was when I met my husband. The two dishes in his repertoire are dal and chicken curry. Since I'm vegetarian, I can only believe that the chicken curry is good. The dal, though, is sheer genius. Filled with protein, lentils are a sure delight for vegetarians.
I found this dal in a cookbook I bought recently, Pure and Simple: Homemade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine by Vidhu Mittal. The book is amazing. Every single recipe is simple and uses ingredients that are usually available in most Indian homes.
Dal with Fenugreek Leaves
(Recipe adapted from Pure & Simple by Vidhu Mittal)
1/4 cup split Green Gram, washed and soaked for 1/2 hour
1/2 cup Bengal Gram, washed and soaked for 1/2 hour
1/2 cup Red Gram (Masoor Dal), washed and drained
2 Tomatoes, cut into cubes
A pinch of Turmeric Powder
1-2 Green Chillies, chopped
1/4 tsp Dry Mango Powder (Amchur)
1/4 tsp Garam Masala Powder
1 cup Fenugreen Leaves, chopped and cooked
2 tbsp Cilantro Leaves, chopped
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter) or Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
Red Chilli Powder, to taste
A pinch of Asafoetida
In a pressure cooker or large saucepan, cook all the soaked lentils with the water, salt and turmeric powder. Once cooked and lentils are soft, let simmer for a few minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies, mango powder and garam masala and bring to a boil. Drop in the cooked fenugreek and cook for a minute. Remove from the stove.
Heat the ghee or oil for the tempering. Add all the ingredients and let cook for a minute. Pour the contents onto the cooked dal. Stir. Serve hot with rice or rotis.