Dal is a staple comfort food for every house in India. It forms a major part of an everyday balanced diet and every house has its own version. The version I am sharing here today is from Gujrat but it has a nice twist to it thanks to my brother-in-law for it!!
My son loves dal, and can practically eat it every meal! With him growing and becoming a more fussy eater, I needed to be creative in adding more vegetables into his diet. That’s when my sister told me about this special dal fry that my brother-in-law made with vegetables. Which gave me an idea of trying it with regular everyday dal. My son loved it and was not bothered by all the veggies in it!! This has become a regular dal now in my house. I hope you enjoy it as well!!
- 1/2 cup Split Toor Dal, (Split Pigeon Pea)
- 1 medium-size Tomato
- 1 teaspoon of Ghee or Oil (Ghee enhances the flavor)
- 1/4 teaspoon, Rai (Black mustard seeds)
- 1/4 teaspoon, Jeera (Cumin seeds)
- 1/4 teaspoon, Methi seeds (Fenugreek seeds)
- 1/4 teaspoon, Hing (Asafoetida powder.)
- 1/2 teaspoon, Dhana-Jeera powder (Coriander-Cumin powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon, Red chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon, Haldi powder (turmeric powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon, Green masala (if you do not have masala grate and add equal proportions of green chili, ginger & garlic)
- 1/2 teaspoon, lemon Juice
- 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoon, Jaggery (you can use brown sugar or regular sugar. Adjust the sweetness per your liking)
- 4-5 Curry Leaves
- 2-3 pieces of Kokum, optional (it adds tartness to the dal, you can replace it with 1/2tsp tamarind or more lemon)
- A small handful of Peanuts (optional, use more or less per your liking)
- Salt to taste.
Vegetables – Can use any vegetable combo that you have on hand, have listed some here:
- 2 stalks of Kale or 5 Spinach, washed and torn into big pieces
- 3 stalks of Asparagus, cut into big pieces
- 1 small Carrot, cut into big pieces
- 1/4 cup Eggplant
- 1/4 cup Dudhi or Opo squash
- 1/4 cup Zucchini
- 4-5 Tindora or Ivy gourd
- Wash Dal and soak in water 1:3 dal to water proportion. Add the whole tomato to the dal and cover the dal vessel with a lid.
- In another shallow bowl add veggies and put it over the dal vessel. Pressure cook dal and veggies for about 5-6 whistles in a pressure cooker. Turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker stand for about 5-10 minutes before opening it.
- Now add all the cooked veggies to the dal, using a hand blender blend all together to a soup-like consistency.
- Use the same pot or transfer the blended dal into a different pot and put it on medium flame. Add salt, chili powder, turmeric, dhania-jeera powder, green masala, jaggery, kokum, peanuts to the dal and keep it to simmer on low flame.
- In a small pan add Ghee for tadka. Once it is warm add mustard seeds. Wait till the seeds crackle and reduce the flame to low. Once they start crackling add jeera and mustard seeds, followed by hing powder and curry leaves. Immediately toss this tadka into the dal and mix well. The dal will splatter so make sure it is on low flame.
- Simmer the dal for few minutes on medium-low flame, stirring it occasionally. Add more water if you think its too thick.
- After about 10 minutes of simmering add Lemon juice and stir the dal.
- Taste the dal and adjust the seasonings per your taste and serve.
- Serve it hot with plain rice or jeera rice.
- It can also be served with Roti or Theplas.
- For extra amazing taste add 1/2 tsp of ghee or more to each serving.
- Tadka– You have to be really quick while doing tadka or else it’s going to burn the ingredients. So I recommend keeping all the ingredients ready for Tadka.
- You can pressure cook Dal and veggies together rather than separate also. I do it separately as for some reason my son does not like the taste if cooked together!!!
- In case you do not have a pressure cooker you can cook dal by itself in a pot and tomato with veggies in another pot until it is completely cooked. Blend them together after they are cooked.
- Green Masala: In case you do not have green masala, just make a paste of equal parts of ginger, garlic and green chilies together in mortar and pestle or blender, or grate them together. Freeze the green chili for some time and it will grate easily. I always have a bag of frozen green chilies on hand, just wash n freeze them, ready to use when needed.