Recipes: Dal Darbari

In a vegetarian diet, lentils or dals are a very important source of protein and most Indian households, especially those who follow a vegetarian diet try to incorporate some lentils in their diet daily. But then the problem comes that we end up eating the same three or four types of lentils daily. Fed up, a couple of weeks back, I tried a new recipe which was surprisingly easy to make and very yummy to boot. The addition of yoghurt and milk elevated the recipe and make it special.

Dal Darbari

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • ½ cup Masoor Dal or Orange Dal
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ½ tsp green chilli paste or 1 finely chopped green chilli
  • ¼ tsp ginger paste or 1 inch finely chopped ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 to 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala Powder
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • 3 tbsp beaten yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp milk (either skimmed or full cream)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

Method:

  • Wash and soak masoor and moong dal in warm water for about 20 minutes.
  • After that, add half the turmeric powder and pressure cook the dals for about 3-5 whistles until the dals are very soft and mushy. This can also be done on the stovetop.
  • When the cooker has cooled down, open it and whisk the dals until they become a homogenous mass.
  • In a pan, heat half the ghee and add in the cumin seeds and let them splutter a bit.
  • Now add the green chillies and ginger and saute for a few seconds.
  • Then add the onions and saute till the onions become translucent in colour.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add in the tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  • At this point, add ½ the red chill powder, the balance turmeric powder, salt and garam masala and saute till the masalas are incorporated.
  • Pour this masala over the cooked and whisked dals and mix well.
  • Add the yoghurt and milk and water to bring it to the desired consistency. Keep it on a slow to medium flame until the dal comes to a rolling boil.
  • In the same pan that you made the masala, heat the balance ghee and once it heats up, crush the kasoori methi in the palms of your hands and add it as well as the remaining red chilli powder and saute for a few seconds before pouring it over the dal.
  • Cover for about 10 minutes before serving so that the flavours get time to infuse.
  • Enjoy with rice or any flatbread

Notes: The recipe called for fresh cream which I substituted with skim milk. It didn’t detract from the taste and you can add in 1-2 tbsp of cream instead of milk.

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