Dal fry - inspired by the tiffin centres of Mumbai
Lentil is such a stable recipe on the dining table of an East Indian. We had a nice bowl of dal everyday with rice and whatever seasonal side dishes were most suitable for that day. While I haven't retained the tradition to make a zillion side dishes everyday, I have in parts retained the necessity to make a good bowl of dal every so often during the week. The recipe that I enjoy the most is the one served in the restaurants of Mumbai. Dal fry is all about the tempering - it has garlic, ghee, fragrant seeds, and the essential bit of chilli. I refrain from chillies everyday, but why not add some to make a hearty bowl to beat the Monday blues?!
Time to prepare: 5 minutes
Time to cook: 30 minutes (or less)
- 1 cup red lentil
- 4 cups of water
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder/hot paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 3 tbsp ghee (oil would also work)
- Coriander to garnish
- Salt to taste
- Wash the red lentils thoroughly and set to boil along with 4 cups of water for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid dal sticking to the bottom, or flowing over!
- Once the dal is almost done, heat some ghee in a second pan and add the cumin seeds, onion, and garlic. Sauté until the onions turn brown.
- Once the onions are done, add the tomatoes, all the spices (chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric), and salt. Allow the tomatoes to cook for a few minutes.
- Add the tomato tempering into the pot of cooked lentil and mix thoroughly. Add an additional cup of water to the lentil pot and cook for a few minutes.