Dal is one of my most vital elements that I love eating with hot rice. Dal is also one of the well known pulses commonly prepared in every house in South Asian countries. I enjoy preparing dal especially giving an excellent tempering or tadka to the dal as it actually remarkably brings out the flavor and taste which makes our taste buds salivate and urge to eat more. In fact, tempering is an essential part in cooking Indian food. Tempering is almost given to most of the dishes right from simple chutney to preparing a variety of dals or curries or gravies.
Dal is quintessentially prepared almost in every Indian home daily which is either served with rice, roti or chapatti. Dal can also be spelled in many ways like the “Dahl”, “Daal”, “Dhal”, or the “Parippu”, “Paruppu” and “Pappu” because of the wide cultural heritage and multifaceted languages that we have in our Country.
Dal is a preparation of pulses (dried lentils, peas or beans) which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. Dals are also commonly available like the whole pulses known as sabut dal or the split dal known as dhuli dal. The hulling of a pulse is to improve digestibility and palatability. There are over 50 different varieties of pulses in India & Pakistan. Dal is prepared like a thick stew with mild spices and seasoned with fresh curry leaves (also called Karipak) and coriander leaves (known as cilantro) to give an earthy flavor.
Dal (dried lentil) is low in fat and high in protein, fibre and nutritious. To name few of the popular dals cooked at every household are the: Masoor dal (red dal) – These are skinned and split lentils. They are salmon coloured, cooks quickly and turn mushy and golden. Toor dal or Tuvar dal or Tur dal or Arhar dal (yellow dal) - A whole lentil, yellow in color with a tan jacket but are usually skinned and split. They are mild and have a nutty flavor. Tur Dal is a very vital ingredient in preparing dal for a daily meal like Plain dal, Sambar and also used in preparation of Rasam.
Urad dal, Urid dal (black dal or white dal) - A creamy white lentil like beans having a black skin casing over it, available as a whole or split dal. Split dal is usually used for seasoning the curries/ gravies. This is also used to make the popular tiffin over the country known as the “Idli”.
To get a soft and fluffy Idli, it is best to use a whole dal. Moong dal (green dal or green gram) – Dried lentil, green or yellow in colour. The whole dal is green in colour and is used to make many preparations like the Pesarattu (also known as green Dosa), pakoda etc. This is also soaked overnight and sprouted. The sprouted dal is used in preparing salad or also eaten raw. It is highly nutritious and a low cal food. The skinned and split dal is also called the dhuli moong and they are flat, yellow in color and very easy and fast to cook.
They’re relatively easy to digest too. Channa dal – Small, splited, size of a half chickpea, dull yellow in color with a sweet and nutty flavor. One of the most popular dal in India used mainly in seasoning and many other varieties of dishes. Cooked Channa dal normally causes flatulence, hence Indian try to counter by adding asafoetida (known as Hing) to dish. Rajma – Popularly known as Red Kidney Bean (reddish brown in color) all over the World. Normally cooked in Northern India and usually served with rice (known as Rajma-Chawal).
Rajma is also cooked in onion tomato gravy with spices and is tangy to taste. This dish is prepared by soaking the red kidney beans overnight and boiled in a pressure cooker the next day. Red Kidney bean is an excellent source of iron, potassium, thiamine, vitamin B6, folic acid and has very high starch, protein and dietary fibre.
A cup of red kidney beans, taken daily, is a good choice for diabetic patients and prevents blood sugar level from rising rapidly after meal. Lobia or Lobiya (black eyed bean) - Pale colored with a prominent black spot in the centre of the bean. In North India, lobia is cooked as a Dal and South India, the normal snack prepared by lobia is the “Sundal”, they normally soak it overnight and boil the next day and season it with mustard, curry leaves, dry red chillies, asafoetida, salt and fresh coconut grated.
Black eyed peas are excellent source of calcium, folate and Vitamin A among other nutrients and high in nutrition. As part of the Jewish New Year tradition, it is thought that eating black eyed peas bring prosperity and good luck. Black eyed bean is quite popular in the west especially South America and is often used in Indian cooking.
Popular dishes prepared with the above Dals include: Idli, Dosa, Vada, Dal Makhani, Moong Dal Vada, Pesarattu, Channa dal recipe, Arhar dal recipe, Tadka or Tarka dal recipe, Masoor dal recipe, Yellow dal recipe, Dal curry recipe, Dal Bhaati, Patholi and populary known Palak Dal.
Delicious spiced powders are prepared by mixing of Dals and other spices which can be eaten with hot rice and ghee or also is accompanied with Idli or Dosa. There are a variety of Dal powders. Dal Preparation: Most of the Dal recipes are quite simple to cook.The standard preparation of Dal begins with washing, boiling a variety of Dal (or mixed dal) in water with adding some turmeric (haldi powder) and a little of oil to make the dal soft a little faster.
Its than smashed well and seasoning (popularly known as Tadka, Tarka, Chaunk or baghaar) is done at the end of cooking process and garnished with fresh coriander leaves. Tadka or Tarka (also known as chaunk or baghaar) is done by adding various spices or flavorings fried in a little amount of oil.The Tadka or seasoning is different and vary by region or ones individual taste.
Garlic Dal fry is totally yum and deliciously having an excellent tempering of garlic flavour. Below are some of my own favourite dal recipes that I prepare regularly and wish to share with you all.
Dal Tadka Tomato Dal or tomato pappu is an excellent stew made with lentils cooked in tomatoes. This recipe is immensely simple to make and the taste is out of this world.
Dal Makhani Bukhara Dal Makhani, an amazing dish from Punjabi cuisine is prepared with lentils and beans combined with fresh cream (malai), spiced and cooked to get a creamy texture that enhances the flavor of the dish.
Dal Maharani This is an excellent creamy north Indian dal preparation made with mix of three lentils - black gram dal, rajma and chana dal mixed with spicy and cooked until it is done and has a smooth and creamy texture.
Chow chow Sambar Chow chow sambar is a traditional sambar preparation popular in and around the districts of Tamil Nadu. Sambar is generally prepared at every home with any vegetable, lentils and spices cooked together in a tangy soup. In this recipe, chow chow or chayote is added and cooked with lentil to make an excellent dish. The dish is creamy, smooth and a brilliant combination of all flavours.
Palak Dal Palak Dal actually means lentils cooked with spinach. Palak dal tastes awesome with the warm spicy flavor of the creamy lentils and spinach.
Mango Dal Unripe mango cooked with yellow lentil and given a tempering both south Indian/ north Indian style. This is a most common food item in the season and prepared in all homes. Mango dal/ Mamidikaya Pappu is one of the popular recipes made with raw mangoes (green mango) which lend sourness and tartness to the dal that is very unique to enhance the flavour of dal.
Cucumber Dal Cucumber dal is a typical dish from Andhra Pradesh, dal cooked with yellow lentils and Indian cucumber.
Dal Makhani with Masoor Dal Masoor Dal makhani is a dish from Punjab. Lentils are a very essential food group rich in proteins and fiber. Traditionally this recipe is made from masoor dal. The dals are cooked for hours until they get a creamy texture.
Varan simple Dal with Ghee Tempering Varan is an excellent and delicious plain non-spicy or lightly spiced lentil soup from the Maharashtrian cuisine and is prepared with lentils, Indian spices and jaggery tempered with ghee. Dal is an essential staple food of Maharashtrian food and is eaten daily. This dish can also be prepared with the split red gram dal or the moong dal instead of tur dal.
Tender Tamarind Leaves Dal Tender tamarind leaves dal or chinta chiguru pappu is a common dish from the Andhra cuisine cooked with dal (lentil), chinta chiguru and mildly spiced. Goes well with rice, chapati or roti.
Pappu Charu A classic south Indian dish, basically a tamarind lentil stew cooked with various types of vegetables. Pappu charu is redolent with the delicate flavor of curry leaves and seasoned with Indian spices like cumin, mustard, and fenugreek and ginger garlic paste.
Gongura Pappu Gongura is also known as Sorrel leaves, Hibiscus cannabinus, pulicha keerai, ambadi. The gongura pickle is mad with these leaves and spices ground together.
Bengali Cholar Dal A classical dal preparation from Bengal with channa dal and garnished with coconut and sweetned with jaggery, served with soft loochies .
Garlic Tomato Dal The dal has the tang and the flavors of tomatoes. Tomato Dal (with garlic tadka). A simple dal tadka with garlic. Excellent combination with Rotis / Rice in Indian cuisine.
Masala Dal Onion masala dal is a simple dish yet delicious because of the seasoning/ tadka that is used with this dal. It is spicy and served in dhabas.
Drumstick Leaves Dal Murungakeerai Paruppu Drumstick Leaves Dal – Murungakeerai is high in vitamins,proteins etc., and is very high in nutritious. These leaves provides essential amount of iron and calcium for women especially, these are also widely used in siddha medicine in India.Here in my dish i have added toor dal to these leaves so that in enhances the taste.
Meeti Daal Onion Sweetened Daal This popular Indian lentil stew is made using Fenugreek leaves and Pigeon peas. Simple and extremely nutritious.
Dals are nutritious and rich in proteins. They are often served with hot rice, roti, chapatti, phulkas or naan.
Do try these recipes and delight your palate with different variations of dal. To try more dal recipes, do click on: https://www.vahrehvah.com/dal-recipes
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