Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Traditional Gujrati Toor Daal

My dear friend, Mital, recently got married and left us all for Sunny California. Now that she has to cook for her keep, she has been trying out her mom's recipes. Turns out, her hubby loves daal (or dahl) and so dear Mital has to go on a quest to perfect her technique. She passed on her recipe to share. It sounds delicious and can't wait to visit her to try it out!

Thanks Mital!!

She uses a pressure cooker. Now, I have never used one except for the one time at my friend Niyati's place and it scared the beejeez out of me! So - I think an alternative would be to soak the lentils overnight to get them soft enough to cook without needing a pressure cooker. The steps involve - cooking/boiling the lentils, mixing the spices in on the stove once lentils cooked then final step of tempering (Vagar) which is done at the end and can be done right before serving.

Toor Dahl Recipe:

1) Place 1 cup toor dahl in 4 cups of water or 1&1/2 vadkis with 6
vadkis water in a steel bowl. Place in pressure cooker. Don't forget
to add water to the pressure cooker. :)

2) After 4 whistles or 7-10 minutes after your cooker starts to make a whooshing sound, turn off the cooker and contents settle for about 10 minutes or when you feel comfortable taking off the lid.

3) Take out the pot containing the steamed dahl and transfer to a
bigger pot. Add 3 cups of water (eyeball this - this step depends on
how thin or thick you like it). I only put in 2 cups..and it came out
thick in the end but that's how sundeep likes it.

4) Once you add the water, use a hand blender to mush it all together
until smooth..if you skip this step, i think you end up getting
"punjabi dahl" so you see the lentils more visually..

Now comes the masala that you add to this pot of mushed lentils:

12 pieces of nimbru leaves (i didn't have these so i omitted them and
it still came out good)
3.5 tsp salt (I think I only put in 2, but you can always add later--
see I had only added 2 cups of water after so i decreased the salt)
1.5 tsp donna giru (coriander/cumin powder)
1/2 tsp red pepper (chile powder)
1/2 tsp pickle masala (the red methi masala)
1/2 tsp urdur powder (turmeric)
1 tsp garam masala
5 dates (soft) - I didn't have these so I omitted them
1/2 tsp ambli paste OR mango powder OR 2 capfuls of lemon juice
2.5 tbsp tomato paste
1 fresh tomato diced (I didn't have so i didnt' add)
1/4 cup guar or brown sugar (to your liking)
2-3 tbsp coriander leaves

Add all these ingredients and boil the dahl for ~40-45 minutes. Then
you are ready for the vagar.

Vagar Ingredients:
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 cloves
3 whole vagar red peppers
1/2 tsp methi seeds
3-4 nimbru leaves (i didn't have them so i omitted)
1/8 tsp hing (asafoetida powder) + tad bit of red pepper (chile
powder) on same spoon ( I don't know, my mom said when I had the hing,
make sure put a little bit of red pepper with it)

First put oil for the vagar (3-4 tbsp oil) in whatever little saucer
you use to vagar things ( i only had a vadki so i used that). let the
oil get warm. Then add in the following order:
- cloves
- whole red pepper
- methi seeds
- mustard seeds

When mustard seeds pop, add the nimbru leaves. Then add the hing+red
pepper. Cook for 2-3 seconds and put in the dahl right away. Continue
boiling the dahl for 5-10 minutes. And that's it. It can take upto 1 hour to make!
Can't believe my mom would make fresh dahl everyday..now she makes enough for 2-3 days..this makes a big pot of dahl. I don't know how to scale it down...


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