Spicy Urad Dal (Split Black Lentil)

Dals (as opposed to the South Indian kootans) are rarely made in my home. The reason is simple enough. Lunch is the main meal and it invariably consists of whole rice, a kootan, a vegetable and a salad. Since dinner is a simple affair, the kootan gets carried over to this meal. Depending upon the kootan, the dinner is planned. If the kootan has tamarind, then it will be paired with stuff like idli or dosa. If tamarind is absent, then it is invariably a phulka (a simple Indian flatbread). It has been a long time I had a dal. So, I requested Hari to make this incredibly tasty dal for lunch.

Ingredients
1 cup split black lentil (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped and blended
10 cloves garlic, minced
1″ piece ginger, grated
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
2 tbsp vegan nut butter (I used cashew butter)
Method
Pressure cook the lentils, adding ginger, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt
Cook till the lentils are mushy
Set aside
Heat a wok and add the garlic
Sauté for about a minute
Add the blended tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes
Add the lentil and garam masala
Mix well
Adjust salt
Adjust to desired consistency by adding water
Simmer for 15 minutes
Stir in the nut butter and remove from flame
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, if desired
Serve hot with red/brown rice or Indian breads
Enjoy!

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