Mati Mahor Dali (Assamese Style Split Black Gram Curry)

Dals are a feature of “North” India – and most of them taste fabulous! They are rich (though the WFPB versions need not be so) and filling. Other states in India have their own unique dal preparations too. Equally tasty, but not so rich or creamy. I like to experiment with dals from various states. It is in one such exploration that I came across this Assamese dal. Very easy to prepare and tasted wonderful with both rice and Indian flat breads. A preparation that I will highly recommend!

Mati Mahor Dali

1 cup split black lentils (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1/2 tsp panch phoron (equal proportions of cumin seeds, nigella seeds, brown mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds)
2-3 dried red chilis (adjust to suit your taste)
2-3 green chilis, slit
Salt to taste
Soak the lentils for 3-4 hours or overnight
Drain the water and transfer to a pressure cooker
Add 2 cups water and cook for just 1 whistle
Let the steam release naturally from the pressure cooker
Open lid and set aside
Heat a wok and add the panch phoron, red and green chilis
When the seeds in the panch phoron begin to splutter, dissolve the turmeric in a little water and add to the wok
Cook for about a minute
Pour in the boiled lentils and simmer
Add salt and cook for a minute more
Check consistency – it should not be too thick or runny
Remove from flame and serve hot with red/brown rice or Indian breads

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