Tidali Dal

In many states of India, especially the southern states, there is a concept of ‘kootan’. Kootan means a gravy dish that can be mixed with rice for a meal. It is separate from a dish that is eaten along with rice and kootan. In other parts of the country, especially the northern states, the ‘dal’ is more common. Fundamentally this is because the southerners are rice eaters whereas the northerners are wheat eaters. Hence this evolution. I have several kootan recipes, but very little dal recipes. I am therefore always on the lookout for good dal recipes. I prefer the traditional ones as they are tried and tested. In my constant search for such recipes, I came across this one which is a Sindhi preparation. It was an experiment, and turned out very well. This recipe is by Ms. Neha Singh on YouTube. I am indeed indebted to her for such a delicious dish.

Sindhi Tidali Dal

1/2 cu[p Bengal gram (chana dal, kadalai parupu)
1/2 cup split green lentils with skin (chilkewali moong dal, paasi parupu)
1/4 cup split black lentils with skin (chilkewali urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
Unrefined salt to taste, for the lentils
1 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1″ ginger, grated
2-3 finely chopped green chilis
1 sprig curry leaves, chopped fine
2 onions, chopped fine
1 tomato, chopped fine
1 tsp red chili powder
Unrefined salt to taste, for the masala
2 dried red chilis
1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder, for colour
Wash the lentils well and soak for about half an hour
Then drain the water and transfer to a pressure cooker
Add turmeric powder and salt
Add 4 cups of water
Set the flame to high and cook for 8 whistles
Lower the flame to medium and cook for 5 minutes more
Let the steam release naturally and open the lid
Check that the lentils are cooked but not mushy
Set aside
Heat a wok and add the cumin seeds
Add the garlic, ginger, green chilis and curry leaves
Roast till the ginger and garlic change colour
Add the onions
Sauté till the onions are translucent
Add the tomatoes and cook on medium flame till they are mushy
Add red chili powder and salt
Mix well
Cook for 2-3 minutes
Add the cooked lentils
Mix well and adjust the consistency (if necessary) by adding water
Cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes
Remove from flame and set aside
Heat a small wok and add 2 dried red chilis
Add the Kashmiri chili powder
Mix and add to the cooked lentils
Serve hot with Indian flat breads or red/brown/millet rice

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