Dal or lentils are a staple in Indian diet. Most of us consumer a variety of lentils daily. It is a large component of protein in a vegetarian diet. And in most homes, it is like soul food. Hot and heartwarming when served with plain boiled rice or even chapatis. Technically all dals are dal tadka. Tadka means tempering and dals are always tempered before serving. But, this is the simplest yellow dal that is made in most homes.
In my home, I love the garlic, cumin, asafoetida tempering. This recipe does not take more than 15 minutes. You can make tuar/arhar dal (pigeon peas), masoor dal (split red lentil), moong dal (split green gram) or a combination of these in this manner.
1 cup tuar dal
1 small onion chopped
1-inch piece ginger finely chopped
2 green chillies chopped
1 tomato chopped
½ tsp. turmeric powder
Salt to taste
For the tempering:
1 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp. cumin seeds
3-4 cloves garlic chopped
2-3 dry red chillies broken in pieces
1 pinch asafoetida (heeng)
1 tsp. chilly powder
Some chopped coriander
Pressure cook the lentils with green chillies, ginger, onion and tomatoes till mushy. It takes about 15 minutes. You can also cook this in a pan, but it will take longer. To expedite, you can soak the lentils for about an hour before cooking. Cool, mash with the ladle and keep aside.
Now to prepare the tempering keep all the ingredients at hand. Heat a pan. Add ghee. When it melts, add cumin and allow it to sputter. Add garlic, dry red chillies and asafoetida in quick succession. Now add in chilly powder. Take special care not to burn the tempering. Now tip in the prepared dal (lentils). Mix well and simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add some water if it is very thick.
Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice and serve hot with boiled rice. You can also have it as a soup if you so desire. Simple homemade goodness on a plate.
You can also see my video of the same recipe:
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