Dal Chawal (Lentils with Rice) has got to be one of the most comforting, nostalgia-inducing meals for Indians. It is such a staple in every house, in almost every meal. There are many dals out there, made in various ways and each household has their go-to version of this happiness giving combo.
In our house, it was arhar (aka toor/split pigeon peas) dal. Made pretty much everyday. To date, this is my go-to comfort food. The simplicity, the flavour, the wholesomeness – unparalleled.
Growing up, dal was not made with tadka (tempering). We used to like it plain, just with cumin, turmeric and salt. Over time however, my tastes have evolved and now I prefer it with a little extra oomph. A very basic tempering, but super yum! Even K likes this dal preparation and is quite happy eating this at least once a week 🙂
When I say Dal-Chawal, I really mean it. Normally people add dal to their rice in a way that there is more rice to dal per bite. I used to add rice to the dal. As my mom used to say, it was a swimming pool! The ratio of dal to rice used to be out of whack 🙂 Even now, I can have it this way. Or just bowls of dal by itself. Or put dal in a bowl, add veggies to it and that’s the meal. No rice required. As you can see, I really love dal. Especially this dal ❤
Arhar dal cooks super past and is such and easy thing to make for a quick meal. All you need to do is soak for about 30 minutes prior to cooking. Make sure you make a lot, it is going to consumed fast!
For me, no dal is complete without a little bit of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime. Simple, delicious and just a bowl of hugs!
Try this and let me know if it gives you the same sense of happiness 🙂
1.5 cups split pigeon pea (arhar/toor dal) – soaked in 3 cups water for 30 minutes
1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
1 tomato – chopped fine
1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp chopped garlic/garlic granules
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin (jeera) powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
2 tbsp fresh coriander
1 tsp lemon juice
- Drain the soaked lentils. Add to a pressure cooker with enough water to cover the lentils well, around 3-4 cups of water. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well.
- Pressure cook on medium flame for 4-5 whistles, around 20 minutes.
- Release the pressure and open the cooker.
- Heat a small pan, add oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once the seeds crackle, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute till slightly golden.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes till they soften but make sure they don’t become too mushy.
- Add the cumin powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and cook for another minute.
- Transfer this tempering (tadka) to the dal in the cooker. Bring the dal back on the heat and cook for another 3-4 minutes. In case it is too think, add a little water to get it to your desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust for salt and chilli. Squeeze in the lemon juice and mix well.
- Transfer the dal to your serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve hot. [/recipe-ingredients]