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A Guide to Authentic Indian Dal dishes - Part 2

Mallika is a content writer and a foodie who loves her native Indian cuisine. She enjoys exploring the cuisine and sharing it with others.

Indian dal

Indian dal

This article is the continuation of the topic of authentic dal dishes of Indian cuisine. Let's explore the authentic dals of the following Indian regional cuisines.

The regional cuisines covered in this article

  • Gujarat
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Jharkhand
  • Chattisgarh
  • Odisha
  • Maharashtra
  • Goa
  • Andhra & Telangana
  • Hyderabadi
  • Karnataka
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Kerala

Note: This article informs about the ingredients used in the authentic dal dishes and the cooking instructions but not detailed recipes. The Hindi names of the lentils are used for reference.

How to cook a dal: General procedure

Usually, dal cooking involves two or three steps with a cooking technique called tempering or tadka. A dal without tadka is rare.

Step 1: Clean and wash the required lentil/dal with water and drain the water. Add fresh water to the dal as per the dal to water ratio, 1:2 or 3 cups, respectively. Cook the dal by boiling with water and salt(as per taste) in a cooking vessel or the pressure cooker until the dal is soft and mushy. Then mash it with a dal masher or a hand blender.

Step 2 (optional): Add the required ingredients or a spice paste/masala paste to the cooked dal and simmer for a few minutes.

Step 3: Prepare the tempering or tadka in a frying pan. Add it as per the recipe instructions (add dal to tempering or the tempering to dal)

What is Indian style tempering?

It is the process of lightly roasting some spices and herbs in oil or ghee without burning the ingredients. It gives aroma and taste to the dal.

Common tempering ingredients

Oil, ghee, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, split black gram, asafoetida, dry red chillies, onion, green chillies, tomato and curry leaves.

Cooking utensils

  • Deep bottomed cooking vessel or pressure cooker
  • Frying pan
  • Cooking ladle

1. Khatta Meeta Dal

It is the authentic sweet and sour dal of Gujarati cuisine. The sweetness comes from the usage of jaggery or date palms, and the sourness from kokum, equivalent to tamarind.

State: Gujarat

Cuisine: Gujarati

Lentil/dal: Toor dal

For dal cooking: Toor dal, tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, kokum extract, grated jaggery, salt and water

For tempering: Ghee or oil, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, dried boriya Mirchi (small round red chillies), slit green chillies, grated ginger, asafoetida and curry leaves

For garnishing: Fresh coriander leaves

Instructions:

  1. Kokum or Garcinia Indica is a fruit used in dried form. It is found in western ghats of India near Goa and Konkan regions and used in the cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashtra and coastal states of Southwest India. It is used as a substitute for tamarind and vice versa.
  2. Soak the Kokum in water and extract the pulp.
  3. Boiled yam and peanuts are also used in the recipe while making dal. Cook the dal with the ingredients for dal cooking and mash.
  4. Add the mashed dal to the tempering and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.


2. Malwa Dal

State & cuisine: Madhya Pradesh

Lentil/dal: Toor dal

For dal cooking: Toor dal, turmeric powder, tomato, salt and water

For tempering: Ghee, chopped ginger and garlic, asafoetida, cumin, green chilli and red chilli powder

For garnishing: Lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves

Instructions:

  1. Add the tempering to the cooked dal and garnish with lemon juice and coriander leaves.


3. Jharkhand Dal

State & cuisine: Jharkhand

Lentil/dal: Masoor dal or red lentils

For dal cooking: Masoor dal, salt and water

For tempering: Ghee, onion, ginger garlic paste, cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon, green chilli and garam masala powder

For garnishing: Fresh coriander leaves

Instructions:

  1. Add the cooked dal to the tempering and garnish with coriander leaves.


4. Khatte Channa Dal or Creamy Channa Dal

State and cuisine: Chattisgarh

Lentil/dal: Channa dal or split Bengal gram

For dal cooking: Channa dal, salt and water

For tempering: Oil, cumin, dry red chilli, onion, green chilli, grated ginger, tomato and turmeric powder

For garnishing: Yogurt and coriander leaves

Instructions:

  1. Add the cooked dal to the tempering and mix. Finally, add yoghurt and fresh coriander leaves. Do not mix or stir the yoghurt. It should settle in the dal as it is and simmered for a few minutes. This technique gives a creamy texture to the dal.


5. Dalma

Dalma is a dal with vegetables and also called as dal curry. It is a temple food and offered as prasad in the famous Puri Jagannath temple, Odisha. When prepared for prasad, onions and garlic are omitted in the tempering.

State & cuisine: Odisha

Lentil/dal: Toor dal

For dal cooking: Toor dal, vegetables, turmeric powder, grated ginger, salt and water

Vegetables: Potatoes, yam, raw banana, eggplant, pointed gourd, colocasia/taro, pumpkin, french beans, carrots and drumsticks

Masala paste: Freshly grated coconut or dry coconut powder, roasted cumin powder and red chilli powder

For tempering:

  • Without onion and garlic: Ghee, bay leaf, dry red chillies, cumin, grated ginger, asafoetida
  • With onion and garlic: Mustard oil, dry red chillies, panch phoran, onion and garlic

Instructions:

  1. Use any combination of the vegetables given above to cook along with the dal.
  2. Panch phoron is a whole spice mix consisting of 5 spices -fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin, black mustard and fennel seeds.
  3. Cook the toor dal with vegetables, turmeric powder, salt, grated ginger and water. Do not mash the dal or vegetables but mix well.
  4. Add the ingredients for masala paste to the cooked dal and mix. Add this mix to the tempering and simmer for a few minutes.


6. Ambat or Amti Varan

Amti Varan is a Maharashtrian dal. Amti or ambat in the Marathi language means sour or tangy and Varan means lentil. The authentic amti dal is yellow. The dal has a tangy taste which comes from three ingredients. They are jaggery for sweetness, kokum for sourness and Goda masala for the spiciness in the dal. Goda masala is the authentic Maharashtrian spice powder.

State: Maharashtra

Cuisine: Maharashtrian

Lentil/dal: Toor dal

For dal cooking: Toor dal, turmeric powder, tomatoes(optional), red chilli powder(optional), grated fresh coconut, kokum extract, jaggery, goda masala, salt and water.

For tempering: Ghee, black mustard, cumin(optional), green chillies, turmeric powder, asafoetida and curry leaves

For garnishing: Fresh coriander leaves

Instructions:

  1. Cook the dal and mash. Add it to the tempering and garnish with coriander leaves.


7. Goan Dal

State: Goa

Cuisine: Goan

Lentil/dal: Toor dal or moong dal

For dal cooking: Toor dal, green chillies, tomato, kokum extract, salt and water

Masala paste: Freshly grated coconut, shallots, cumin and turmeric powder

For tempering: Oil, mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, garlic pods, dry red Goan chillies and masala paste

For garnishing: Fresh coriander leaves

Instructions:

  1. Cook the dal and mash. Add it to the tempering and simmer for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.


8. Tomato Pappu or Tomato Dal

Pappu means dal in the Telugu language. Toor dal is the main lentil used in Andhra cuisine for preparing dal. This cuisine has many authentic dal dishes.

States: Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Cuisine: Andhra

Lentil/dal: Toor dal

For dal cooking: Toor dal, onion, tomato, tamarind, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and water

For tempering: Oil, cumin, split urad dal, black mustard seeds, dry red chillies, garlic pods, curry leaves and asafoetida

Instructions:

  1. While cooking Andhra dal, salt is added at the time of mashing the dal but not while cooking. Crystal salt is used in the authentic recipe and the dal is mashed with traditional dal masher, a utensil used exclusively to mash the cooked dal.
  2. Add the tempering to the mashed dal and serve.


9. Hyderabadi Khatti Dal

State: Telangana

Cuisine: Hyderabadi or Nizam

Lentil/dal: Toor dal or masoor dal

For dal cooking: Toor dal or masoor dal, tomato, green chilli, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli powder, tamarind extract, salt and water

For tempering: Oil, mustard seeds, cumin, garlic, dry red chillies and curry leaves

For garnishing: Fresh coriander leaves

Instructions:

  1. Cook the dal and mash. Add the tempering to the dal and garnish with coriander leaves.


10. Menthya Bele Huli

Menthya means fenugreek seeds in the Kannada language. Bele means lentil and Huli means sambhar. This dish can be made as a dal and sambhar depending on the consistency. The dal has a thicker consistency and no vegetables are used in this recipe. Usage of onion and garlic is prohibited.

State: Karnataka

Cuisine: Kannada

Lentil/dal: Toor dal

For dal cooking: Toor dal, turmeric powder, tamarind extract, salt and water

Spice powder or masala powder: Spilt urad dal, channa dal, dry red chillies, fenugreek seeds, black pepper, cumin(optional) and coriander seeds(optional)

For tempering: Ghee, mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves

Instructions:

  1. Dry roast the ingredients for masala powder. Blend the ingredients into a coarse powder along with freshly grated coconut or dry coconut powder. Add this masala powder to the mashed dal and mix well.
  2. Add this mix to the tempering and simmer for a few minutes until the required consistency. Add extra water if necessary.


11. Paruppu Kulambu

Paruppu kulambu means boiled lentil in the Tamil language.

State: Tamil Nadu

Cuisine: Tamil

Lentil/dal: Toor dal

For dal cooking: Toor dal, turmeric powder, onion, green chillies, tomato, salt and water

For tempering: Oil, black mustard seeds, split urad dal, dry red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves

Instructions:

  1. Cook the dal and mash it with the traditional dal masher. Add the tempering to the mashed dal.


12. Kerala Parippu or Kerala Dal

State & cuisine: Kerala

Lentil/dal: Split yellow moong dal

For dal cooking: Split yellow moong dal, turmeric powder, salt and water

Masala paste: Grated fresh coconut, cumin, shallots and green chillies

For tempering: Coconut oil, black mustard(optional), shallots(optional), dry red chillies and curry leaves

Instructions:

  1. Cook the dal and mash. Ground the ingredients for masala paste into a smooth paste and add it to the cooked dal and mix well. Add extra water to the dal if required and simmer until the required consistency and switch off the stove.
  2. Add the tempering to the cooked dal and serve.

Note:

The Andamanese and Lakshadweep cuisines are also part of Indian cuisine. They do not have usage of dals. Andaman cuisine is rich in seafood. It has the influences of Burmese, Thai and many regional cuisines of India. Lakshadweep cuisine is rich in rice, coconut and fish and influenced by Kerala cuisine.


These are the various authentic dal dishes of the Indian subcontinent from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Select a new dal every day and explore &enjoy the taste. Afterall there is no Indian meal without a dal.


Happy cooking!














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© 2021 Mallika Lotus

Comments

Deshsewak Kuldeep Bhagat from A TO Z Exim Shopping Mart on February 02, 2021:

Exillent

Mallika Lotus (author) from Hyderabad, India on February 01, 2021:

Thank you @ Deshsewak Kuldeep Bhagat.

Deshsewak Kuldeep Bhagat from A TO Z Exim Shopping Mart on February 01, 2021:

Exillent ji

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