A staple food in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, Dal consists of dried lentils, beans or peas (or what is collectively known as pulses)that are stripped off their outer hulls and split , cooked into a thick stew healthy recipes and seasoned with herbs and spices. It is often eaten with vegetables and rice, or with roti, a wheat-based flatbread. The term ‘dal’ is derived from the Sanskrit root word ‘dal,’ which means ‘to split.’ A rich source of protein, dal is often used as a substitute for meat in vegetarian cooking recipes. It contains about 25% protein by weight with zero fat. It is also an excellent source of carbohydrates, B vitamins like folic acid and thiamine, and minerals including zinc and iron.
There are different versions of cooing dal healthy dinner recipe depending on the region and the household. In this simple dal recipe, yellow dal is used. The dal is boiled until tender and seasoned with Indian spices including jeera (cumin), garam masala (Indian spice blend), turmeric powder, dhaniya powder (dry coriander powder, onion, ginger, green chilies, garlic, coriander leaves, fresh tomato puree, and salt.
Ingredients: 1 cup yellow dal (Indian bean), 2/5 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon jeera (cumin), 1 teaspoon garam masala (blend of Indian spices), 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon dhaniya powder (dry coriander powder), 1 tablespoon paste of onion, ginger, green chillies and garlic, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped green coriander leaves, 2 tablespoon of fresh tomato puree, salt to taste
Wash dal in running water and transfer it to either a pressure cooker or a saucepan. Add enough water to cover it and boil until tender. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a deep pan on a medium flame, add jeera, and cook until it turns brown. Once done add the ginger garlic paste and keep stirring. Then add the rest of the spices and cook until they blend well. Add tomato puree, salt and the boiled dal, with a bit more water, if necessary. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, remove from heat, sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander and serve hot with roti or rice.
While this recipe suggests the use of yellow dal, you can also use other kinds of dal to make this recipe. There are different kinds of dal used in various cuisines, including toor dal, chana dal, yellow split peas, and mung dal. Toor dal is yellow pigeon peas and is the also known as ‘togari bele’ in Karnataka. Chana dal is small chickpeas with brown or black skin with the outer layer removed and the kernel split. Yellow split pea is one the most popular form of dal in the rest of the world and available in many groceries worldwide. Mung dal, also known as mung bean, is green in color and is available in almost any supermarket.