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Dal - M to Z (Below)
Gravies & Baths

DALS - M to Z

Madhur Jaffrey's Chana Dal

1 1/2 cups chana dal or yellow split peas, picked over, washed and drained
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 thin slices of unpeeled ginger
1/4 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
3 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon asofoetida

Put the dal in a heavy pot along with 5 cups water. Bring to a boil and remove any surface scum. Add the turmeric and ginger. Cover, leaving the lid just very slightly ajar, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for one and a half hours or until the dal is tender. Stir every 5 minutes or so during the last half hour of cooking to prevent sticking. Remove the ginger slices. Add the salt and garam masala to the dal. Stir to mix. Heat the ghee in a small frying pan over medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. A couple of seconds later, put in the asofoetida and chili powder, frying for a minutes then pouring the mixture into the pot with the dal. Stir to mix.

Mah ki Dal

1 c Urad or Mah dal
1" piece Ginger
to taste Salt
2-3 Tblsp Ghee (Can be replaced by butter)
to taste Green chili (optional)
to taste Garam Masala
1-1/2 tsp Asofoetida
1/4 t Turmeric

Clean, wash and add the dal to boiling water. Add turmeric, salt, half of the finely chopped ginger, and cook on medium heat for 2-3 hours or pressure cook at 15psi for 1/2 hour. Uncover, cook further in same pan on low heat for 1/2 hour, stir and mash every now and then until a creamy consistency is achieved. Heat the ghee, add remaining ginger, stir, asofoetida and chili, and fry lightly. Add cumin or coriander (optional). Pour over dal just before serving.

Mango Dal

1 cup aahar or toovar dal
Half tsp turmeric
11/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 unripe mango
1 teaspoon asofoetida
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 dry red chilly
A few curry leaves
1 tbps ghee

Wash and soak the dal for 1 hour. Add 11/2 tsp salt and turmeric. Keep on medium fire to boil till the dal is half cooked. Peel the mango cut into big pieces. Add to the half cooked dal. Cook till dal is tender and the mango pieces are cooked to a pulp. Set aside. Heat the ghee in a frying pan and fry the mustard seeds till they splutter. Add red chillies and curry leaves. Add to the cooked dal. Mango dal should be watery in consistency.

Masoor Daal

1 cup masoor daal (lentil)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp. salt
1 green chilli
asofoetida to taste

Wash and boil daal in 2-1/2 cup of water. Mash the daal when completely done. Heat 3 tbsp. of oil. Roast cumin seeds until red. Pour the mashed daal into the wok and add turmeric powder, asofoetida, salt, and green chilli. Let daal simmer for at least 10 to 15 minutes. The more you simmer, better it tastes.

Masur Daal

Masur Daal 1 cup
ginger 1 in.
turmeric pinch
cumin seeds 1 tsp.
asofoetida 3 1/2 cup
butter 2 tbsp.

Wash well the daal and drain it. Boil 3 1/2 cups water and add the daal, salt, pepper, turmeric, and finely chopped ginger.. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. When done, heat the ghee and add the cumin. Fry till golden brown and add paprika and finely chopped tomatoes, if you like, for added color. Pour over the daal and serve.

Mixed Dal

Moong dal : 1 cup
Cauliflower:1 cup, cut into small florets
Spinach : 1 bunch, finely chopped)
Potato : 1 large, cut into small pieces
Sugar: 1 small teaspoon
Salt :to taste
Bay leaves: 1 or 2
Ginger paste: 1 teaspoon
Ghee : 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
Garam Masala : 1 teaspoon
Green chilies : 2, chopped

In a pan roast the Moong dal, constantly stirring it till dal turns a lovely golden. Watch carefully, as dal tends to burn very quickly. Wash the dal and boil it till it’s soft but not overcooked. In a deep pan add enough ghee to separately deep fry the potatoes and cauliflower. Fry till well cooked but not too soft. Remove and set aside. Remove all the debris if any from the oil and add bay leaves with cumin seed. Toss in chili pieces and ginger paste. Fry for a minute or so. Add the fried vegetables, spinach and the dal. Add sugar and salt. Bring the dal to a boil. Add in Garam masala and ghee.

Mixed Dhal

1/4 cup spli green gram
1/4 cup split yellow gram
1/2 cup split red gram
1 tomato finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
2tbsp ghee
1/2" piece ginger finely chopped
1tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cummin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
½ tsp asofoetida
1/2 tsp mustard
salt to taste

Wash, drain and pressure cook the dhals till soft. Heat ghee in a pan. When it is hot splutter the mustard seeds. Add green chillies and fry for a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder, asofoetida, coriander powder and garam masala. Fry for a minute or two and stir this mixture into the dhal. Add lemon juice and salt. Mix well and simmer

Moong Dal with Spinach

Chopped spinach 2 cups
Chopped and peeled tomatoes 2 cups
Split moong dal (without skin) 1 cup
Ghee 1 cup
Chopped green chilli 1
Chopped fresh ginger 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Asofoetida 1 tsps
Salt 2 tsps
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Lime 1/2

Pressure-cook the dal with two cups of water for five minutes. In a food processor, grind the dal to a smooth paste. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin. When it splutters, add the green chilli and ginger, and sauté till lightly crisped. Add the tomatoes, spinach, chilli and turmeric powders and fry till the spinach wilts a bit and the tomatoes are well cooled. Mix in the dal, two cups of water and salt and simmer till the gravy is thick. Squeeze lime juice on it and serve hot.

Mung Dahl

1 1/2 c Mung dahl, split
2 sl Fresh ginger, peeled
1 tb Cilantro
1 tb Tumeric
1/2 ts Cayenne, optional
1 1/2 ts Salt
1 1/2 tb Lemon juice
3 tb Ghee
1 tsp Asafetida
1 t Whole cumin seeds
Lemon wedges

Clean and wash dahl. Place in a heavy pot. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and remove froth. Add ginger, cilantro, turmeric, and cayenne. Cover, leaving lid slightly ajar & cook for 1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally. When cooked, add salt and lemon juice. In a skillet, heat ghee till hot. Add asafetida and a few seconds later, add the cumin. When the cumin seeds darken, remove from heat & and add to the cooked dahl and serve.

Muringayila Erusseri (Drumstick Dal)

Drumstick leaves 3 cups
Grated coconut 1/2 cup
Chilli powder
Salt to taste
Green gram dal 1/2 cup
Cumin seed 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil 2 tbsp
Asofoetida, 1 tsp
Red chillies 4 cut into two
Mustard ¼ tbsp
Curry leaves 2 sprigs

Wash the drumstick leaves and dal. Cook with the chilli and turmeric with sufficient amount of water. Grind the coconut with cumin to a coarse paste. Add this to the cooked dal. Add the salt and mix well. Heat the oil. Add the mustard. When it crackles, add the red chillies, asofoetida and curry leaves. Fry for a minutes or two then add to the cooked dal. Add water as needed for a medium thick consistency.

Musur Dal #1

Musur dal: 200 gms
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder:1/2 tsp
Green Chili: 4
Whole Red Chili:2
Panchforan:1/2 tsp
Asofoetida: 1 tsp

Wash the musur dal and boil with salt, turmeric powder and green chili for 15 min. Remove from heat and liquify in a blender. Heat the oil in a pan. Add Whole Red chili and panchforon. Fry for a minute. Add asofoetida. Add to the Lentils and bring it to boil. Remove from heat. Serve hot.

Musur Daal #2

Masur dal
Salt to taste
Cayenne powder, ½ teaspoon
Sugar, ½ teaspoon
Lemon Juice, 1 tablespoon
Asofoetida, ½ teaspoon
Corriander leaves, a handful
Green chilis, 3 minced

Boil the musur daal throughly. After it is boiled (not before), add required amount of salt and chili powder. One need not add any turmeric into it. Keep it aside till needed. It should neither be thick (like a tarka) nor should it be extremely thin but somewhere in between in consistency. When ready to serve, warm it again. Add mustatd oil, lemon juice, corriander leaves, chooped chilies into it.

Narkel-Cholar Dal

Yellow split grams: 1 cup
Bay leaf: 2 or 3
Cloves: 2
Green cardamom: 2
Cinnamon: 1 inch
Cumin seeds: 1/2tsp.
Ghee: 2tbsp.
Green chilli: 2
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp.
Chopped & fried coconut: 2tbsp.
Sugar: 1 tsp.
Salt to taste

Boil chana dal with turmeric powder and garam masala till dal is soft. Heat ghee in a pan, add bay leaf, cumin seeds and green chilies. Add boiled dal and water. Add salt, sugar, and ghee and boil for 2 minutes. Garnish with coconut.

North Indian Dal Makhani

2 cups toor dal
3 tbsp ghee
1/4 cup moong dal
1/4 cup masoor dal
salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chili powder
2 green chillies, chopped
1 small piece ginger grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp asofoetidfa
coriander leaves, (finely chopped)

Wash and mix dals well. Soak for 15 minutes. Pressure cook till soft. Mash dal and keep aside when it is hot. Heat ghee in a deep pan. Add Cumin seeds, allow to splutter. Add ginger and green chillies. Fry till soft, then add dals, red chilli powder and salt and mix well. Bring it to boil. Allow it to cook for 5 more minutes on a low heat. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Palak With Masoor Dal

1 Cup Masoor dal
1 Bunch Palak (spinach), finely chopped
2 Red chillis, halved
a pinch Turmeric
1 tsp Dhania (coriander) powder
1 tsp Ginger, minced
1 tsp Asofoetida
2 tsp Ghee
Salt to taste
Coriander - few leaves

Wash spinach thoroughly, chop and wash massor dal, and put both in the pressure cooker cook for 20 mins.(up to 3 whistles.) Heat ghee in a pan. Add ginger, dhania powder, red chilly powder, turmeric and salt. Stir till ginger is lightly crisped and oil leaves the side of the pan. Add cooked masoor dal and palak. Add 1/2 tsp of ghee. and cook 5 more minutes.

Pear Dahl

1 cup lentils
3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tsp asofoetida
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 fresh Bartlett pears, pared, cored and cut into chunks
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Put lentils into saucepan. Cover with water or other broth by 1/2 inch; bring to boil. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and continue to cook until lentils are very tender, about 25-30 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Meanwhile, saute the cumin, cardamom, and spinach mixture. Cook, stirring until well blended. Mix in pears, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Heat until much of the liquid is absorbed but lentils are not dry, stirring constantly and keeping heat low to avoid sticking. Cool. Offer cold or at room temperature.

Phulkopi Diye Moong Dal

Moong dal 1 cup
Cauliflower 1/2 cup cut into quite small florets
Potatoes 1/2 cup cut same size as cauliflower
Raisins 1 Tablespoon (soaked in some water)
Water 4 cups
Sugar 1 small teaspoon
Salt As desired
Bay leaves 1 or 2
Ginger paste 1 teaspoon
Oil 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala 1 teaspoon
Green chillies a few chopped

In a wok roast the Mung dal , constantly stirring it from time to time for 8-10 minutes. The dal should turn a lovely golden. This has to be done quite carefully as the dal tends to get burnt quickly. Wash the dal and boil it till its soft but not overcooked. In a deep wok add enough oil to separately deep fry the potatoes and Cauliflower. Fry till well cooked but not too soft. Remove and set aside. Remove all the debris from the oil and add in bay leaves with cumin seed. Toss in chilli pieces and ginger paste. Fry for a minute or so. Add the fried vegetables and the dal. Add the raisins sugar and salt. Bring the dal to a boil. Add in Garam masala and ghee.

Punjab Dal Fry

1 cup massor dal
1/4 cup moong dal
2 green chillies, slit
1 tsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
3 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
1 red chilli
1 tomato, chopped
2 tbsp ghee

Wash the dals together. Combine the dals, chillies, ginger, turmeric, salt and 3 cups of water and pressure cook till the dals are tender. Remove the chillies and discard. Whisk the dal till it is smooth. Keep aside. For the tempering :- Heat the ghee in a pan and add the mustard seeds, nigella seeds and red chilli. When the mustard seeds crackle, add the tomato and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes. Proceed :- Add the dals to the tempering, mix well and bring to a boil. Serve hot, garnished with the coriander and butter.

Punjabi Dal

2 cups masoor dal
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
1 (1-inch piece) ginger root, chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons asofoetida
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Rinse dal thoroughly, until water is clear. In pot bring 1 quart water to boil. Add dal. Cook half way, about 10 to 15 minutes, add 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and salt. As dal cooks, uncovered, water will evaporate and mixture will thicken. Add more water to keep dal loose, like texture of thick cream. When dal is soft, turn off heat. Heat oil in wok. Add ginger and chiles. Fry for a few minutes then add remaining 1 teaspoon each garam masala, asofoetida and turmeric. Do not allow spices to burn. Keep stirring until mixture starts to stick. Add tomatoes and cilantro. Cook until tomato softens. Pour in pot of dal and simmer to blend flavors.

Punjabi Masoor Daal

1 cup whole Brown Lentils (Sabut Masoor)
½ Tsp salt
3 Tbsp ghee
A Pinch asafoetida
2 Cloves
2 Cardamom
1 Cinnamon
1 Tsp- Grated Ginger
1 Green Chilli
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
½ cup- Sliced Tomato
Salt To Taste
½ Tsp Red Chilli Powder
½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
½ Tsp Coriander Powder
½ Tsp Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp Chopped Coriander Leaves

Wash the Lentils and soak in Water for 1 Hour. Pressure Cook the Lentils by adding water, salt and turmeric. Pressure cook for 2 Whistles. Heat ghee in a kadhai and to it add cumin seeds, asafoetida, bay keaf, cloves and cardamom. Add ginger and green chilli to it and sauté well. Next add Tomatoes and sauté well. Add all the remaining spices and mix well. Add Pressure Cooked Daal to it and mix well. Add water if needed and let the Daal simmer well and let it get cooked. Add Coriander Leaves and add Lemon Juice.

Radish Dal

1/4 c. Yellow Dal
2 tomatoes, cubed
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 japanese radish, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp black pepper
2 dried red chilis
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mustard seed
asofoetida to taste
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp tamarind paste
1/2 lemon
ground red chili pepper

Combine ½ cup water and dal in a small bowl and cook in pressure cooker for 10 minutes after steam arises. Set cooked dal aside and fry dry spices in oil. Add tamarind paste, blend, then add dal and 3 cups water, stirring until dal dissolves. Add salt and mix. Add vegetables, heat to boiling and cook until vegetables are soft. Add lemon, salt and red pepper to taste.

Rajasthan Panchmela Ki Dal

1-2 ounces- Toor Dal
1-2 ounces- Chana Dal
1-2 ounces- Urad Dal
1-2 ounces- Muth Dal
2-3 ounces- Moong Dal with skin
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
3 tbsp Oil
2 Bay Leaves
A pinch Asafoetida
2 Cloves
2 Cardamom
1 inch piece Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Chopped Green Chillies
1 tsp Chopped Ginger v 1 cup Sliced Tomatoes
1 tsp Amchur Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
4 tbsp Chopped Coriander Leaves

Clean and wash the Dals and soak in Water for 2 hours. Add Turmeric Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Salt, Water and pressure cook the Dals for 2 Whistles. Heat Oil in a Pan and then add Asafoetida, bayleaf, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds to it. Add Green Chillies and Ginger to it and fry well. Add Sliced Tomatoes and fry well. Add the Cooked Dal and mix. Add Water to get the desired consistency. Add Mango Powder and Coriander Powder and mix well. Add Coriander Leaves and mix. Serve hot garnished with Chopped Coriander Leaves

Rajasthani Dal Bati

2 cups rajma beans
3/4 cup whole black gram (urad)
2 tomatoes, chopped finely
2 tsps garam masala powder
2 tsps chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
2 tbsps cream
4 tbsps ghee
1 cup coriander leaves, chopped finely
Salt to taste

For dumplings:
5 cups whole wheat flour, sieved
1 cup ghee, melted
2 tbsps curd
Salt to taste

Soak the rajma and urad in water overnight with a pinch of soda bicarb. Pressure cook rajma and black gram till soft. Heat 4 tbsps oil. Add ginger paste and tomatoes. Fry. Add all the masalas, beans and salt. Simmer till well blended. The gravy should be thick. Pour in cream and ghee. Knead a soft dough for dumplings with flour, ghee, curd, salt and just enough water. Roll into lemon-sized balls. Cover and keep for one hour. Roast in batches on hot coals or on a griddle in hot oven or well under broiler till puffed and golden outside and spongy inside. Keep hot. Garnish the dal with coriander leaves and slit green chillies. Dip hot dumplings in the dal while eating.

Ribbed Guard Dal

2 medium ribbed gourds
1 cup yellow lentil (lightly roasted)
salt to taste
1 tbsp black gram
3 red chili broken (halved)
A pinch of asofoetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp oil

Wash and peel the ribbed guard and cut into small cubes. Roast dal in a pan and mix it with the vegetable and add just enough water and cook in a pressure cooker. Heat oil in a pan and fry split black gram till golden yellow. Then add chilies, asofoetida and cumin seeds, then add cooked dal, and salt and turmeric powder. Mix well and turn off the flame after 5 minutes.

Simple Daal

1 cup orange lentils (masur or moong daal)
1 1/2 Tsp oil
2 Tsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp asofoetida
1/4 chilli powder
2 tsp saltv a small amount of butter

Wash lentil thoroughly and soak in 4 cups of water and in a large saucepan for atleast 15 minutes. Place the large saucepan on the stove and bring the lentil to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook covered for 20-25 minutes. Add tomato paste, turmeric, asofoetida, chilli powder and salt, bring lentil to a boil. Add a blob of butter to enhance the flavor and remove from stove. Serve "daal" warm over rice.

Sona Moong Dal

Sona Moong Dal, ½ pound
1 tablespoon Mustard Oil
Red Chilli, 2 Whole
2 teaspoons Cumin
1 teaspoon Turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Sugar
Green Chillis, 4
Green Peas Frozen, ¼ cup

Broil the moong dal over low fire in a kadhai till it browns, remove and wash Add water, turmeric and salt and boil till the dal is cooked and soft but not mashed. Add slit green chilli and sugar, stir. Heat the mustard oil, smoke and cool, temper red chilli whole and cumin seeds, add green peas and cook till the peas are done. Finish with ghee.

Sukhi Dal

1 cup moong dal
1 tbsp. coriander finely chopped
1 stick cinnamon
2-3 cardamoms
2 cloves
1 bayleafv 1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. asofoetida
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. pepper powder
Salt according to taste
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. oil

Clean, and soak the dal for 15 minutes. Boil in the pressure cooker with 5 cups water, adding turmeric and salt. Drain the water and keep it aside. Heat oil in a pan and add all the spices. Allow to splutter. Stir fry till light brown. Add dal, lemon juice, masalas. Stir gently. Take care not to mash up dal too much. Garnish with coriander.

Sukhi Channa Dal

1 cup chana dal
1 tbsp. tender fenugreek (methi) leaves. finely chopped
1" stick cinnamon
2-3 cardamoms
2 cloves
1 bayleaf
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. pepper powder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. ghee

Clean, wash, soak dal for 15 minutes. Boil in 5 cups water, adding turmeric and salt. Either pressure cook or boil till just soft. Drain water. Heat ghee in a heavy saucepan. Add all spices, broken coarsely, and cumin seeds. Allow to splutter. Add dal, lemon juice, masalas and fenugreek leaves. Stir gently. Take care not to mash up dal too much.

Swiss Chard Dahl

2 lbs Swiss chard
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1 fresh red chilli
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup red lentils, soaked for half an hour beforehand
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable stock
1 can peeled tomatoes
salt to taste
asofoetida to taste
tomato puree to thicken

Chop the stems off the swish chard. Cut them up into 1/4 inch pieces. In a large frying pan boil them with a little water. Add the chopped chilli and black pepper, cumin, turmeric, and coriander. Simmer with a lid on for ten minutes. Add the rest of the swiss chard, chopped coarsley, and the stock and water. Now add the red lentils. Simmer for a couple of minutes more. Add the canned tomatoes, leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. The lentils should be soft but still intact. Add the tomato puree and salt to taste. Simmer for another couple of minutes till the dahl has thickened.

Tauk Sweet and Sour Dal

1 cup Arhar Daal
4-5 cup Water
1 Tbsp Ghee
½ Tsp Panch Phoran
3 medium Size Green Mangoes, peeled and cut in strips
1 Tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Green Chillies
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Sugar
½ Tsp Coriander Powder
3 Tbsp chopped Coriander Leaves

Soak Daal in Water for 1 Hour and then wash it properly. Heat 4-5 cups Water and then add Daal to it. Add Turmeric powder to it and let it get cooked. Add Green Mangoes, Green Chillies and Salt to it and continue to cook till the Mangoes get cooked but don’t get too mashed in the Daal. Add Sugar and Coriander Powder to it. Temper the Daal with Ghee and Panch Phoran and then add Coriander Leaves to it. Serve hot.

Thétor Dal (Bitter Melon with Lentils)

1 cup moong dal
Ghee for frying
Bitter Melon, 2 large
1 teaspoon asofoetida
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 green chilis, diced
1” ginger, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste

Boil moong dal (split yellow moong/mung beans or lentils) in water until half done. Lightly stir fry cubes of bitter melon flavored with cumin seeds, chopped red/green chillies and grated ginger in some ghee. Add this to the boiling dal, also add salt and some turmeric powder. Boil until both bitter melon and dal are fully cooked.

Toor Dal

1 cup raw toor daal
2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp red chilies
A few curry leaves
2 tsp. of oil
salt to taste
asofoetida to taste

Boil toor daal in water to get the consistency of sambar. Mix cumin seeds, , red chilies salt and asofoetida, and grind them with some water into a fine paste. Add spice paste to the daal and bring it to a quick boil. Add the curry leaves just before removing it from the stove.

Toor Dal Fry

1 cup Toor Dal
3/4 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
1 sprig Curry leaves
2 tbsp Ghee
1 medium Tomato
A pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
½ tsp asofoetida
2 red chilis
Coriander leaves

Wash toor dal and Presure cook dal for 12-15 mins and keep aside for cooling. Heat ghee in a pan on low flame, add mustard seeds and asofoetida let it splutter. Add the cumin and curry leaves and leave that for a few seconds. Add the chillies and fry then add the tomato pieces and fry till tender. Add turmeric powder and fry for a few more seconds. When done, add the dal salt. Add a little water as required and leave it for some time on simmer. Garnish with corriander leaves.

Vatali Dal

2 cups bengal gram, split (Chana dal)
3-4 green chilies
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
salt to taste
1 tbspoon oil
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon asafoetida
2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Lots of fresh shredded coconut and coriander leaves for garnishing

Wash and soak split chana dal in water for 3-4 hours. Drain water and grind it along with chilies to make a coarse paste. Use as little water as possible for grinding. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add asafoetida and turmeric. Now add ground dal, salt, sugar and stir. Keep mixing the dal so that it will not stick to the bottom. After some time, all the water contents dry out. Cover for a min. Remove the lid and stir. Garnish with coconut and coriander leaves. Serve hot.

West Bengali Laoo Dhal

Ghee for frying
1/2t turmeric
1t asofoetida
1/2t cumin seed
1 hot red pepper
1 bay leaf
1C red lentils
3/4t salt
1t jaggery
2C water
2C white pumpkin (traditional) or zucchini (a good substitute), cubed

Heat ghee and fry the asofoetida, turmeric, cumin, red pepper and bay leaf, until brown. Add lentils, sugar, salt and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add pumpkin or zucchini and return to boil. Reduce heat again and cook covered. Stir occasionally. Cook until vegetable is tender and split lentils are cooked to almost puree consistency. If using lentils which are whole, wait 5 minutes longer before adding the vegetable.

Yamuna’s Louki (Bottlegourd) Chana Dal

1 cup dry chana dal
1 cup rice
7 cups water (or less if you want this dish to be more of a stew and less of a soup)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon scraped, finely shredded or minced fresh ginger
4 tablespoons olive oil
12 pieces louki (bottlegourd)
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1 1/4 teaspoons cumin seeds
1-2 whole dried red (or fresh) chilies
1/4-1/2 teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
6-8 curry leaves, preferably fresh

Sort, wash, and drain the chana dal. Place the chana dal in a bowl, cover with 3 cups of hot water and let soak for 5 hours. Drain. Place the chana dal, rice, 7 cups of water, turmeric, coriander, ginger, and a spoonful of the oil in a heavy 3-quart nonstick saucepan over high heat. Stiring frequently, bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and boil gently for 1 1/2 hours. Off the heat, uncover and add the zucchini and garam masala. Stir and continue to cook gently for 30 minutes or until the dal is soft and fully cooked and the vegetables are butter-soft. Stir in the salt and lemon or lime juice. Heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan over moderate to moderately high heat. When it is hot, add the cumin and red chilies. Fry until the cumin seeds turn brown. Add the asafetida powder and curry leaves, cook for just 1-2 seconds and then quickly pour the fried seasonings into the cooked dal. Cover immediately and allow the seasonings to soak into the hot dal for 1-2 minutes. Stir. Serve with 2 pieces of zucchini in each portion.

Yellow Lentils with Lemon Juice

1 cup Red gram dal
2 tsp lime juice
4 green chilis
salt to taste
Coriander leaves
1 tsp ghee
½ tsp mustard
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 red chili
a pinch of asafetida

Wash and Pressure-cook dal with and mash it. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add the seasoning ingredients and fry them for a few minutes. When mustard seeds stop spluttering, add the mashed dal, add Green chilis salt and water as needed and mix well. Allow it to cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lime juice and coriander leaves.