We don’t bicker much, Hubby Dear and I, when it comes to food, except of course when the topic of concern is Dal. Dal, or lentils, is a common staple in Indian cuisine. Be it the North, South, West or East, this is one item you can find on the menu. True, it comes in its variations, but it’s a staple nonetheless. And there’s certainly no denying that on a cold rainy day like today, it is the ultimate comfort food.
Hubby Dear and me love our dals, and most importantly, we have our favourites. He loves his Yellow Arhar/Toor dal, and I’m passionate about my Red Masoor. To give tem their due importance, I alternate between the two each week. One may think it might be hard to keep track of whose turn is up next, but since I’m the sole incharge when it comes to all things culinary, I demand the benefit of doubt.
There have been numerous days when Hubby Dear thinks, no, he actually believes, that I’ve been partial to my own needs infront of his wishes. Well, maybe i have. But then again, when you rule the kitchen, there’s not much that can be done about it! So, to avoid matters taking a toll for the worst, I turn to the only intermidiary I know. The Chana dal. Or more explicitly, the Split Pea. This lentil is one that we both happliy agree on. It may take it’s own sweet time to soften down, but the end result never fails to bring a smile to our faces that had been just recently wiped off due to the “episode”.
CHANA DAL TADKA
Prep time: 20 min, Cooking time: 15 min | Serves: 2-4Â Â
1 cup chana dal, boiled in a pressure cooker till tender 1 medium-sized onion, finely sliced 1 tomato, chopped 1-2 green chillies, finely chopped 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste 1/4 tsp red chilli powder 1/4 tsp turmeric powder Â 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp fennel seeds 3-4 dried red chillies salt, to taste 1 tbsp light cooking oil water, as needed 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves, for garnish
HEAT oil in a deep pan and saute cumin and fennel seeds, along with dried red chillies, till they begin to splutter. Add sliced onions and green chillies, and fry till lightly browned.
THROW in tomatoes, red chilli powder, turmwric powder, ginger-garlic paste, and salt, and cook till tomatoes pulp and spices blend well.
ADD the tender dal, alongwith with some of the water used to boil it in if left, depending on the desired consistency.
LET simmer for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat, and then garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve warm over rice, or with rotis, and enjoy!