Sunday, February 1, 2009

Smita's Punjabi Style Dhal

Smita, one of my many dear and trust-worthy friends, makes amazing Punjabi style dhal. A few months back, I had gotten really bored of the sambar and dhal that I usually make that I wanted to make some different kind of dhal (You see, being a vegetarian, I didn't want to compromise on the protein content in my diet :-). Ain't I a good girl????). That is when I remembered the dhal that Smita makes and asked her to email me the recipe. It came out very well and I'm making it on a regular cycle these days. Here is the recipe for the same. Thanks a lot Smits :-).

Ingredients (about 3 - 4 servings):

Whole moong dhal (with skin) - 1/2 cup (using a measuring cup)
Whole urad dhal (with skin) - 1/2 cup (using a measuring cup)
Channa dhal (split) - 0.3 cups (using a measuring cup)
Pepper powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon (can add more later, if needed)
Coriander powder - 1.5 teaspoons
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Cumin powder (optional) - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste

To fry in about 6-7 teaspoons of oil:

Cooking oil - 6 to 7 teaspoons
Onion - 1 medium sized finely chopped
Tomatoes - 1.5 medium sized finely chopped
Green chillies - 2 to 3 finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch finely choppped
Garlic - about the same quantity or more as ginger and finely chopped
Whole cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a few
Cilanto - 4 to 5 teaspoons finely chopped


1. Pressure cook the 3 dhals (I generally use dhal and water in the ratio 1:3) and spice powders and set aside.
2. In a pan, heat some oil and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. After about 30 seconds, add chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic and fry for some time. Then, add the onions and fry until they turn golden brown in color.
3. To the onions in step 2, add chopped tomatoes and salt and fry until the tomatoes cook. In this step, you can add more red chilli powder if you feel the heat is not enough ;-).
4. Add the mixture from step 3 to the pressure cooked dhals, bring it to a boil and turn off the stove thereafter.
5. Garnish with curry leaves and chopped cilantro. Tasty Punjabi style dhal is ready to dig in :-).

To give it a South Indian touch, you can add about 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon of urad dhal in the oil and then fry the other ingredients.

Smita said she liked whole dhals in this recipe to split dhals because whole dhals do not get mashed easily when pressure cooked. Having made this dhal so many times since I took the recipe, I totally agree with her. It does look, feel and taste good when the dhals are not mashed. Using a mixture of dhals makes this very nutritious. You can try this with different kinds of dhals as well. Enjoy it with rice and ghee or even chappathi!!!!


Leon said...

You are becoming a 'prolific' writer indeed.. :p.. Setting an example for me by any chance?

Anu said...

Intentionally not, but you can think of it that way, if that encourages you to write ;-)