By Snehal Shinh
Craving for some Indian food, but are not able to get a fix? Here is one recipe that anyone can make at home!
- Half a cup of moong dal (petite yellow lentils)
- Half a cup of toor dal (split pigeon peas)
- Four cups of water
- Two spoons of oil (or ghee)
- Salt as needed
- One tablespoon of turmeric powder
- One tablespoon of red chili powder
- One tablespoon of garam masala
- One spoon of coriander powder
- Green chili (optional and as much as wanted)
- Half an onion
- Two tomatoes
- Four cloves of garlic
- A slice of ginger
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
How to Make the Dal (total cook time: 20 minutes):
This dish consists of only two major steps. The second step is where most of the ingredients go, so multitasking is a great ally in speeding up the process.
Step one: the Dal
Begin by rinsing the dal well before putting it in a pot. Then add the four cups of water and let it boil. Once the water begins to boil, set the stove to a simmer (or a low setting), allowing the dal to cook. While it is cooking, add one tablespoon of turmeric powder and salt to adjust seasoning as needed. A tell-tale sign of the dal being finished is its softness.
Step two: the Tadka
Tadka, in English, is known as “tempering”. This is a technique that takes whole or ground spices and is briefly roasted in oil or ghee (clarified butter). While traditionally ghee is used, oil can be used in its place. The purpose of tadka is to release essential oils-which makes the dish more aromatic. Adding tadka to an Indian dish is very common, usually with dals and sambar, which is a lentil stew with tamarind broth, though it can also be added to curries. Typically, this is added to the dish either before or after; in this case it is done after as a finishing touch.
Continue by putting two spoons of oil or ghee in a pan. Add chopped garlic and onion to oil and begin sauteing it until it turns a light golden brown. Once that is achieved, add one spoon of coriander powder, one tablespoon of red chili, and garam masala. For those that enjoy more of a spicy flavor, add some green chilies. Mix well for two minutes on low heat, then add chopped tomatoes and ginger. After mixing this, let the tadka cook on low heat for five to ten minutes, at that point the oil should begin to start separating and the tomatoes will be cooked. It is also important to mix every so often to prevent the tadka from burning and sticking onto the pan.
Once everything has been cooked, add the tadka to the dal and mix well. As a finishing touch, chop up some coriander leaves and garnish the dish.
Paired with basmati rice, roti, or naan, dali hui moong and toor dal is a classic Indian dish. Without the addition of green chilies, this dish would be perfect for those who prefer a less spicy taste. Conversely, for the spice lovers out there, add as much as wanted for that kick. Another way to boost flavors is with atchar, which is a spicy (sometimes sweet) pickle or relish of sliced vegetables or fruit.
Texture-wise, the dish is quite soft. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, for those that love a harder or crunchier dish, this may not be a favorite. As a way to get that crunch, try some slices of raw onions on the side; not only do they add that crunchy texture, but they also bring a bit of bite.
Overall, the dish is simple and quick to make, taking up only twenty minutes of cook time. Dali hui moong and toor dal with either rice or roti make for a perfect light lunch or dinner.
Covid Crisis in India
If you love Indian food, please do not turn a blind eye to the coronavirus situation that has undoubtedly overwhelmed the country. As reported by NBC New in Covid-19: How India’s Crisis is Inflaming Global Vaccine Inequality, updated on April 30, 2021, at 7:48 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, India’s hospitals are overwhelmed and oxygen supply is running low. Additionally, the official death toll has passed 200,000, though experts believe that these numbers can be much larger. Due to overwhelming Covid cases,and a lack of both medical oxygen and vaccines, cities have been forced to hold mass cremations in public spaces.
For more information: https://www.nytimes.com/article/india-coronavirus-cases-deaths.html
If you can donate money, here are some of the many organizations that directly help India during this crisis: