"Dal" in Indian cooking refers to porridge like dishes made from dried legumes, usually split peas or lentils. Dal is often served in a thinned state as a soup, but equally often it will be a thick, hearty side dish. This is a thick dal, comprehensive and highly spiced enough to be the focus of a meal. From one of the Moosewood cookbooks. Prep time includes 2 hours for cooking dried split peas. Serve with rice and raita.
- Place split peas in a saucepan with 5 cups of water.
- Cover and bring to boil.
- Lower heat and simmer very slowly, partially covered until soft (2-2/12 hours) Melt butter in large skillet.
- Add crushed garlic, cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric, and cinnamon.
- Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Add cooked peas and stir until everything is well mixed.
- Keep stirring and cooking as you gradually add an additional 1/2 cup water.
- You want a creamy consistency but not soup.
- Add salt, black and red peppers.
- Cook and stir another 5 minutes over low heat.
- Serve hot.
I made this as part of our dinner last night. I did use oil instead of butter. This dal was really lacking in taste. I added 1/2 a tsp. of black pepper, 1 whole tsp.(heaped) of red chilli powder, 1 more tsp. of salt and the juice of 1 lemon. It was much better then. I served it with steaming hot white rice topped with a dollop of low-fat plain yoghurt.
Basic recipe, but lacked flavor. Added teaspoon each of pure red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and sprinkled some garam masala on top (omitted cinnamon). Added some onion with the mustard/cumin seeds. Much more salt neededthan 1/4 teaspoon. At least 1 teaspoon of salt. Also, I only had whole yellow split peas. I didn't soak them, but put them in the pressure cooker. It took about a half hour on high to get them to cook.
It is a wonderful dish. My husband is from Pakistan and completely loved it. I made it fairly thick and we ate it with paratha, which is an oily flat bread. Delicious!!