Daal is literally the food of billions in Indians. Rich or poor, Daal is cooked almost every night in almost every Indian household. It’s the national food of India. So much so that earning “Daal-Roti” i.e. Lentils and Bread, is synonymous of “bringing home the bread” (I am vegan so I won’t use the word other “B” word)
This no-fuss dish can be made in many different ways by just altering the spices. In addition there are many different types of “Daals” available. There is Moong Daal, Urad daal, Arhar daal, Masur Daal, Chana Daal, Maa Daal, and many more. As a child I only knew them by colors. If mum asked me what Daal I want to eat, I would say green, yellow, or black. I guess it was easier that way. My favourite Daal growing up was green, but over the years it has changed to “yellow”. Not sure why and when it happened.
This is the recipe of my favorite colored Daal. Technical name is “Chana Daal” or “Split peas”. Mildly spiced, there is natural creaminess from the lentils. Slowly simmered, it is a delicious and nutritious meal. Have it on its own as a soup or with rice, either way it’s heart warming. It’s a nostalgic dish and a glimpse into the authentic Indian culture. Typically you would use onions as the base, but I replaced them with leek and green onions. It adds an extra layer of flavour but the results are equally daal-ishious
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced leek (only the white part)
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions (only the white part)
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (or 1 tsp of each chopped garlic and ginger)
- 1 tomato cubed
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tsp Tully’z Kitchen Perky Punjabi authentic spice-mix (coming soon)
- In the meantime - You can use 1/2 tsp cumin powder + 1/4 tsp coriander powder + 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder (optional) + 1/2 tsp chilli powder + 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1-1/2 cup dry Chana Daal (split-peas)
- 4-1/4 cups water
- Salt to taste
- Heat up the oil in a large and deep non-stick frying pan.
- Add leek and green onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat or until transparent. stir occasionally
- Stir in ginger-garlic paste and cook for 30 sec.
- Add in the spices and cook for another 30 sec.
- Toss in the lentils, tomatoes, salt, add water and give it a good stir.
- Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 60-70 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Taste and adjust seasoning. If the consistency is too thick for your liking add a little more water and simmer for few minutes. If too thin cook on high heat for few minutes with lid off.
- Enjoy hot with roti, rice or on its own.
*You can soak the lentils over night and the cooking time will almost reduce to half