Ask any Indian and they can swear by Daal. Recently I did a Insta quiz on what my followers think should be the national dish of India and there were so many answers each different from the other. But I feel Daal (Boiled Lentils) is something that’s common across the nation. Though not cooked in the same way everywhere but ofcourse the main hero of the dish remains the same. That’s how Daal Fry is one of the variation of this comfort food mostly served and eaten in the north of India.
Daay Fry can be made using any lentil around. I make it often with split red lentils, sometimes with split moong beans or even with split yellow peas. What remains same is the tempering and the spice mix used to flavor the lentils.
I love my Daal Fry to be served with a bunch of coriander leaves on a bed of steamed hot rice, with a wedge of lemon. Even while typing this for the blog, I have just started craving for it. Maybe that should be my dinner.
What is your dinner?
Wash the lentils atleast 3-4 times or till the water is less muddy and add it to a pressure cooker or a heavy bottomed pan. Add a pinch of salt and turmeric while boiling the lentils.
Add around 2 cups of Water and pressure cook the lentils till you get 1 whistle. Let the steam come out before opening the cooker. If you are boiling it in a pan, it takes close to 15 minutes on medium/high flame to be cooked. You might need to add a cup or two water extra.
When the lentils are cooked and soft, mash it with a masher of the back of a big spoon.
Heat some ghee or oil in a pan. Add Cumins Seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds. Also add a pinch of Hing (Asafoetida).
Add finely chopped onions and fry them till they become light brown.
Add finely chopped Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilli Paste and fry till it is roasted.
Also add 2-3 Whole Dried Red Chillis along with some Curry Leaves and fry for a minute.
Add finely chopped tomatoes to the mixture and saute till the tomatoes are completely cooked.
Add Salt, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Cumins Powder and Garam Masala. Mix and cook till the gravy starts to leave oil on the sides
Now add the cooked and mashed lentils to the prepared onion tomato mix in the pan, and mix well.
Add half a cup of water if you think the daal is too thick. Check the seasoning and adjust the salt if needed. Serve it hot with some rotis or bowl of rice with fresh coriander leaves garnished on top.