This is one of my quick and easy dal preparations. I always associate this dal with our friend Pankaj. I had rustled this up during one of his visits to Greenbelt and he always kept asking me for it on subsequent visits. It was quite difficult to reproduce the results as I had not written down the recipe. But as I broadly remembered the ingredients I kept trying and keeping mental notes ever since. After a couple of hits and misses I think I can now call this recipe my own. Hard core fanatics of Indian food may want to substitute the butter with ghee, but for most parts I don't think it makes much of a difference. Also don't try to skimp on the butter, remember I call it dal fry for reason. Infact more the merrier, but then my soul would cringe if I added anymore. And if you are like my ex-housemate Supratik you might even add a fistful of green peas to make it look prettier. So here goes:
Toor Dal - 1.5 cups
Onion -1 small minced
Garlic - 2 big cloves, minced
Tomato - 1 medium choped
Crushed tomato - 1/4 cup (from can)
Dry Red Chilli - 2-3, broken
Red chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Butter - 1.5 tbsps
Turmeric Powder -1/4 tsp
Cilantro - chopped, for garnish
Salt - To taste
1. Wash toor dal and pressure cook with three cups of water, salt and turmeric powder till cooked( usually 4 whistles). Mash the dals if not completely mashed. I overdo the cooking because I like it that way.
2. In a pan heat butter and wait till the foam subsides. Add cumin, dry red chilies and let sputter. Then add the garlic and fry. Take care that you don't burn the garlic. Add the onions and cook for a further two minutes. Stir in the chopped and crushed tomatoes and red chilli powder. Turn the heat down a little and let the tomatoes cook. Finally add garam masala. Add this mixture to the dal.
3. Adjust seasoning and add more water if the dal is too thick Let the dal and spices simmer for five - seven minutes. .
4. Finally garnish with cilantro and serve with hot roti's and salad.