February 15, 2011

Gujarathi Dal for Indian Cooking Challenge

Indian cooking challenge recipe for the month of February is an authentic Gujarati dal from the award winning cookbook Sukham Ayu, authored by the duo- Jigyasa Giri & Pratibha Jain. Thanks to Jigyasa and Prathibha for sharing the recipe for the challenge. The recipe may not fit the bill for a challenge but it surely gave an opportunity to recreate the authentic flavor at home. That's also a purpose behind this ICC, to know about the authentic, regional recipes.

Now coming to the recipe, this is a simple recipe with ingredients easily available in an Indian kitchen. I must say, from the list of the ingredients, you will not be able to guess the taste and flavor of the final dish. For this, you must try and experience yourself. I literally ate only this dal and forgot about my rice. Basically, I love spicy and tangy food. The flavor and taste won me over.

You need
  • Tuvar dal/Split red gram - ½ cup
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp
  • Tamarind pulp - 2 tbspn (or dry soft kokum 4-5 pieces)
  • Jaggery - 1 tspn
  • Dry dates - 4,halved (I used lion dates)
  • Drumstick/Muringakkai - 4-5 pieces, 2 inch length
  • Yam/Chenai - 4-5 pieces, 1 inch cubes
  • Groundnuts - 1 tbsp
  • Green chillies - 2, slit
  • Ginger -1 inch piece, chopped fine
  • Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala - ¼ tsp (Used Kitchen king)
  • Salt to taste

 Coriander leaves to garnish


 For the seasoning

  •  Ghee - 2 tsp
  •  Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
  •  Fenugreek seeds - ¼ tsp
  •  Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
  •  Dry red chillies - 2
  •  Asafoetida/Hing powder -¼ tsp
  •  Curry leaves 5-6


 Pressure cook the dal along with yam pieces. I find yam taking a long time to cook. So pressure cooked it along with the dal. Add a pinch of turmeric and enough water to cover the dal. The dal should be cooked soft. When the pressure is released fully, remove the yam pieces and mash the dal well.

Take the mashed dal, cooked yam pieces and rest of the ingredients in a thick bottomed pan. Don't add garam masala and coriander leaves. Add a cup of water and let it simmer over low flame for 10 minutes. Take care that the dal doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. So stir occasionally.

Heat a seasoning ladle with ghee. Add mustard seeds. When it pops, add fenugreek, followed by cumin, red chillies hing and curry leaves. Pour the seasoning into the simmering dal. Allow to boil for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.
Hot dal with steaming rice topped with a dollop of home made ghee will be the ultimate comfort food. Next time, I want to try with kokum and also include drumstick. I'm sure drumstick will take it to the next level. The recipe, from Sukham Ayu,  is well written with detailed instructions and the measurements are perfect.





  1. love the addition of dates..should try that sometime..

  2. Slurp,fingerlicking dal..enjoyed preparing them,loved the mild sweetness in the dal..

  3. Hai Jayasree,
    Have been visiting your blog, on a regular basis. You have a great blog. So when I received an award from Shilpi and I was supposed to share it with 15 people, I thought of you. Please collect your award at my blog.

  4. This year I decided to try my hand at healthier cooking, like baked potato wedges instead of french fries, grilled fish and the occasional cake. Which brand of OTG or Electric Oven you would recommend to buy in India? Thanks for your advice.

  5. Omg, dal makes me hungry..Soo tempting!

  6. We enjoyed it too. I found it very flavorful.

  7. So well said Jayasree..it was very delicious right..thanks for joining in..

  8. Thanks all. @Kaveri, thanks for sharing the award.

    Preeti, I have a Bajaj OTG. Its good. I'm not in a position to say about the other brands since I don't have mcuh idea. And, since the current rage is the microwave with convention model, there isn't much options available in the market. I bought Bajaj since it was the only brand available in my place then.

  9. Yummy and hearty dhal! Nice entry!


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