Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Dhaba Style Daal / Dal / Dahl Fry

Dhaba style Daal Fry
There is no doubt that life is beautiful, but it comes with it's own terms and conditions. It has it's ups and downs, yes, life is like a roller coaster !!!

Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey 
My new year 2017 was off to a rocky start, My dad passed away in India, he was 70+ and left behind his three children and grand children, my mum died few years before him. It is very hard for anyone to accept the death of their loved ones, and ones are left behind are left in so much pain. For me this pain is only made easier by knowing that his suffering over at last, he suffered so much in his entire life - now he is in a much better place !!! I was going through so many different emotions because life is raw and make you feel every emotion, time is the best healer and I found comfort in the following weeks and came to accept that now he is at peace.  He still lives in my heart and memories - I Love you Dad 💚

Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey
Dhaba Style Daal Fry, not only dad but rest of our family has a soft spot for this healthy, flavoursome and aromatic daal. Day before he passed away I called him, he had a temperature and said to me that he didn't feel like eating anything, so I suggest him to have Daal Fry with Rice and he said he will ask his caretaker to do a takeaway. Next day I received news that he passed away. I had made a plan to post Daal Fry recipe on a coming Father's Day and wanted to dedicate a post on him, but.. Life is full of surprises!

Chana, Masoor and Tuar Daal
So here I am, dedicating this post to my beloved dad who used to cook this Daal so often and also taught my mum to make it too. For Dad 'Bombay' was always 'Aamchi Mumbai' and loved staying and working over the years in Bombay film industry. While he was staying away from home he relied on restaurants and dhaba food. This punjabi  Dhaba Style Daal Fry always stayed on top of his menu list. Many moons ago Daal cooked with so much onions and garlic never to be seen in any Gujarati kitchens, maybe that was the reason Dad was so fascinated by this dish.

Dhaba style Daal Fry
So why its called Dhaba Style Daal Fry ? The answer is simple, once you reach restaurants or dhaba and order any kind of Daal, no one is going to prepare fresh daal for you. They have their secrets, daals cooked beforehand need only be heated through to enhances the flavours and texture once again with generous amount of fats, spices, onion and garlic for service, depends on individual restaurants what ingredients they would use. So now that beans are spilt, and no more secrets to reveal for dhaba style food, cook and enjoy this Dhaba Style Daal Fry !



Notes :-
You can use any combination and amount from these five kind of daal -

Chana Daal - Split Bengal Gram
Tuar / Tuver/ Arhar Daal - Split Red Gram ( You can get this lentils 'with Oil' too )
Masoor Daal - Split Red lentils
Dhooli Moong Daal - Split yellow Gram ( without green skin )
Dhooli Urad Daal - Split Black Gram ( without black skin )

Second Tadka ( tempering ) can be done with cumin and red chilli powder or onion and garlic can be added too.

Daal Fry can be accompanied with Creamy Palak and mixed vegetables , Aloo Gobi, Aloo Matar Gobi , Matar Paneer ,Khada Masala Rice and Triangle Paratha.

I forgot to take pictures of Moong and Urad daal here, but I did use it.

You will need :-

  • 4 tbsp. Chana Daal
  • 4 tbsp. Tuar Daal
  • 4 tbsp. Masoor Daal
  • 4 tbsp. Moong Daal
  • 2 tbsp. Urad Daal 
  • Salt as needed
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • Pinch hing  
  • 2 tbsp. Ghee or unslated butter ( Vegan use oil ) 
  • 1 tbsp. whole spices ( cinnamon, clove, bay leaf, black cardamom )
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic clove minced
  • 1" ginger minced
  • 2 green chillies split 
  • 1 big fresh tomato chopped ( you can use canned tomato too ) 
  • 1 tsp. dried fenugreek leaves - kasoori Methi 
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin and coriander 
  • Fresh chopped coriander 
  • Lemon wedges 


Method :-
Thoroughly clean lentils and wash couple of times with clean water.
Soak for half an hour if you are cooking in a pan.
I always cook lentils and beans in pressure cooker.
Add daal, water, salt and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker.
Put it on a stove without lid, let the first boil come then put the lid on.
Cook for 3-5 whistles and switch it off.
Let the pressure cooker cool off naturally.
Lightly mash cooked daal with the back of the ladle, no need to mash completley.
In a heavy bottom pan or kadai heat oil, add whole spices.
Once they splutter, add hing and onion.
Once onion started getting pink, add garlic and ginger.
Sauté the mixture for couple of minutes then add split green chillies.
Add chopped tomatoes and cook until completely cooked, then add all the masala one by one.
Careful not to burn the spices, rub kasoori methi between your palms and add in the masala mixture.
Once you see oil is separating the masala, add boiled daal and check the consistency, if it's too thick add little water.
Add salt and bring it to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Switch off the heat.
For best taste and texture leave the cooked daal to rest for couple of hours, but if you are pressed for time prepare second tadka ( now this dish is going to be daal fry )
Heat ghee is small pan, add cumin seeds, dried red chilli and red chilli powder. ( If you want to add garlic or onion or both then sauté in ghee until light brown then add red chilli powder, once you add red chilli powder, immediately pour on cooked daal.)
After pouring second tadka once again re heat daal thoroughly.
Squeeze lemon juice, garnish it with coriander and serve piping hot with salad, Jeera rice, Roti or Naan and many Punjabi style sabji or curry for a complete meal.
Enjoy !



















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