Lisa once asked me if we cooked with Arhar ki daal everyday. I looked at her and while my ignorance buzzed in my mind, I confidently said, " no, we use toor daal". She nodded understandingly and said," oh ok". Many meals later we realized we were talking of the same legume!
I grew up eating Aamti it was a 'necessity' at every meal, unless of course Mom made kadhi. Katachi Aamti was with Puran Poli and was made only on special occasions and many a times, we would buy PuranPoli from the stores.The idea of anything else being used ( read: chana daal, masoor daal or urad daal) was unbelievable! I did not even know the different names the same daal went by!
Blogging and many cookbooks later, I love the idea of experimenting with new legumes and also combinations, which earlier were unknown.
I reserve all new experiments in the kitchen for when the hubby comes home over the weekend. It also helps to have just one more adult who can eat a bit more (really, I mean, a bit more) than my almost 4 year old!
Daals are the main source of protein in my household. I know, that in itself is not much, but I still shy away from eating eggs (except in cakes... HAH! did you say?) and it looks like Little S is not too fond of eggs as well. Oh well, as he says and shrugs his shoulders!
Like me, many of my friends are also vegetarians and legumes and pulses are the main source of protein in our everyday meals. I was talking to my friend Rucha, the other day and one of the things we talked about was adding some more protein sources to our kids meals and a variety, after all, one does get tired of the daily daal and rice!
I flipped thru my 660 curries cook book, THE reliable source, for simple (and complex) and latched on to this particular recipe. It combines the goodness of Yellow Split Peas (Chana daal) and Pigeon Peas (Toor daal) cooked with onion and garlic. It is easy to make, even on a busy week night. So, this recipe goes out to you, Rucha. Hope you and your family like this daal fry as much as we did.
Source: Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries
Makes 4 cups
1/2 Cup Yellow Split Peas ( Chana Daal)
1/2 Cup Pgeon Peas (Toor Daal)
1/4 Cup Ghee ( which is about 2.5 Tbsp)
1 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
1 Medium sized Red Onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
8 medium sized Garlic loves, peeled and finely chopped
2 fresh Green Chillies (Serrano or Thai, stem removed and chopped into1/4 inch rounds (do not remove seeds)
2 tsp Salt or to taste
1 tsp Cumin, ground
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds, ground
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 large Tomato, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
Wash the daals in 3-4 changes of water, clean thoroughly and pressure cook till soft ( 3 whistles). These can be cooked on the stove top as well, if you prefer that. Once the peas are cooked, I use my immersion blender and puree them to a smooth consistency.
Heat Ghee in a pan over medium heat.
Add the mustard seeds and let them pop
Add the chopped onion, garlic and chillies and stir-fry till the mixture is brown and smells pungent-sweet (2-3 mins)
Stir in the salt, cumin, fenugreek and turmeric and allow the spices to cook, about 30 seconds.
Add the chopped tomato, cilantro and 1/2 cup water. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomato has softened about 5 mins.
Add this to the cooked daal/ legumes and stir once or twice. simmer the curry, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the legumes are infused with the flavors, about 10 minutes.
Serve with steaming hot rice.