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Anglo-Indian Daal

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I LOVE this delicious Daal! Nothing says Mom's cooking to me more than its beautiful, wholesome flavors! I grew up eating Anglo-Indian Daal and it is one of my go-to comfort foods when I am feeling low or even unwell. All my kids love it and needless to say, hubby is a huge fan too. One day maybe, I will tell you the story about his love affair with Anglo-Indian Daal. Since the proof of the pudding (or Daal) is in the eating, cook some and taste it to see what I am carrying on about.

Yield: Serve 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Moong Daal washed thoroughly
  • 3/4 cup Masoor Daal washed thoroughly
  • 3/4 cup Toor Daal washed thoroughly
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • 1 large onion chopped fine
  • 1 medium tomatoes chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • For the Tadka/ Baghaar/ Tempering: 3 tbsps ghee/ clarified butter
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies roughly broken into small pieces (optional but desirable)
  • 2 tbsps of finely chopped garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves to garnish (about 1/4 cup)

Preparation:

  • Mix the washed Daals together in a pressure cooker and add enough water to just cover. Add the asafetida, turmeric, red chilli powder, cooking oil, onion, tomatoes, garlic paste, coriander powder and cumin powder. Add salt to taste and cover. Set up to cook on a medium flame. Allow one whistle/ pressure release and reduce flame to simmer. Cook till you hear 2 more whistles/ pressure releases and turn off. Keep aside without opening the pressure cooker. Look below for tips to cook without a pressure cooker.
  • Once the daals are cooked (they will be soft and mushy, with most of the grains disintegrated. The mixture will have the consistency of a porridge or thick soup), release the steam from it and open the pressure cooker. It is now time to tadka/ temper the Daal.
  • In another small pan, heat the ghee till quite hot (on a medium flame). Add the curry leaves, fennel and cumin seeds, dry red chillies and chopped garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes or till the mixture stops spluttering and the garlic just begins to turn golden. Stir often.
  • Turn off fire and add this mixture to the cooked Daal. Stir well.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Chapatis or plain boiled rice.

Tip for cooking without a pressure cooker: Put the three daals in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot/ pan, add 3 cups of water. dd the asafetida, turmeric, red chilli powder, cooking oil, onion, tomatoes, garlic paste, coriander powder and cumin powder. Add salt to taste and cover. Set up to cook on a medium flame and cook until the liquid comes to a boil. Now reduce heat and keep cooking until the daals are soft and easily mashed. You will need to monitor the cooking often, stir frequently to prevent burning and sticking and add more hot water as needed. When the daals are cooked they will be soft and mushy, with most of the grains disintegrated. The mixture will have the consistency of a porridge or thick soup.

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