There was a time I was not a great fan of dals. But surely those days are over. I relish a simple meal of white rice, dali thoy (Konkani style dal) ladled with a spoon of ghee much better these days and am also becoming a fan of other dals -like Srilankan Dal, Sindhi one etc. Recently I got Monisha Bharadhwaj's The Indian Kitchen from the library and have tried out this tangy khatti dal from it. The name 'khatti' implies 'tanginess' achieved due to the addition of lemon juice. I have seen other recipes for khatti dal where tangy agents like tomato or tamarind are used and sometimes other lentils as well. Here the author uses Chana Dal or Chickpea Lentils or split chickpea lentil or gram lentils and simple lemon juice to achieve a comforting dal which is simple and quick to make.
Chana Dal :1/2 cup +
Black Mustard Seeds:1/2 tsp +
Fenugreek Seeds (methi dana):1/2 tsp +
Aniseeds : 1/2 tsp
Carom Seeds (ajwain/omam): 1/2 tsp
Onion: 1 medium sized chopped finely
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp+
Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp +
Salt: as per taste
Cook chana dal in water till soft.Optionally mash the dal and keep aside.
Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter,add the fenugreek,aniseseeds ,carom seeds and bay leaf and fry for a minute till the spices flavour the oil.
Add in the onions and fry until golden brown. Pour in the cooked dal and add salt,turmeric powder and lemon juice. Simmer for 3-5 minutes to blend well and serve hot/warm as a side dish with rice/breads or even as a tangy dip.
A delectable dal which is quick and easy. The key thing is to cook the dal till soft and I do this in a pressure cooker for atleast 2-3 whistles.This is one lentil that I never add salt while cooking as I am not sure how it will turn out. This time the dal was soft and very mushy thankfully and the whole dish was excellent,much more tasty than you can make out from the pics. These days my photographic abilities are hibernating.