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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Indian Cooking Challenge ~ Gujarati Dal from Sukham Ayu

Being born in a South Indian vegetarian family, dals (bean stews, loosely translated) have been a vital part of my everyday diet since childhood.  It is the ultimate comfort food for our family and so it infers that any dal variety is welcome at our kitchen table. For this month's Indian Cooking Challenge, Srivalli chose "Gujarati Dal" from Sukham Ayu. This award winning ayurvedic cook book has been coauthored by Prathiba Jain and Jigyasa Giri. The recipe was appealing for many reasons and I was excited to try it. First, it had my favorite vegetable yam in it and then it was on those lines of the sweet - sour dal dishes like the gojjus and theeya pulusus I love. Also the addition of dates was a new thing. Usually I keep procrastinating things till the last minute while cooking for Indian cooking challenges but this time the recipe was tempting enough to try out immediately.
The preferred vegetables in this dal are said to be drumsticks & yams or clusterbeans might be a good substitute. Otherwise the authors are mentioning to go ahead with out any addition of veggies. Next time I have to try with a medley of vegetables and see how it turns out. My dal was a tad sweeter since I added more jaggery to it but I was not at all complaining. It reminded me of my ammamma's pulusu (grandmother's dal) that used to be on the sweeter side. We thoroughly enjoyed this dal and it is going to be cooked in my kitchen many more times. Though this dal was simple and quick in terms of preparation, it was full of flavor and zest.
I thought I would couple this month's Indian cooking challenge with my Special choice - Regional theme for the blogging marathon. Yesterday, I was planning to prepare a chaat item and publish about it since the only theme left for me was about street food. However, the sun kept playing peekaboo and so I kept wondering whether there would be any light by the time I was ready with the dish. And so, I chose to go with dosavakaya instead. By afternoon, however there was plenty of sunshine. :( What does that mean? I have to publish two posts today. :) The first one is here.

Ingredients for about 4 servings:
1/2 cup toordal
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
10 drumstick pieces (of about 2 inches length)
10 yam / suran / kanda pieces (about 1 inch cubes)
4 -5 pieces of dry soft kokam or 2 Tbsp tamarind pulp 
1 Tbsp jaggery (or as needed)
4 dry dates, halved (optional & I used pitted variety)
2 Tbsp peanuts
2 green chillies, slit
2 tsp coriander powder (I used 1 tsp)
1 tsp cumin powder (I used 1/2 tsp)
Salt to taste
For tadka / tempering:
2 tsp ghee, 1/2 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp each mustard seeds & cumin seeds, ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds, 2 dry red chillies - broken into bits
For garnish:
¼ tsp garam masala and minced coriander leaves

My modifications:
1. I had to use frozen drumsticks and yam and so I cooked drumsticks along with the toordal in the pressure cooker. Yams and peanuts were cooked together in the microwave.
2. I used pitted dates since I didn't have dried ones.
3. I used 6 red chillies instead of 2.

Making dal:
1. Wash and pressure-cook the dal along with drumstick pieces & turmeric, adding a cup of water. After the valve pressure is gone, remove the dal container and mash it into a soft consistency.
2.  Heat the ghee in a kadai or pan and add the grated ginger, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When mustard starts to crackle, add the fenugreek seeds. When they change their shade, add the green chillies, red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida and sauté for a few seconds. Then add the mashed dal along with the drumstick, cooked yams, sliced dates, peanuts, tamarind, jaggery, coriander powder and cumin powder to the pan. Add about a cup of water to get the desired consistency. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
* Garnish with garam masala and fresh coriander leaves. 

Serve as an accompaniment to steamed rice or roti.

My Lunch - Rice, Gujarati Dal, Carrot Subzi and Yogurt

Post a comment


The Foodie said...

Your daal has turned out nice. Looks so inviting with the rice.

Priya said...

Comforting dal, love the flavour of this dal with mild sweetness, we relished it..

Akila said...

wow what a yummy dish... love it dear...

Dish Name Starts with F

Leena said...

Very tasty dal with full of flavours..nice presentation!

Kairali sisters said...

Tempting dal..Looks so comforting

harini-jaya said...

I thought I would skip this month's challenge but then after seeing so many posts with mouth watering pictures of this dal, I was tempted to try it out and it is surely going to be gujrati Dal for my lunch!! I sure have to say Cooking a delicious dish is infectious!!

Smitha said...

very nicely presented!...the daal looks very yummy!

Shanavi said...

Dals are always comforting and it's lunch time here, could use ur dal..

harini-jaya said...

Suma, really appreciate your feedback..I had not given much thought to the size. I have since changed the size. Let me know if it makes any difference.

Srivalli said...

That plate looks yum suma..thanks for joining us..

rekhas kitchen said...

Comfort meal dal and rice I like that dal and rice pic. looks yumm Suma.

Nutan said...

Looks delicious Suma.

secondattemptinblogging said...

Isn't it a wonder that a simple Dal can be made in umpteen number of ways. Lovely blog!