Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gujarati Daal

I don't know about this daal just because I got married in the Gujarati family. Actually, here's the scoop. One of my grandmom's sisters - married in the Gujju family. And in the next generation, my maushi - mom's sister, married in the Gujju family as well. then how can the third generation be left behind? Hey, I get the full credit for that!! :-)

Growing up, as a very close-knit family who lived in the same neighborhood, we went to each other's houses very often - almost daily. My aunt & grand aunt both are exceptionally good cooks who brought the flavors of their Gujarati cuisine to our palettes. and so a new flavor got wonderfully blended in our Maharashtrian-Malvani-South Canara family. And Gujarati food became my comfort food too - one of the foods that I grew up with, long before my marriage.
Back to the Gujarati daal - just like most of the Gujarati food, it's very flavorful with a fine balance of all the tastes - sweet from jaggery, sour from tamarind, spicy from chilies, bitter from fenugreek seeds and nutty from peanuts। It's amazingly good.

Here's how we make it।
Gujarati Daal (Serves 4)
1 cup Toor Daal
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 cup raw peanuts
1 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tsp jaggery
salt to taste
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste

1 tsp oil
1 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
7-9 fresh curry leaves

1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped (Optional)

1. Pressure cook daal with turmeric powder, asafoetida, peanuts, adding 1 1/2 cup water.
2. Transfer cooked daal mixture in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water.
3. Add salt, jaggery, ginger-chili paste, tamarind pulp. Bring to boil. Simmer for 7 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat oil and ghee in a small saucepan. Add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
5. As the mustard seeds start to splutter, pour the tempered oil in the daal.
6. Add chopped coriander leaves, if using. Cover with the lid.
7. Serve hot with plain rice.

Note -
1. In Gujarati households, this daal is always served with a dollop of homemade ghee and a wedge of lemon.
2. I have substantially reduced the quantity of the ghee in the tempering. Actually a big dollop of ghee is used for tempering this wonderful daal.


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