Updated: Mar 11
This recipe has kindly been shared by Cyrus Todiwala and looks promising to deliver on flavour!
This is the most famous daal or lentil preparation from the Parsee community. Every Parsee kid anywhere in the world would probably have been weaned on this daal and most would agree that their mother always made the best. Mine did too and our younger son Hormuzd told me that even if I were the best cook in the world I would not cook the daal as good as my mothers, i.e his paternal grandmother otherwise called Bapaiji. It is simple to prepare and yet so delicious.
Serves 4 with rice and accompaniments
200 g Toor Daar — also known as har-har daal or Toover Daal or pigeon pea lentil
1 level teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt — whilst boiling as well as to finish to taste
Good blob of butter
2 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
1-2 green finger chillies split into four lengthways
1 level tablespoon cumin seeds
2-3 garlic cloves
1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1) Preferably buy the toor daal with oil or an oiled daal. This preserves the daal and keeps it fresh, though it needs good washing. So was well first with hot water and then with tepid water until water runs clean. What I do is add the hot water then rub well between the palms of your hand so that it saves on water.
2) Soak well with water coming to approx an inch above the surface of the lentils for a few hours or overnight covered with a mesh.
3) When soaked and well absorbed and the daal has bloated well place in a pot and start bringing it to bone on a medium heat.
4) When the daal starts to heat up the water will froth and foam. This has to be skimmed gently and removed.
5) Once this is done add salt and turmeric and stir well.
6) If it still froths clear the foam and then add the blob of butter.
7) When the lentils are thoroughly cooked puree finely and thin down to a thick soup consistency.
8) If you do not have a stick blender pass through a sieve and beat.
9) Once done heat the oil in a frying pan and when hot but not very hot add the green chilli first, and as soon as they change colour add the cumin and garlic and sauté until garlic is pale golden in colour.
10) At this stage shut off the heat and keep stirring the pan until the garlic turns a nice brownish colour but does not go too dark.
11) Add this to the daal and scrape the pan clean into the daal, mix well and taste. Season if need be and add the chopped coriander… Enjoy with steamed rice, some fried fish and a good chutney.
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