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Monday, December 16, 2013

Tadka Channa-Toor Daal

There are no words worthy of describing this daal.  It looks just like any other toor dal mix, but the depth of the flavor of split chanas is just amazing and pairs (or groups) nicely with the north Indian thali I had prepared.  I can't believe I've never tasted or made chana dal before!  It has absolutely nothing to do with Chole or whole Kala Chanas.
This one is a whole other dimension of tastes and textures.
Adapted from SMTC.
Serves 4-6
3/4 cup split chana dal (split black chickpeas)
1/4 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
4 cups water
Tadka part 1:
1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
Pinch of salt
Tadka part 2:
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch hing (asafoetida)
Few curry leaves
2 gloves garlic, grated
1 tsp grated ginger
1 slit or minced green chili
Lime juice and cilantro for garnish
1.  Thoroughly wash the daals until the water runs clear, then soak for at least 30 minutes.
2.  Cook in a pressure cooker with the water for 10 minutes under pressure.
3.  Meanwhile, prepare the tadka part 1.  Heat the oil in a wok and fizz the turmeric.
4.  Add the onions with salt and cook until translucent, then add the spice powders.  Mix well and add to the cooked daal.
5.  Make the tadka part 2.  Heat the oil in a wok and add the mustard and cumin seeds.  Cook until they crackle.
6.  Add the hing.  Wait for it to fizz, then add the garlic, ginger, green chili, and curry leaves.  Cook 1 minute, then add to the daal.
7.  Add the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime, then taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve with lime and chopped cilantro (if you have it).
I've been eating this daal for several meals in a row and I still crave it just as much.  It is really a complete discovery, yet feels so comfortingly familiar...
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