Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Andhra Style Pappu Kura - Tomato Dal

The beauty of Indian cooking is that even the vegetarian dishes from each region has a unique and addictive taste.I am and have always been a great fan of Andhra Style Dal. I remember when we used to go to Telugu Restaurants in Jacksonville, Dal was always a separate part of the buffet lunch or dinner.Typically the dal is eaten with rice and a crunchy snack like pakoras. Since then, I became a seasoned cook and tried many recipes, but the perfect tasting Dal which I ate at those restaurants always eluded me.After many years of trial, I have got the secret recipe to make this amazing finger licking Dal. I will give to you the most simple and tastiest Tomato Dal recipe I  have ever tried.Thanks to my close friend Sireesha Bangalore for generously sharing the recipe with the exact measures of ingredients.Whenever I make this Dal, I feel grateful for our friendship and remember Sireesha.

This is very easy and fast.It does not require any special preparations and always yields fantastic results.It can be made in a jiffy if you have the Hawkins or a similar pressure cooker.I have the Hawkins small pressure cooker which I always use to make this dish.




Ingredients:

Toor Dal: 1 cup
Water: 2 cups
Tomatoes: 2-3 big
Onion: 1 Medium sized
Garlic: 3 cloves
Fenugreek Seeds( Methi) - 1 Teaspoon
Chilli Powder: 1 Teaspoon
Turmeric Powder: A pinch
Tamarind: a small cherry sized piece
Green chillies - 1-2 ( Optional)
Salt: 1 Teaspoon or per taste
Coriander Leaves - A small bunch finely chopped for garnishing



Seasoning:
Ghee: 1-2 Teaspoon
Mustard: 1 Teaspoon
Red Chilli: 1 (Optional)
Jeera: 1 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves: 1 Sprig

Method: 

1.Soak the Toor Dal for 1 hour.
2.Finely chop the onion,tomatoes,garlic.Slit the green chillies.
3.In a Pressure pan or cooker, add the soaked toor dal, onion tomatoes,garlic, salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, fenugreek seeds, green chillies and the tamarind piece
4.Add enough water so that all the ingredients are immersed.2 to 2.5 cups water is usually enough.

5. Pressure cook for 2 to 4 whistles until the dal is fully cooked.If using Hawkins small cooker, cook for 8 or more whistles to ensure Dal is full cooked.(The whistles come very fast)
6.Once the cooker is opened, mash the cooked Dal mixture to a fine paste using a ladle or blender.
7.Adjust by adding some water if too thick and keep in to boil for a few minutes
8.In the meantime, add the ingredients for seasoning to the ghee and add it to the boiling Dal. Switch off the stove.
9.Garnish with Coriander leaves.Tasty Dal is ready to serve with rice.

Notes:
1. Soaking Toor Dal is optional.This is just to ensure that the Toor Dal cooks fast.
2.I usually make the above recipe with 3/4 cup of Dal and it tastes just as good.The Dal in the recipe can be a little less than a cup.
3.A handful of Masoor Dal can also be added.This is however optional.
4.The green chillies are optional.This makes the dal extra hot.
5.Do not forget to add the fenugreek seeds.They are responsible for the yummy taste. Actually the Dal does not taste bitter at all.And it is very cooling and good for the health.You can add 1 to 2 teaspoons.
6.Add the tamarind on top of all the ingredients in the cooker.Do not extract it using water and add. Dal does not cook if you add tamarind water to it Just add a small piece in its raw form.It gives a tangy taste to the dal.
7.Since this is Tomato Dal, be generous  with the tomatoes for the authentic taste.
8.Seasoning with ghee gives it additional taste.If ghee is not available, oil can be substituted.
9.Use the buttermilk churner called as matthu for mashing the dal. Alternately, you can use a ladle or even a blender.
10.This Dal is best served hot with rice and papad.

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