RECIPES - Pulses/Lentils

JEERA TADKA DHAL (Cumin Seed Tempered Dhal)

 Tadka Dhal

Never ever has there been a dish more homely, more comforting, more soul-satisfying than that of the humble dhal tadka. This simple lentil curry does wonders for the homesick soldier, who craves nothing but the flavours and aromas created at the hands of a mother who loves him so. 

Who would have thought that the addition of those tiny little cumin seeds, first tempered in hot oil or ghee, and then added to the pot of dhal, could make all the difference in a dish that is akin to a mother's embrace?

That is the power of a home-cooked meal - a power which lies in your hands, with a little assistance from our recipe below!

Prepare: Wash 1 cup masoor dhal (red lentils) till the water runs clear. Cook uncovered in about 3 cups of water, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ dessertspoon grated ginger, ½ dessertspoon (3 cloves) crushed garlic, 2 sliced green chillies (optional) for 20 minutes/till soft.

Sauté: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Then add 1 dessertspoon cumin seeds (feel free to vary this with any whole spices like fennel, cloves, cinnamon stick or star anise as we have in this pic and of course we added some dry chillies just because we cannot do without it!) fry on medium heat till the cumin seeds turn dark brown and smell aromatic.  Stir this oil into the cooked dhal.

Cook: Turn off the stove then stir in ½ teaspoon turmeric and 2 dessertspoons finely chopped coriander leaves.