The humble masoor dal today has become one of my kitchen staples. Dal tadka made from masoor dal is addictive and the taste is so distinct that once you have tasted it nothing else will do😋.
My discovery of this very common dal happened very recently; during the lockdown. Till then I used to make dal tadka with its close cousin, the toor dal. Toor dal or sambar dal is small and yellow in colour, cooks fast; when cooked with vegetables, it becomes sambar and on its own, it made dal tadka. One dal, two completely different dishes. It was very convenient.
During lockdown toor dal was out of stock in the supermarket and I happen to see lots of packets of a pretty pink dal, the label red masoor dal. I have heard about it, but never actually tried cooking it at home. So I bought a packet to test it out. It was probably one of the best food choices I made. The taste of masoor dal is completely different from toor dal; it’s nuttier !? Now, I use toor dal only for sambar and dal tadka is always with masoor dal.
But what’s the magic you may ask? I couldn’t believe it at first. The pretty pink dal turns pale yellow on cooking !! Magic✨. I used to make the tadka by sputtering mustard seeds in coconut oil and adding finely chopped onions, ginger, dried red chillies, curry leaves and dash of hing and turmeric powder.
There are plenty of tadka’s you can try out. My cousin’s suggestion and my current favourite is ghee tempered with cumin seeds(jeera), carom seeds (ajwain), nigella seeds (kalonji) with finely sliced onion, ginger, green chilli, a dash of turmeric and garnished with chopped coriander leaves. Have it hot and steaming with rice or chapati; the taste is out of this world 🍲!!
Till take post, take care !!