This is my kinda comfort food ....some hot rice , dal fry , lots of mom-made desi "ghee" (don't panic :D ) , achaar or papad as a side n I am all set.
There are many different recipes for dals or dal frys. In fact every Indian household will have its own unique recipe. As a child I loved the dal my Dadi (paternal Grandma) made ...nobody makes it like she used to. Back in my school days, once in a blue-moon my Dad would cook biryani, desserts , Kheema etc ...n it would be a huge event ......all of us would "assist" him ....I mean everyone who was present ...kids, maids, friends, relatives.....distant relatives :D It was fun.
So the point is I had my first lesson about "dal" from my father. While he was cooking he would give us all his expert tips, talk about food n cooking etc...I will share "his" recipes hopefully in near future. For now lets talk Dal Fry...
0.5 cup yellow Moong dal / split green gram
0.5 cup Masoor dal /split red lentils
1 medium onion, chopped,
2-3 green chillies (or to taste),
1/4 tsp. haldi/turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp. ginger paste,
1/2 tsp. garlic paste,
few coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp. oil,
at least 2 cups water, or more,
1 lemon size ball of tamarind, soaked in warm water,
salt to taste.
2 tbsp. Ghee,
1 big clove of garlic, smashed with back of knife n roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. zeera/cumin seeds,
1/4 tsp. black mustard seeds,
few curry leaves/curry patta.
Few coriander leaves .
Cook together all the ingredients for dal except tamarind and salt using sufficient water till the dal is soft n tender/cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat, now smush it using dal ghotni/ rawi/hand blender or just pulse it in ur blender. Return to stove on low-medium heat. Extract and strain the pulp of the tamarind. Add it to the dal. Add more water to get the consistency you want(thinner/ thicker) Now add salt and bring it to a boil. Keep aside.
Meanwhile heat ghee in another vessel(large enough to accommodate the cooked dal) for the tadka/tempering. Add the garlic clove , zeera/cumin seeds , mustard seeds to the hot ghee. Let them splutter then add curry leaves, cook all this till the zeera n mustards turn black. Immediately add the cooked dal to the tempering n cover the vessel , cook on med. heat for a min. Remove from heat add chopped coriander leaves n cover with a lid. Serve hot/warm.