Some foods leave you satiated, some spell bound. This dish belongs to the latter category. I first had it a friend’s house in Mumbai and was left asking for more, what with the rich creaminess of the Black Masoor Dal coming through in earthy concoctions. So much so, that I pestered my friend for the recipe but lost track where I had written it down. I remembered I had to make it when I spring cleaned my larder and found two packets of Kala Masoor (black Masoor dal) waiting to be used up.
While I made Kale Masoor ki Daal which is one of my family favourites with one packet, I called that friend and (shamelessly) asked for that recipe once more J She gladly acquiesced and this gravy (or curry if you please) well became a hit in our own house. I have used the Maharashtrian Ghoda masala here, but didn’t use any garlic in it. But do feel free to add garlic in this, and am sure it would be a keeper at your place too.
Linking this to Blogging Marathon # 24 under “Curries / Gravies from different States of India” theme. Today’s is from Maharashtra, a state in Western India. Check out my co-marathoners here.
Prep time : 20 mins + soaking time (8 hours or overnight)
Cooking time : 20 mins | Serves : 4
Difficulty level : Medium
Spice factor : Medium
- Whole Black masoor dal – 1 cup
- Onions – 1 large
- Ripe Tomatoes – 2 large or 4 medium
- Jeera / Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Ginger paste – ½ tsp
- Green chillies – 2 medium (I used Serrano variety)
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 2 TBSP
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Red chilli powder – ½ TBSP
- Garam Masala powder – 1 TBSP
- Ghoda Masala – ½ TBSP (See Notes below)
- Sugar / Jaggery – ½ tsp
- Lemon juice and coriander leaves – to garnish
Wash and soak Masoor Dal overnight or min 8 hours
Blanch and coarsely chop Tomatoes. Finely chop onions
Drain the soaked dal and Pressure cook Masoor dal with little salt for 3 whistles. Do not let it become mushy.
In a pan, add half the oil and sizzle cumin. Add the ginger paste and chopped onions and sugar and sauté till onions turn slightly brown, about 4 – 5 mins. Keep sprinkling water in order not to burn the onions. They need to look darkish brown, but not burnt. This is the key to this dish. Else burnt onions make the dish bitter. Switch off the stove and cool.
Grind these onions along with the blanched tomatoes into a fine paste.
In the same pan, add rest of the oil and tip in the ground paste. Now add turmeric, salt, Ghoda masala, red chilli powder and the Garam Masala. If you are using add the finely minced green chillies now and sauté till the gravy turns thick. Add 1 – 2 TBSP of warm water if you need it a little runny. Do not add too much water.
Check for spice and salt and switch off the stove. Garnish with lemon juice and coriander leaves.
Serve hot with any Indian bread and some cool yoghurt.
- Ghoda masala can be home made or store bought. If buying from the store, be sure to check the expiry date as it turns rancid very soon.
- To make Ghoda masala at home, I used the recipe from here. I made a smaller quantity, the proportions of which I shall post soon
- In case the gravy gets too watery, add 1 - 2 chunks of boiled and mashed potato.
Also linking to:
My own event - Winter Foods 30 min Challenge
Susan's MLLA # 55
Vardhini's New "U" 2013
Sumee's Bon Vivant Healthy appetite