Dal chawal [dal & rice] is eaten in all Indian homes from slums to mansions as a main course or side dish. There are dozens of lentil varieties & regional preparations. Here is a simple stew with a spice crust from the province of Sindh.
makes 1 quart
- Rinse the lentil mix in water 3 times, then soak for 30 minutes. Drain by pouring most of the water out (a little remaining water is okay).
- In a stockpot bring the lentils, 3 cups of water turmeric, ginger powder & salt to a boil. Discard any foamy scum that may rise to the top. Turn the heat to low, cover & cook for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Transfer the dal into a shallow serving bowl. Combine topping masala & spread evenly over the dal. Heat up the ghee in a small frying pan & pour over the top - spices will form a crust on top of the dal. Serve & enjoy!
*referenced dal mix includes ½ cup masoor, ½ cup toor & ½ cup moong.
We sell this as a kit at Pondicheri Houston & New York. An easy week night meal, great to entertain & impress or give as a gift.
ideas / variations
- Stir in 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach just before the dal finishes cooking. It will wilt but remain bright green.
- Add 2 cups grated carrots to the dal at the start of cooking.
- Stir in fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, just before topping it with spice crust.