This dal is specially made for Gujarati Wedding (Lagan) - any Gujarati wedding feast is incomplete without the traditional Vara ni Dal, or Toor Dal. For such grand occasions, the dal is boiled over and over again to get the best flavour. I learned the tricks during my niece's wedding.
|1 cup toovar (arhar) dal|
|1/2 cup chopped yam (suran)|
|2 dry dates (kharek) (optional)|
|1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes|
|2 tbsp peanuts|
|1 tbsp ghee|
|1 tbsp oil|
|1/4 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)|
|1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds|
|2 cloves (laung / lavang)|
|25 mm (1") piece cinnamon (dalchini)|
|1 bayleaf (tejpatta) if available|
|2 small red chillies (boriya mirch)|
|1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)|
|For Flavoring Dal:|
|4 to 5 kokum , soaked in water or 1/2 tsp paste|
|2 tbsp grated jaggery (gur)|
|1 tsp lemon juice|
|25 mm (1) piece grated ginger (adrak)|
|2 slit green chillies, if desired|
|1/4 tsp chilli powder|
|1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)|
|salt to taste|
1. Wash and soak the dal, add 2 cups of water, cut yam, dates, salt to taste in it and pressure cook for 6-8 whistles. I also steam tomato and peanut at the same by putting them on the lid of the inside pot.
2. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.
3. Cool slightly and blend dal mixture and tomato in a mixer or sieve to a smooth mixture. Keep aside. (I usually directly sieve through into the big tempering pot so less vessels to clean!)
4. Heat the ghee and oil in a deep pan and add the mustard seeds.
5. When the seeds crackle, add the fenugreek seeds, cloves, cinnamon, bayleaf, chillies and asafoetida, mix well and sauté on a medium flame for few seconds.
6. Add 1 cups of water, kokum, jaggery, ginger, green chillies(if desired), chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well.
7. Add the dal, yam, peanuts, dates and salt(if needed to adjust the taste), mix well and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, while stirring continuously. Squeeze lemon juice before serving.
8. Serve hot.