Toor Dal /Arhar Dal Fry
Toor dal is one of the most common dal dishes I cook for my family. It is a favourite with my husband and son. Toor dal fry, along with simple rice and any kind of spicy condiment is enough to make everyone happy. It is a very economical, simple and satisfying vegetarian meal. Most Indians fry dal in ghee (Indian clarified butter). But I always cook it with vegetable oil or olive oil because my husband is a vegan. But my son and I enjoy the dish more when we garnish the dal fry with a little butter or ghee while the dal is still hot. (Vegans can garnish it with Nuttelex margarine instead of ghee or butter)
If you are living outside the Indian subcontinent, some ingredients for toor dal are available in supermarkets. But the main ingredients will be available only in Indian grocery stores.
- Toor dal – 1 cup
- 4 cups of water
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 3 whole red chillies (optional)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seed
- 3 pinches of asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste
- 2 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon of ground red chilli
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 serving spoon of roughly chopped coriander leaves
- Place the dal and water in a pressure cooker and cook until the pressure cooker gives two whistles. Turn the flame off and leave the pressure cooker until it cools down enough for the lid to be opened.
- Heat the oil in a pot. Add the bay leaves, cumin seeds and whole red chillies. Fry until the cumin seeds become light brown.
- Add the onions and fry until they become light brown at the edges. Add asafoteda, ginger garlic paste, chopped tomatoes and all of the ground spices. Sprinkle some water on the mixture. Mix well and fry until the tomatoes are cooked. Remember to keep stirring in order to avoid burning the mixture.
- Add dal from the pressure cooker and mix well. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Add water if you find the mixture is too thick. After the mixture comes to a boil, add coriander leaves and cook for another two minutes. Enjoy.