This hearty dal goes well with almost any bhaja or torkari. Because it is sparsely spiced, it doesn’t overpower other dishes. Rather, it steps back and lets its partners-in-course shine.
While it might be the nutty aroma of dry-roasted moong dal that often transports you back to your childhood home, this plain mosur dal, uplifted with the flavour of chopped coriander leaves at the end, is what you want to cook at the end of a weekend of revelry and binge-eating. On those distraught Sunday evenings when you cannot bring yourself to face the hard truth of going back to work the next morning, spend 20 minutes making this simple mosur dal. As the dal is boiling, start cooking some rice. While you are at it, throw in a small potato (halved) into the pot of rice. At the end of those 20 minutes you will have steamed rice, dal, and alu sheddho. Make yourself a hot omelette, if you care. Squeeze a dash of lime on your dal. You now have a meal so comforting, it will have numbed all your pain.
- 15 g mustard oil
- ¼ tsp kaalo jeere or nigella seeds
- 2 pieces dried red chillies
- 2 pieces green chillies (slit)
- 1 piece bay leaf
- ½ tsp (or 1 g) turmeric powder
- 8 g salt
- 500 g water
- 100 g mosur dal
- 6 g coriander leaves (finely chopped)
- Wash the dal thoroughly with plenty of water, making sure to rinse and repeat at least twice.
- Place the washed and drained dal in a pressure cooker with 500 g of water. You can also cook the dal over the stove in a lidded pot, but make sure to take 600 g of water instead of 500 g to compensate for evaporation.
- Boil till you see the broken grains of dal. If using a pressure cooker, cook on medium-high heat till you hear the first whistle. Turn off the heat and let the pressure release on its own.
- Whisk the boiled dal with a beater till you can no longer see the individual grains.
- Now, heat up your kadai.
- Add mustard oil and allow it to smoke lightly.
- Temper the oil with kaalo jeere, dried red chillies, green chillies, and bay leaf, till the spices crackle.
- Add in the whisked dal.
- Add turmeric and salt.
- Allow the dal to boil on medium heat for 4–5 minutes.
- Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves. Boil for another minute and remove from heat.