The state of Gujarat is located on India’s northwestern coast just above Maharashtra state. The cuisine of Gujarat is primarily vegetarian in nature. Gujarati food is a delicate balance of sweet, salty and spicy flavors. Fresh seasonal vegetables served along with various dals or beans, rice and Indian flatbreads are usually part of a typical Gujarati meal.
This delicious mixed dal recipe is simple, easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. It is also a rich source of protein.
The pressure cooker is absolutely indispensable in the Indian kitchen. It cooks dals, beans, lentils, vegetables, rice, chicken and lamb in mere minutes (as opposed to hours). The result is a fully cooked and tender final product that is cooked by a fast and healthy method. Pressure cookers can be a little intimidating at first, but I highly recommend using one especially for Indian meals. Pressure cookers will make your life easier and are a wonderful time saver. The newer modern pressure cookers are inexpensive and much safer to use. They are also easily available in most home and kitchen appliance stores.
If you do not have a pressure cooker, this recipe can easily be made on the stovetop.
GUJARATI MIXED DAL
1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
4 tbsp moong dal (split & skinned yellow dal)
2 tbsp chana dal (split Bengal gram dal)
1 small Roma or plum tomato, finely chopped
¼ tsp dark brown sugar, to taste
6-8 curry leaves
½ tsp black mustard seeds
pinch of asafetida
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
1” stick of cinnamon
salt, to taste
2 tbsp of oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Rinse the dals together under cool running water for a few minutes or so. In a small bowl, add the dals along with enough water to cover and soak for at least 1 hour.
Cook the dals together with enough water in a pressure cooker until the dals are soft and tender but not mushy. Do not overcook. Reserve the cooking liquid and set aside until needed.
If you wish to do this step on the stovetop:
In a medium size soup or stock pot, add the dals with enough water to cover and let simmer on low until soft and tender but not mushy. Reserve the cooking liquid and set aside until needed.
In a medium sauce pan or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. After the splattering stops, reduce the heat to medium and then quickly add the cinnamon, cloves, curry leaves and asafetida. After 30 seconds or so, carefully add the dals along with their cooking liquid. Stir well to combine and using the back of a large spoon or ladle, slightly mash the dal against the sides of the pot. The consistency should not be too thick or too watery.
Now add the chopped tomato along the turmeric, red chili powder, salt and sugar. Stir well to combine, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with warm chapatis, fragrant Basmati rice and Indian pickles.