Zucchini Dal Recipe
I used chana dal (split gram dal) for this recipe but you could most certainly use toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas) or moong dal (yellow split/skinned variety) instead if you prefer.
1 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram dal)
2 cups zucchini pieces (1” cubes)
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
3-4 dried red chilies (to taste)
6-8 fresh curry leaves
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafetida (hing)
½ tsp turmeric (hing)
salt & pepper, to taste
juice of ½ lime (or lemon)
1 tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a large soup pot on high heat, add about 2½ to 3 cups of water along with the chana dal. Bring to a good boil, cover, reduce the heat to simmer and let cook until the dal is tender but not mushy (about 12-15 minutes). Alternatively, you could cook the dal in a pressure cooker if you wish. Set aside until needed.
In a large saucepan on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, very carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering subsides, quickly add the cumin seeds. Then reduce the heat to medium and add the asafetida, dried red chilies and the curry leaves. Now add the onions & sauté until just softened & slightly browned. Next, add the ginger & garlic. Sauté for a few more minutes & then add the zucchini pieces. Let cook until the zucchini has just softened and then add the tomatoes. Stir fry until the tomatoes have softened & then add the turmeric, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients. After about another minute or so, carefully add the chana dal along with any cooking liquid. If necessary, add a little more water as needed. Now, add the lemon juice & simmer on low for about 4-5 minutes until all the ingredients have come together nicely. Garnish with the freshly chopped cilantro and serve with warm chapatis and fragrant Basmati rice.
Instead of zucchini, try making this dish with chayote squash (chow chow), lauki (opo squash), butternut squash or acorn squash varieties.
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