this tomato dal is inspired from the andhra cuisine known for its bold and spicy flavors. however, this andhra style tomato dal is neither spicy nor hot.
the dal has the the tang and the flavors of tomatoes. here i have done the tempering first and then sauted the onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes. later arhar dal or pigeon pea lentils are added and cooked till done . the result is a mild, slightly tangy and comforting dal that is best had with steamed rice and some ghee. have a side vegetable dish or a vegetable raita and you have a complete meal.
dal is also called as “pappu” in the telugu language. dal is a staple in indian homes and there are many many variations of making dal which vary from state to state as well as from home to home.
in the pic below, tomato dal is served with lemon pickle, rava dhokla, cucumber-carrot salad with steamed rice.
andhra tomato dal recipe below:
- 1 cup arhar dal (tuvar dal, pigeon pea lentils)
- 2 medium tomatoes - approx 1 to 1.25 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 small onion - approx ½ cup chopped onions
- 1 green chili - chopped
- 10 to 12 curry leaves (kadi patta)
- ½ inch ginger + 3 to 4 garlic cloves - crushed to a paste in a mortar-pestle
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (red chilli powder)
- 2.5 cups water for pressure cooking
- 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- salt as required
- pick, rinse and soak the arhar dal or pigein pea lentils for 15-20 mins.
- heat oil or ghee in the pressure cooker.
- add the mustard seeds first and let them start making popping sounds.
- then add the cumin seeds and allow them to crackle.
- add the onions, curry leaves and green chilies. saute the onions till translucent.
- add the ginger and garlic paste and saute for 30 seconds on a low to medium flame.
- now add the tomatoes, red chili powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt and saute for 2-3 minutes on a low flame.
- drain the lentils and add. stir and then add water.
- pressure cook on high flame for 7-8 whistles or till the dal is cooked completely.
- when the pressure settles down, remove the lid.
- mash the dal lightly and add 3/4 or 1 cup water to the dal to get a medium consistency. stir well.
- simmer the dal for 5-7 minutes on a low to medium flame till you get a dal which is neither thin nor thick but having a medium consistency.
- check the taste and add more salt if required.
- garnish the tomato dal with coriander leaves.
- serve tomato dal hot with steamed rice, pickle and vegetable salad.
to make this dal without a pressure cooker - follow the same recipe method. however, add 4 to 4.5 cups water and cover & cook the lentils till they become soft and thoroughly cooked. there should be no separate grains visible. the consistency of the lentils should be smooth and creamy. add more water if required. use a deep pot while cooking as the lentils start frothing while cooking. if the mixture froths up and starts coming out, then remove the lid and cook.