Kerala Style Tomato Dal

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This dal brings in a distinct south Indian flavor to the table. Toovar dal is cooked with a ground paste of coconut, red chilies and jeera, while tomatoes and jaggery enhance the flavor. Don’t forget to temper the dal with curry leaves and mustard seeds. Tastes awesome with steamed rice!

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Preparation Time:    Cooking Time:     Makes 4 servings
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1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup toovar (arhar) dal
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
salt to taste
2 slit green chillies
1 tbsp grated jaggery (gur)

To Be Ground Into A Smooth Paste
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut
1 whole dry kashmiri red chilli , broken into pieces
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 cup water

For The Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1 whole dry kashmiri red chilli , broken into pieces
4 to 5 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1/4 cup finely chopped onions

  1. Clean, wash and soak the dal in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Combine the dal, turmeric powder, salt and 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker, mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  3. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.
  4. Whisk well, add the green chillies, tomatoes, jaggery, prepared paste and 1 cup of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 5 to 7 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside.
  5. For the tempering, heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds.
  6. When the seeds crackle, add the dry red chilli and curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.
  7. Add the onions and sauté on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add this tempering to the prepared dal and little salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
  9. Serve hot.

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 on 11 Sep 12 09:58 AM

Toovar dal cooked with tomatoes and coconut. Nice South Indian flavor.
 on 03 Oct 11 07:31 PM

I have made it several times and it always turns out a perfect yummy creation. I had added a little less jaggery to have more tartness which my family loves. It goes well with both rice as well as chapatis