Monday, March 26, 2007

To Fry Or not To Fry

I had to, I really had to, use that is, the most famous words to clear up a few doubts!
Well, the context here is in terms of the ever popular, most preferred dal of all times, at least in my dictionary, the 'Dal Fry'.

Let me clear this once and for all. 'Dal Fry', I don't know where this term was coined. We never called any dal as 'Dal Fry' at my home or any home that I ever went to. But restaurant is a different story altogether. I envision this scenario, I go to a restaurant and the menu says - Dal & Roti, I just about manage not gagging on myself. Now next time, the menu says 'Dal Fry & Roti' and I gleefully order it. 'Lo and Behold', it is the name plastered on all restaurant menus.
Call it 'Tadkewali dal' (but all dals have some kind of tadka) or 'Pili dal', (but what if it is some other color dal?), what in the world does 'Dal Fry' mean?? anyone???

After a lot of thoughtful pondering(!!!), I concluded that if you add the boiled dal in a 'tadka' of onion and tomato it gets the ubiquitous name 'DAL FRY'. If it is just a 'tadka' on top of the boiled dal, it is 'Tadka Dal'. But whether you fry it or not (notice how I cleared the confusion using the oft repeated famous words :-) ), this dal is lip-smacking good. This can made with just a single dal or as a combination of two or more dals, but the basic recipe remains the same.

The basic dal has a simple seasoning of ghee & jeera, the more flashy ones have a seasoning of onion, tomato and the like.
Anyway, forget the mambo-jumbo and enjoy the bowl full of protein, the dal. Dal is one of the best source of protein for vegetarians.

1/2 cup Toor dal (or combination of split moong dal, masoor dal, toor dal)
1 small onion
1 small tomato
1 green chilli slit
3 cloves garlic grated
1" ginger grated

2tbsp ghee (calorie conscious please feel free to use oil)
1 tsp jeera
a pinch hing
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli pwd (use as per your spice level)
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional, depending upon sourness of tomato)
2tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Pressure cook the dal. I do not like to mash it completely.
Heat ghee, add jeera, curry leaves, hing and green chilli. Add sliced onion and fry till translucent. Add ginger & garlic and fry a few seconds. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, chopped tomato and saute a few minutes. Add garam masala if using. Add dal and let it come to a boil, adjust consistency as required. Switch off gas and add lemon juice & coriander leaves. This dal does not require too many spices, the 'dal ki mithaas' should come through.

Serve with jeera rice or peas pulav with some salad for a complete meal.


just for fun said...

Never tried adding ginger garlic to dal. But now I have to try this.
Looks yummy :)

Asha said...

Sounds like Dal Makhani.Looks great.Hilarous write up too and title is intriguing!!;D
I have seen dal fry too but they are not really fried!:)

Swapna said...

I think "Daal Fry" means Daal and frying spices in oil..nothing else..We make it the same way too..

Sia's corner said...

ha ha ha... now u made me think abt it:) dal fry!!!! we r not frying any dal here... so why dal fry?
whatever the name is i love this dal. my ultimate comfort food:)

Richa said...

thanks jff!
do try it, it is a very fulfilling dal.

Richa said...

hi asha,
good to know that you enjoyed the write up.
but, yes it sure is a tasty one.

Richa said...

hi swapna,
glad to know that you too make it this way.
this with jeera rice and one does not need anything else.


Richa said...

truly said, it is a comfort food.

Prema Sundar said...

Yes adding ginger, garlic and garam masala is new to me too, but looks delicious..

musical said...

He he, Richa-i posted a daal recipe today too :).

I loved the write up :).

Richa said...

thanks, Prema.
i love the flavor of garlic, there are very few dishes where i don't use it.

Richa said...

musical dear, thanks.
glad you liked the write up, I had a lot of fun writing it.

shilpa said...

My first time here. You have a very nice and beautiful blog here Richa. Welcome to blogging world.
Thats a very hilarious writeup about dal fry :).

Richa said...

hi shilpa,
thank you so much for your generous words, you are too kind.

btw i'm anable to access ur blog, what is the website address?

thanks & do keep visiting here.

trupti said...

Oh yeah...I first heard "Dal-fry" at my hubby's cousins house,
meine socha ke yeh koi mughlai recipe hogi,lekin yeh to plain tadke wali nikli. It was still good though.

daal- jo bhi ho,sabse badiya hoti hai! I prefer the "pili daal" over any other...

Nandita said...

Glad to see another fellow blogger from first time here...even I've always wondered who FRIES dal? It's one of those terms that gets stuck without no one thinking where it came from :)

Sharmi said...

hi Richa, I liked them in restaurants but now got the recipe. thanks dear!!


Richa said...

hey trupti,
i'm with you 100% on that one, i love pili dal. ab to mae sab dals khati hun, but there was a time jab mae dalo' ke namse dur bhagti thi he!he!

btw way do you make maa di dal, it is sooooo good, it's in a different league altogether.


Richa said...

welcome to my blog.
Yup it is all word play, mostly propogated by restaurants I guess, but they do come up with such creative ones, don't they?

thanks for dropping by.

Richa said...

glad you liked it, do give it a try. it's very fulfilling.

shilpa said...

Hi Richa, my blog is Somehow the new blogger does not show the links of wordpress blogs :(.

btw...wanted to ask something...Are you a Konkani? I saw "appe" picture on your sidebar. So have become very curious.

Richa said...

oh it's 'THE Shilpa', wow!
i'm so happy to see you here, I just love your site and could stare at it for hours!! really!!
your recipes are so simple and beautiful, i'm very impressed by your site and I can see you have worked so hard on it. I've tried so many of your recipes successfully and commented as well.

No, I'm not konkani, my mom learnt the recipe from her friend(south Indian) and she said it is called appe. I make both sweet and savoury ones.

Do you have a konkani dish called appe?

Thank you for visiting and please do come by whenever you get a moment.


Latha said...

Hey Richa,
The "Dal Fry" ;-) looks yummy! Nothing like a comforting meal of Dal-Chaawal!

Richa said...

thanks latha.
glad you liked it.

Richa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shilpa said...

Ohh I am so sorry dear. Somehow these days I am forgetting everything. Yeah, I remember your comments, I even had marked your blog to check later, but again with the kind of load I am having these days, it just slipped out. I am so happy I came here today. I have linked you in my blogroll and I will not forget it again :).

Our appe is same as you have shown. Its so tasty.

You are too generous in praising me :). Donno what to say(well, I don't deserve so much praise). Thanks to you so much :).

Richa said...

thanks shilpa.

And you definitely deserve all the praise and more.

keep smiling