Tomoto dal/pappu is a staple in Andhra cuisine. Since it is available all over the year, it becomes an easy dish to fall back upon when you are in a dilemma as to what to cook for lunch/dinner. The sourness of the tomatoes combine with the sweetness of the dal to give this dish a wonderful flavour. The other components added to this give it different dimensions creating a wonderful pot pourri of flavours. Tomatoes have a component called Lycopene which helps fight cancer. So that’s a bonus 😀
This dal tastes best the next day. So if you want to really enjoy this dal, just prepare it the previous night and put it in the fridge. By the next day, it will turn into something that your family is really gonna love 🙂
Tuar dal/kandipappu/red gram dal – 1 small cup
Tomtoes – 4 to 5 medium sized chopped into quarters
Onion- 2 medium sized chopped
Oil – 3 tbsp
Bengal gram dal/senaga pappu/chana dal -1 tsp
Urad dal/minappa pappu -1 tsp
Mustard seeds/ avalu : 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera : 3/4 tsp
Dry red chillies : 1-2 (broken or used whole)
Hing/asafetida : a couple of pinches
Green chillies : 1-2 finely chopped or cut to 1? pieces or as per taste
Curry leaves: a few
Chilli powder: to taste.
Salt : to taste.
Chopped coriander: for garnishing.
Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves (optional)
Soak the tuar dal in water for about 15-20 minutes.
Drain out the water.
Place the dal in a steel vessel along with tomatoes and add around 2 1/2 cups of water to it. Add some turmeric and half a teaspoon of oil to the dal. This will help to quicken the cooking process.
You can alternatively place the dal and tomatoes directly into the cooker if you are using a smaller one.
The time for cooking depends on the type of water you are using. Since the tomatoes are sour and acidic in nature, they slow down the cooking process. We get hard water(more salts). So I leave the cooker on high for 6-7 whistles, bring the gas flame to low, cook for another 5 minutes and shut off the gas.
Allow the dal to cool down.
In a Kadhai, heat some oil.
When the oil gets warm enough, add the chana dal. When it starts changing colour, add the udad dal and allow to fry. Now add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add cumin seeds and stir. Add the dry chillies and fry for a bit. Now add the hing and stir.
Add the green chillies and garlic pods and fry till the chillies get fried a little and the garlic pods start changing colour.
Add the onions and fry them till they start getting translucent. Add curry leaves too at this stage.
Now to this add the dal and tomato mixture and mix well.
Allow to cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. This allows all the flavours to merge well with each other.
Add chilli powder and salt and mix well.
Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice and ghee.
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