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  • Urad-Chana Dal

    YIELD: 11 CUPS / 2.6 L
    TOOLS: You’ll need a deep mixing bowl; a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart / 6-L stockpot or Dutch oven with a lid; and an 8-inch / 20-cm sauté pan.

    For some reason, my young girls are obsessed with this dal. My mother-in-law makes it all the time for them; they gobble it up and literally lick their bowls when they are done. I think what they like most is the smooth texture of the legumes and the grated ginger and garlic. The end result is more like a soup.

    • 1¾ cups /360 g sabut urad (whole, dried black dal with skin), picked over and washed
    • ¼ cup /50 g chana dal (split and skinned gram or black chickpeas), picked over and washed
    • 20 cups /4.7 L water, divided
    • 1 (2-inch / 5-cm) piece ginger, peeled and grated or minced
    • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    • ½ teaspoon hing (asafetida)
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
    • 1 small yellow or red onion, finely minced
    • Brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan, for serving
    1. Combine the sabut urad and chana dal in a deep mixing bowl with 8 cups / 1.9 L of the water. Set aside to soak for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight). If you are in a rush, soak them in hot, boiled water for 4 hours. Urad dal, also known as kaali (black) dal, is a tough dal that takes a long time to soften and cook. You have to either soak it or cook it in a slow cooker.
    2. Drain the legumes, discarding the water, and place them in a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart / 6-L stockpot or Dutch oven over medium–high heat. Add the remaining 12 cups / 2.8 L water, the ginger, the garlic, the hing, the salt, and the red chile powder and bring to a boil.
    3. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients.
    4. In an 8-inch / 20-cm sauté pan over medium–high heat, warm the ghee. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 3 minutes, until it is slightly browned. Remove from the heat.
    5. Transfer the contents of the sauté pan to the stockpot containing the legumes and stir well
    6. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve ladled over the brown or white basmati rice or with the Roti or Naan. This is also perfect served with a little butter or vegan margarine, or with a small spoonful of chopped fresh onion for crunch.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.