Monday, April 19, 2010

Goan Dal - Toi

Though I was born and brought up in Maharashtra, my family is basically from Goa. So the food that I grew up eating had both Maharashtrian and Goan influence. With Goa being on the western coast of India, fish is available in abundance in this region and coconut based fish curries served with rice is the staple diet. However, on certain days of the week, people refrain from non- vegetarian food for religious reasons. On such days fish curry is substituted with Dal.
Every region in India has atlleast few simple dal recipes that are cooked very often. One such simple Goan dal is 'Toi'. I cook it atleast once every week and it goes very well with any dish. It's super simple to make and requires only some basic ingredients from your pantry. The ginger, curry leaves, dried red chillies and asafoetida gives this dal a nice heavenly aroma. We use a special type of hing called 'Shankar Chaap Hing' which makes this simple dal taste divine. However, any hing variety can be used. Though we love this version with dried red chillies, it also tastes very good with green chillies.

Ingredients -
1/2 cup toor/ tovar dal
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp hing
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4- 5 dried red chillies
8-10 curry leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter
3-4 tbsp cilantro
Salt to taste

Method -
1. Soak the toor dal in water for about an hour and cook it in the pressure cooker.
2. In a kadai, heat some oil and ghee and add mustard seeds.
3. When the mustard seeds splutter, add cumin seeds, dried red chillies, curry leaves, finely chopped ginger, turmeric powder and hing.
4. Now add the cooked dal, salt and some water and mix well.
5. Cook the dal for sometime and garnish with chopped cilantro.

This is my entry for Suma's 'Delicious Dals from India' event.