Try a different dal recipe every day. It makes a delicious accompaniment to rotis or parathas

These recipes combine different dal varieties and vegetables. The lentils are cooked and then tempered with onion, ginger, tomatoes, traditional spice powders and curd to give them that spicy and tangy taste. They make a delectable accompaniment to chapattis, parathas and rice. Dal recipes can be prepared easily and quickly. What’s more, dal is a rich source of protein. Here are some tips on how to cook dal. Soak dal in water for sometime before cooking to ensure it gets uniformly cooked. Soak toovar dal in warm water for 10-15 minutes before cooking. It cooks faster. While cooking chana dal, add two teaspoons of milk to enhance its colour. For recipes that have a mix of dals, add a few fresh mint leaves for fragrance. Use leftover dal in chapatti dough, or in a pancake mixture, or add to mashed potatoes and use it as a filling for parathas and dosas.

Here are some quick and easy-to-make recipes.

Masala Dal

Ingredients

Yellow moong dal: one-third cup

Toovar dal: one-third cup

Masoor dal: one-third cup

Chana dal: one-third cup

Turmeric powder: half tsp

Red chilli powder: half tsp

Garam masala: half tsp

Cumin powder: a tsp

Coriander powder: half tsp

Cumin seeds: half tsp

Mustard seeds: half tsp

Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsp

A few curry leaves

Fresh curd, beaten: half cup

Green chilli, chopped: 1

Tomato, finely chopped: 1

Onion, finely chopped: 1

Mixed vegetables of your choice: 1 cup

Coriander leaves, finely chopped: 2 tsp

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Method:

Wash all the dals and soak them for some time before cooking. Combine the dals, 2 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder; mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Heat oil in a pan; add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves, green chillies and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add ginger garlic paste, tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add spice powders and mixed vegetables, stir well and cook covered on a low flame for 5 minutes. Add curd; mix well and cook on a low flame for another 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the dals and cook on a low flame for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with coriander leaves and ghee and serve hot.

Palak Dal

Ingredients

Moong dal: 1 cup

Spinach leaves, chopped: 1 cup

Onion, finely chopped: 1

Tomatoes, finely chopped: 2

Green chillies, finely chopped: 2

Garlic paste: 1 tsp

Turmeric powder: half tsp

Garam masala: half tsp

Red chilli powder: quarter tsp

Coriander powder: quarter tsp

Cumin seeds: half tsp

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Method:

Soak moong dal in water for one hour before cooking. Add 2 cups of water and turmeric powder to the dal and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Set aside to cool. Mash dal using a food processor or blender. Heat oil in a pan and splutter cumin seeds. Add garlic paste and sauté for one minute. Add chopped onion and green chillies and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add spice powder, salt and chopped tomatoes. When the tomatoes become soft, add mashed dal and three-fourth cup of water. Mix well and add spinach leaves. Cook covered on a low flame, till palak leaves are cooked properly. Adjust the gravy as per your requirement. Serve hot, garnished with fresh cream.

Tomato Dal

Ingredients

Toovar dal: 1 cup

Tomatoes, finely chopped: 5

Fenugreek seeds: quarter tsp

Turmeric powder: quarter tsp

Garlic, crushed: 4 pods

Red chilli powder: half tsp

Coriander-cumin powder: half tsp

Green chillies, chopped: 3

Tamarind water: 2 tsp

Mustard seeds: 1 tsp

Curry leaves: 6-7

A pinch of asafoetida

Dry red chillies: 2

Coriander leaves, chopped: 2 tsp

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Method:

Soak dal in water for some time before cooking. Wash and pressure cook the dal together with 3 cups of water, turmeric powder, fenugreek seeds and a little ghee for 3 whistles. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid and set aside. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves, whole red chilli, crushed garlic, asafoetida and sauté for a few seconds. Add chopped tomatoes and cook on a low flame for 3-4 minutes. Add red chilli powder, cumin-coriander powder, salt and cook for another 2 minutes, till tomatoes are soft. Now add the cooked dal and tamarind water and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.