Mistress of Spice: Dal

Posted on September 9, 2013


Home cooks share recipes of everyone’s favourite comfort food.

My first kitchen experience was with my mother teaching me how to make dal. As usual, I wasn’t interested, and like always, she stressed the importance of knowing how to make this dish. Needless to say, her lessons came in handy when I attempted to make dal sans pressure cooker in my freshman year of college.

Dal is probably the most underrated dish on our table, even though it is the cornerstone of every Indian meal. I bet if you ask any Indian about their favourite comfort food, they are most likely to say dal chawal.

It’s also notoriously difficult to make—between getting the consistency and softness right and having a  separate pan going with the tadka (or tempering as its rather clinically known in English). Everyone claims to know a thing or two about dal, whether in the form of special techniques acquired through experiments or a secret recipe handed down to you from your mother-in-law. For this issue, we seek out moms, aunties, and dadi-mas to share their recipes. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get them perfect on the first try. Making dal is an acquired art and takes practice. But the pay-off is delicious.

Published in Masala magazine, August 2013

Views recipes here Mistress

Posted in: Dining