For those of us who are experiencing the chill of winter, there is nothing more welcoming than are warming meal.
By SriVani Ganti
One of my favorite things to eat when I was a kid was a buttery tomato lentil dish topped with crispy spiced potatoes. This meal warms you up two fold, first its served piping hot on a bed of fresh rice and second the red chili powder warms and livens your taste buds. If you don’t have rice or prefer not to eat this with rice, you can make the lentils a bit more watery and turn it into a hearty soup. Check out my recipe below for this classic South Indian dish.
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- cup toor dal, cooked
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of turmeric powder
- Red chili powder (to your taste & spice level)
- tsp. amchur powder (or splash of lemon juice)
- Thadka (all done in ½ tbs.)
- o ½ ts. Hing powder
- o Mustard seeds
- o Chana dal
- o Udad dal
- o Cumin seeds
- o 2 dry red chilies, broken in half
- Potato Hash
- 1 lb of small potatoes
- Pinch of hing powder
- Salt to taste
- Pinch of turmeric
- Red chili powder to your taste
- Cumin Seeds
- Cooking Toor Dal
- If you have a pressure cooker this is ideal, but if you don’t then there is nothing to worry about! If you’re cooking it in a pot, add the toor dal and then cover it with water. Place it on the stove and turn it onto medium high. The dal needs to cook until it is soft and mushy this can take about 20-30 minutes. Mix periodically and watch for it spilling over.
- Cooking the Tomato Lentils
- In a pot and heat the oil on medium heat. The oil must be very hot (but don’t burn it please). Hold you flat palm above the oil to test how hot it feels. Once the oil is hot, add the hing powder and listen to it sizzle.
- Then add a mustard seed to test and see how hot the oil is. You want to see the seed sizzle and then pop. Once it pops add a heavy pinch of the mustard seeds. Once many of them start to dance and pop, add a heavy pinch of the remaining thadka ingredients. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Then add the garlic. Mix constantly and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Cooking Potato Hash
- Slice the potatoes into thing, even rounds and set aside in water.
- In a pan, heat oil. Once the oil is hot add the hing powder. After it sizzles, add the cumin seeds.
- Then add the potatoes to the hot oil and mix; then season with salt, turmeric and the red chili powder. Mix periodically and cook until the potatoes are tender and crispy. This can take about 20-25 minutes, depending on how thick you cut the potato.
SriVani Ganti has been addicted to food since she stubbornly declared she was "not a pizza person" at the age of 5. A passionate lover of Indian food since birth, she has expanded her palate to many foods including a fishy obsession with sushi. She loves to experiment in the kitchen much like she experiments in the lab during the day. SriVani cooks from the heart, soul and the taste buds; cooking what tastes good and never being afraid to make mistakes along the way. She believes that cooking can be simple and shouldn't be as scary as the Unforgivable Curses.