Wash the toor dal 3-4 times and soak them in warm water for 15-20 minutes.
1 Cup Toor Dal (Arhar Dal / Split Pigeon Peas)
Drain the water and add the dal to a pressure cooker. Also add 3 cups of water.
Add salt and turmeric powder to the dal and stir to mix. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook till you get 1 whistle. Then let the steam come out before opening the cooker.
1 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste, 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
Add some ghee in a pan. You can also use vegetable oil or butter instead of ghee.
1.5 Tablespoons Ghee or Oil
Add black mustard seeds (rai) when the ghee becomes hot. Fry till the rai starts to splutter.
1 Teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds (Rai)
Add chopped onions to the pan along with finely chopped ginger and green chillies.
1 Medium Sized Onion, 1 Inch Piece of Ginger, 1-2 Green Chillies
Fry till the onions turn golden brown and start leaving fat.
Now add pureed or chopped tomatoes. Fry till the tomatoes are cooked.
2 Medium Sized Tomatoes
Add red chilli powder and garam masala to the gravy.
1/2 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder, 1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
Cook for 2 minutes or the the gravy is nicely roasted.
Add the cooked dal to the prepared onion tomato masala, and mix well.
Also add some chopped coriander leaves on the top.
1/4 Cup Coriander leaves (Cilantro)
To prepare the tempering, heat 2 teaspoons of ghee in a small pan.
2 Teaspoons Ghee or Oil
Then add cumin seeds and fry till they start to splutter. Add a pinch of asafoetida (heeng).
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera), 1/4 Teaspoon Asafoetida (Heeng)
Add minced garlic cloves to the ghee and fry till they turn light brown.
5-6 Garlic Cloves
Also fry dried red chillies. Finally add a little bit of red chilli powder to give color to the tempering.
2 Dried Red Chillies, 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
Pour the tempering on top of the dal. Mix everything together before serving. This dal tastes best when served hot along with some mild flavored rice. It can also be served in the side of any Indian bread and dry vegetable dish.