Dal called as 'Pappu'(in Telugu) plays an essential role in every day meal of many Andhra households.The preparation of dal also varies from one region to another. There are two ways to make this dal , while some pressure cook the dal along with the tempering (My mom and MIL follow this process) others separately temper the dal after cooking the dal. The output of the first process is a consistency that is slightly pourable i.e. neither thick nor thin. I however like the way dal(pappu) is prepared in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra pradesh. If you notice the ingredients of the recipe, it is not different from any other dal(pappu) recipe,but the trick lies in the way it is prepared.The consistency of dal is very thick and if you mix dal with rice and ghee you must be able to make round balls(in Telugu it is called 'muddalu') out of it. Once the dal is cooked,we should strain the extra water and mash it nicely to get a smooth and uniform mixture which adds a nice taste to dal.Also note that this dal is simmered for long to achieve the desired thick consistency and texture.Tomato dal when mixed with piping hot rice and a dollop of ghee just makes your day. I must admit that this version of dal is the best I have ever tasted. The dal should be ideally thicker than the consistency what I showed in the photographs as my hubby is not really fond of very thick dal.Tomato Pappu | Tomato Dal Recipe:
1/2 cup Toor dal
2 large ripen Tomatoes,chopped
1 big Onion,finely chopped
5-6 Garlic pods,slightly crushed
1 tbsp Tamarind pulp
1 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Dhaniya powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Chana dal
a sprig of Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ghee
Salt to taste
- Wash and soak toor dal for 10 mins.Pressure cook it with a pinch of turmeric powder of drop of oil for 3 whistles until soft.Addition of oil avoids spilling of toor dal while pressure cooking.
- Remove extra water from the dal(reserve it for later use) and mash it using pappu-gutti(a wooden ladle used to churn buttermilk traditionally) to a uniform soft mixture.This step is optional but this takes the dal to another level.
- Heat a big kadai and heat oil and ghee together and crackle mustard seeds.
- Add chana dal,curry leaves and slightly crushed garlic pods and fry for 30 secs.
- Now add finely chopped onion and fry until translucent.Add chopped tomatoes and fry well until the mixture is totally pulpy.Cover it and cook for 2-3 mins and make sure the tomatoes are cooked completely.
- Add red chili powder,coriander powder to it and fry well.
- Add cooked and mashed dal ,tamarind pulp and salt and mix well.If the consistency is very thick add little water(strained from cooked dal).Cover it and cook for 8-10 mins until dal is thick and nicely done.Check the seasoning and adjust according to your taste buds.
- This dal is supposed to be very thick,if you want it thin add more water and adjust the consistency according to your taste.
- Use the naati variety of tomatoes which are mor tangy instead of hybrid variety for better taste.
- Always add either asafoetida or garlic(but not both) in tempering for a great flavor in this dal.
- For a Vegan version avoid ghee in the recipe.