Dal A La Ramana.

Wisewebwoman, in her comments on my post on Easter Guest, endeared herself to me with this very special request: “Could you stop teasing us all and post the darn recipe?”

This is the first ever post with a recipe. In fact, Grannymar and Padmum have been twisting my arms on and off to post some of my recipes and I have so far resisted. But, WWW’s request is a class all by itself and so, WWW, anything to oblige.

The dish was the simple Indian dal, jazzed up with a tadka(seasoning). I have borrowed heavily from a Punjabi Dhaba that I used to frequent in my traveling days.

I don’t use measures when I cook and go by feel for the proportions. I leave it to my readers to decide on the quantities for the ingredients to be used.


Tuvar dal = Split red gram;
Masoor dal = Split orange lentil;
Raw peanuts;
Turmeric powder;
Jeera seeds = Cummin seeds;
Finely sliced onions;
Garlic cloves sliced lengthwise;
Sambar powder;
Lime juice;
Chopped coriander leaves;
Garam masala powder;
Ghee = Clarified butter. (Cooking oil or unsalted butter can be used, but the flavour of ghee is unique.)


Pressure cook or Microwave the two dals mixed in equal proportion and some raw peanuts, with double the quantity in volume of water; with turmeric powder and some salt till the dals are soft and the groundnuts are cooked but not too soft. Keep aside.
In a sauce pan, heat the ghee till it starts to smoke. Add the cummin seeds and fry till they start to change colour. Add the sliced onion and garlic and stir till the onion becomes translucent. Add the sambar powder and stir fry till the ghee leaves the sides. You can keep adding little water to ensure that the stuff does not get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the cooked dal/peanuts and bring to boil. Simmer and add salt to taste, garam masala powder and the chopped coriander leaves, cover and cook for a few minutes. Just before serving, add some lime juice and mix well.

This can be had with rotis (any of the Indian unleavened flat breads), or with bread slices, or rice. It is usually accompanied by a dry vegetable or non vegetarian preparation. On Easter day, I had cooked a quarter kilogram of Okra to a crisp and spicy finish to accompany the dal. The White goo that you see on Bertrand’s plate is home made yogurt mixed with steamed organic hand-pound rice. This is served at the end of the meal to take off the spicy taste from the tongue.