Gujarati Daal (or daar) has a perfect balance of flavors — sweet, sour, spicy! Daar is considered a staple in all Gujarati households and is always there at every meal, making it comfort and soul food. Combined with plain white rice, this daal is the ultimate end to a traditional Gujarati thali. Try this yummy recipe and don’t be afraid to adjust it to your tastes!
Prep Time: 25 min including soak time
Cook Time: 30 minutes (plus as much time as you have to keep boiling)
Toor Daal – 1 1/2 cups (washed and soaked for at least 20 minutes)
Water – 4 1/2 cups for pressure cooking
Raw Peanuts – 1/4 cup
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/8 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Water – approx 4 cups for thinning daal or to desired consistency
Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Kokum – 3 to 4
Green Chilies – 2 or to taste, finely chopped
Tomato – 1 medium, diced
Jaggery – 3 Tbsp or to taste
Dry Mango Powder (Amchur) – 1 tsp
Ginger – 2 tsp, grated
Lemon/Lime Juice – 1 Tbsp or to taste
Cilantro (Coriander) – 5 sprigs, finely chopped for garnishing
For the seasoning:
Oil – 2 tsp
Ghee (Clarified Butter) – 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/8 tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) – pinch
Whole Dried Red Chili – 1
Whole Cloves – 4
Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch piece
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
1. Drain soaked Toor Daal and add to a pressure cooker with Water, Fenugreek Seeds, Salt, Peanuts and Turmeric Powder.
2. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles, switch off stove and allow pressure to go down.
3. Open pressure cooker and switch stove back on to medium heat.
4. Add Red Chili Powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala, Kokum, Green Chilies, Tomato, Ginger and Jaggery.
5. Mix well and add up to 4 cups of additional water (a little at a time) to get desired consistency.
6. Allow daal to boil for 10 minutes minimum (longer boiling will improve flavor).
7. For the seasoning, heat Oil/Ghee in a small skillet.
8. Add Mustard Seeds and allow them to pop.
9. Add Cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
10. Add Fenugreek Seeds, Whole Cloves, Cinnamon Stick, Asafoetida (Hing), Whole Dried Red Chili, and Curry Leaves. Mix briefly and add seasoning to the boiling daal.
11. Add Lemon/Lime juice and/or Dry mango powder to desired tartness.
12. Adjust sweetness (jaggery), salt or any other spices as needed.
13. Garnish with Cilantro (coriander leaves) and serve hot with plain white rice or roti.
Tip: To add another level of sweetness and flavor, try adding dried dates (kharek) while boiling the daal.
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