My Nephew had gone to Germany to pursue his Masters degree. Being very good at differentiating between tasty food from not so tasty food, he found it difficult to cook his food everyday and that too make it tasty and wholesome. When he appealed to me for some simple recipes of South Indian food, I came up with a series of simple dishes. Here is a recipe for a Basic dal.
Toor dal / Arhar dal - 1 cup.
Tomatoes Or any other vegetables – 3 nos.
Salt – to taste
Turmeric (Haldi) - pinch
Chilli powder – ½ tsp (tea spoon)
Green chillies / red chillies – 2 nos.
Mustard seeds & cumin seeds (Rayi & jeera) – ½ tsp
Curry leaves, Coriander (Kotmir), optional– half a small bunch
Garlic pods – a few
Oil for seasoning (tadka) – 1 tbs
Onion (chopped) – 1 no.
Boil dal in 4 cups of water in the pressure cooker until 2 or 3 whistles.. After the pressure goes down, open the lid and mash the dal to a paste (If there is excess water in the dal, remove it and save it in a bowl). If you are cooking it in a open pot, make sure it is soft. Heat oil in a sauce pan (kadai), add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, green & / or red chillies, garlic pods. When they start spluttering, add chopped onion. After the onion is fried, add tomato pieces. Now put salt, turmeric powder (haldi) and chilli powder. When they are cooked, add mashed dal. Add water to the consistency you like.
Note: If other vegetables are used, add them to dal and cook in pressure cooker. Remove the vegetables and mash dal. Then put them back in the dal. Rest of the method is same as above.
You can eat this dal with rice or rotis.