The Arthinkal Dal

Okay there is no such thing, I just made it up, easy !

If you ask a random lot of people from India what their comfort food is and jot down all the answers, you will notice a rather high incidence of a three letter word. That word will be “Dal” which translates simply in to “lentils”. Dal is a preparation of lentils, a collective name for a simple sustenance accompaniment to rice or roti and to many the fondest remembrance of the way things were done in their homes. 
We have Dal recipes attributed to entire states, ethnic groups, villages and even households. That is why we have such culinary gems like “My Dal”, which must be just as good as “Your Dal” which in essence is your own take of your “Grandma’s Dal” which passed through a state of being your “Moms Dal” while you were growing up.

What we are talking about today is one such Dal out of the many million forms in which it exists and I am calling it “The Arthinkal Dal” :) which hopefully will convey the point that this recipe has its roots in Arthinkal, my hometown.

I am not quite sure if everyone in Arthinkal makes Dal this way, but my mother surely does and as a result I do too. We both love our quaint little village and so I have decided to commemorate :)

Happy weekend everyone !

The Arthinkal Dal

Split yellow lentil - 1 cup

Thinly sliced pearl onions - 2 tbsp.

Whole pearl onion - 2 nos

Curry leaves - 10 nos

Coconut oil - 4 tbsp.

Chilly powder - 1 tsp ( or to taste)

Salt - to taste

Cooking lentils for this recipe is the most important part of getting this curry right, along with the use of some good quality coconut oil. To achieve this add 2 ½ cups of water to the lentils along with the sliced pearl onions, 5 curry leaves and 2 pinches of salt. Heat the pan till the water comes to a rolling boil At this point, lower the heat to a minimum ,cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes. You might want to check it after 10 minutes. When the lentils are ready for the next step it will be soft but still holding its shape. Remove the lid,using a wooden ladle mash about ¼ of the dal, adding some water if the mixture is dry. Crush whole pearl onions with the remaining curry leaves using a stone mortar . Add it to the cooked lentil along with the chilly powder. Turn the heat to high and cook for 2 minutes. Turn of the heat and add the coconut oil on top, cover with the lid,do not mix. Open the lid 5 minutes later, stir well and serve with rice



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