Dal (Foolproof Sour Dal)

Indian Sour Dal by Recipes from Around the World

1 cup toor dal
1/2 tsp turmeric
2.5 cups water
1 tsp tamarind (if a block, soak in 2 tbsp warm water or 2 tbsp lemon juice)
3 whole cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp brown sugar
margarine or ghee
Salt and pepper

  1. Place the dal in a saucepan with the turmeric and water and bring to the boil.  Then reduce the heat and cook slowly for about 30 minutes until the dal is soft and the water absorbed.
  2. When the tamarind has soaked for 10 minutes, press it with a fork or spoon while still soaking to extract its juice.  Then place it in a sieve over the bowl and rub with a spoon to force through the brown pulp.  Pour the tamarind water; or lemon juice if using this instead, into the dal and add the seasoning.
  3. Now heat the margarine or ghee in a separate pan and cook the cloves together with the cumin seeds and ginger for a few minutes.
  4. Add these ingredients to the dal now and sprinkle in some sugar if using.
  5. Let the dal cook very gently or reheat the next day.  It should be quite dry by add more liquid if you wish.
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