My Favorite Daal – Chana Daal with Lauki(Bottle Gourd) or Courgette

I tend to eat this daal (yellow split peas) from a bowl like one would eat soup, with a touch of  lime juice though it very nice with phulkas or paranthas too. It has a really  hearty taste and is quite filling.  My Ma usually tempers it with paanchphoran, which somehow suits this daal, IMO.

She often cooks it with bottle gourd (lauki) added to it, which I substitute with courgette since that Indian vegetable is not easy to find here.

And though I made it yesterday with the skin of the courgette peeled off, since the girls eat it more easily that way, it is probably better to retain the skin since that likely has a lot of nutrients.

I also usually make more of this daal than we need for one meal because the leftover portion, mixed with whole wheat flour, makes the dough for really soft and full-of-taste phulkas/paranthas the next day.

Chana Daal with Lauki or Courgette

1 cup of chana daal (yellow split pea lentils)

1 large or two small onions, chopped fine

1 medium sized or two small tomatoes, chopped fine

1/2  a teaspoon of grated ginger or ginger paste

1/2 a teaspoon (and perhaps a pinch more) of turmeric powder

1 courgette (300-400 grams), washed, peeled or preferably with the skin and diced in to chunks (neither too large nor too small)

salt (2 teaspoons or to taste)

2-3 tablespoons of sunflower oil

Also, ideally, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped coriander leaves

Soak the lentils for a couple of hours, then drain the water in which they were soaked and pressure cook with another three cups of water and salt till quite soft. This will probably need 6 to 8 whistles (if the pressure cooker is the Indian variety).

Remove the cooker off the hob and when all the steam has been released from the cooker, open the lid, stir the daal with a large spoon or ladle to break up the grains, then add the courgette and cook the mixture again -another couple of whistles should do it.

When the cooker is ready to be opened again add the turmeric and stir everything together gently so as not to smash the courgette pieces.

In the meanwhile, in a smaller frying pan, prepare the tadka. Heat the oil, then add paanchphoron.

As all the five spices of  paanchphoron begin to crackle, add the onions and fry till they are golden brown. Add the ginger paste/grated ginger next and fry for another 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and fry till the oil starts to appear on the sides. Now add the chopped coriander and mix everything well before adding this tadka to the daal in the cooker.

If the daal seems too thick then add a little boiled water (and salt, if needed). To finish, simmer the daal for a few minutes so that the tadka blends in well.

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2 Comments

Filed under Daals, Quick Meal Ideas, Soups

2 responses to “My Favorite Daal – Chana Daal with Lauki(Bottle Gourd) or Courgette

  1. shivali

    hii.. this is an amazing recipe. i have never done the panchporan before but i am sure that i am going to do it very soon for my next dish. I have always been using the left over dal as a stuffing for paranthas for dal dough is a great discovery which is also gonna happen soon in my kitchen. Now the main point, lauki is my favourite vegetable (although i know its not favourite of many), i can eat it day and night in same or different recipes. My ma experimented alot of them since i wanted it to be there in all my meals with phulkas or chawal. But the tragedy is that i am in new zealand now for 2 years and have not had lauki since. But as you mentioned about the courgette, it has sure given me some hopes, but will it really give that taste???? Is it just good enough for the dal, cuz dal can still cover up for it, but when making a sole lauki dish will it make up for it and we do get courgettes here, so its gonna be a day and night affair.

    • Hi Shivali,

      I agree with you about lauki, I love the vegetable too. Courgette works as a substitute in this recipe – for lack of an alternative.

      I make koftas with it too now, and I guess over the years we’ve just gotten used to the different taste.

      Hope you are happy with the results when you try the recipe. Thanks for stopping by my blog !

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