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khandeshi dal (Indian Maharashtrian coconut lentils)

March 11, 2019

This lentil recipe is from Khandesh, a region in Maharashtra (the second most populous state in India.) You’ll want to add this coconut masala to everything

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2 tablespoons whole green moong dal
2 tablespoons pink masoor dal
2 tablespoons split toor dal
2 tablespoons split white urad dal
2 tablespoons chana dal
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
cooking oil, as required
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 bay leaf (tej patta)
3 teaspoon lemon juice
salt, to taste
coriander/cilantro leaves, to taste

pakka masala recipe:
1/4 cup dry coconut (kopra), grated
1/2 cup onion, sliced
1.5 tablespoon coriander-cumin powder (dhania-jeera)
3 Kashmiri dry red chillies
3 cloves (laung)
2 cardamom (elaichi) pods
1 inch cinnamon stick (dalchini)
3 whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic

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make the pakka masala:

Heat the oil in a wide pan. Add grated coconut (I used thin strips of dried coconut instead of shredded) and sliced onions, sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add dry red chillies, coriander cumin powder, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and black peppercorn. Sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes on low-medium flame.

Add garlic and sauté on medium flame for few seconds. Turn off the stove. Let it cool down completely.

Once cooled, blend in a mixer or in a blender to a smooth powder/paste and keep it aside.

make the dal:

soak dal for a half-hour or more.

cook on stove, or, pressure cook dal and moong with 2 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder.

Add 1/2 of the prepared masala powder/paste into dal, mix well and keep it aside.

For tempering, heat oil in a tadka pan and add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the dry red chillies and bay leaf. Sauté on medium flame.

Add the prepared dal mixture, mix well and cook. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, and stir continuously.

Add some more masala paste to taste. Add lemon juice and adjust the salt accordingly.

Cook on low flame for a couple of minutes more and turn off the stove. Garnish with some chopped cilantro (optional) and serve immediately.

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from Archana’s Kitchen

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Really fantastic! I used the leftover masala paste in stew, spread on the inside of a grilled cheese, mixed into cornmeal mush… I want to keep a jar of this stuff just to season my food throughout the week! The masala paste is similar to this Goan coconut sauce. Can’t wait to mess around with the ingredients and turn this into an herb-based hot sauce this summer!

This is one of my favorite recipes for dal, along with my favorite gujarati dal, and maybe dal makhani.

If you like caramelized onions and coconut and spice, give this a try!

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