Tangy Yellow Lentil “Hubby’s Favorite”

This tangy “dal” is a delicious combination of tomatoes, ginger, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and tamarind. Served on a bed of white rice with a side of minced cauliflowers (“gobi kheema”and potato chips (or home fries), this flavorful “dal” is a staple in our household. Of all places, I learned of this dish’s exalted status in my new home while honeymooning in the Maldives! Within a few days of feasting some of the finest seafood ever prepared, my husband began craving home cooking. Many blissful days later, I found myself writing notes as my mother-in-law introduced me to this fine recipe.

For the dal: Cook the dal with water, turmeric, 1 tablespoon oil and salt to taste. Keep aside. I like to cook dal in a pressure cooker… it is much quicker that way.


  • 1 cup Toor dal
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • salt to taste.

Tadka for the dal:

  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida” hing”
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies.
  • 4-5 leaves of  curry leaves “kadhi patha”
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds” methi seeds”
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds “jeera”
  • 2 tomatoes grated or cut into 4 halves.
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamarind “imli paste” ( I use ready to use Dabur imli paste, stays well in the freezer).   Add more depending on how sour you like it.

Optional:  Add 2 pieces of kokum.


Cook the dal and keep aside.

Heat oil in a vessel. Add asafoetida, ginger, chillies, curry leaves, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds. Let it sizzle for one minute. Add the tomatoes and let it cook well. After the tomatoes cook, the oil will separate.

Now add the dal through a sieve to get a creamy texture. You may need to add more water (hot water) to get it to the right consistency, so it’s not too thick. Give it one boil and add tamarind paste and kokum. Check for salt.

Ready to serve.

Serve with steamed white rice , cauliflower vegetable and potato fries.

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