Simple black urad dal recipe made with whole black gram dal cooked in a spicy onion-tomato masala base with spices like bay leaf, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and cloves. Serve this kali urad dal with rice or roti for a complete meal or eat a big bowl as a hearty and healthy soup!
Lentils can broadly be classified into whole and split & skinned. Whole lentils definitely have more fiber because of the skin but they need to be soaked overnight and also take longer to cook. So you need some planning to make them while yellow lentils can be cooked quickly. They are both delicious and nourishing. I rotate between different types of lentils and pulses everyday and sometimes also mix and match to combine different types of dals into one dish.
Whole black urad dal (and other whole lentils) retains its shape even after cooking and I like the bite it adds to the lentil curry.
Now-a-days since we are all at home together, one lentil curry is definitely made every day — either in lunch or in dinner. After two weeks I was finding it difficult to keep track of which lentil I had made recently and which should I make next. Every night I will have the same question for everyone – What dal should I cook tomorrow? As I need to know if I have to soak it overnight or not. My mother-in-law suggested to make a whole lentil one day and a skinned yellow lentil another day as a way to make the choice easier.
The task of remembering was still difficult so I did, what I do best. I made a list of all the lentils we have at home and I made a meal plan with a different dal everyday! This is our this week’s meal plan with black urad dal made on Monday.
This recipe of black gram dal can be used to make other whole lentils as well like the Indian brown lentils (kali masoor), black chickpeas (kale chane), dew beans (moth) etc.
Black Urad Dal | Black Gram Dal
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 1 cup Whole Black Gram dal kali urad dal/ black urad dal
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil or use ghee
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 4-5 Black Peppercorns
- 4-5 Cloves
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 pinch Asafetida hing
- 1 Green chili chopped (optional, adjust to taste)
- 1 inch Ginger peeled and grated
- 5 cloves Garlic smashed, peeled, and chopped
- 4 spring Onions white and green separated (alternatively use 2 medium red onions)
- 3-4 medium Tomatoes pureed (about ¾th cup puree)
- 4 tsp Coriander powder
- 2 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Red chili powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala (or use a spice mix like Rajma masala or Chana masala)
- Wash and soak the black urad dal in 3 cups water overnight.
- Put a pressure cooker on medium heat. Heat ½ tbsp coconut oil. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, and cloves. Sauté for ½ a minute.
- Drain and add the soaked dal. Add some salt and turmeric. Mix well.
- Cover with 2 cups of water and close the pressure cooker. Let the dal cook at high heat for 4 whistles and then reduce the heat to minimum and let then cook for another 15-20 mins on very low heat. (If required move your pressure cooker to the smallest burner) Remove from heat and keep aside till the pressure cooker releases all the steam and can be opened safely.
- While the dal is cooking, prep all the vegetables. Peel and grate the ginger; peel and chop/grate garlic, chop the green chili, chop the onions, and chop & puree the tomatoes.
- In another pan, heat the remaining 1½ tbsp of oil on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cumin and asafetida.
- When the cumin seeds start to dance around (sputter), add green chilies, ginger, and garlic. Sauté for a minute to flavor the oil.
- Next in, add spring onion whites (or all the onion if you are using red onions). Sprinkle some salt and mix well. Salt helps to sweat and cook the onions faster. When the onions start to soften, add the spring onion greens as well. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes till the onions start to turn slightly brown.
- Add the tomato puree and all the remaining spices — coriander, cumin, red chili, garam masala, and salt (if required). Mix well. Cook covered with occasional stirring, until the masala starts to leave oil on the sides. Add a little water if required.
- When the dal is cooked and the pressure cooker can be opened, mash some of the dal in the cooker with the back of a ladle spoon. Just some to give it a creamy texture.
- Add the dal to the onion-tomato masala in the pan. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
- Nutritional Information is the approximate value for 1 of 4 servings.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
- This recipe of Black urad dal can be used to make other whole lentils as well like the Indian brown lentils (kali masoor), black chickpeas (kale chane), dew beans (moth) etc.
Stay together, Stay home
Just before the lockdown was about to start we moved back home with our parents and I am glad we did. One, we would both have been worried about each other if we were under lockdown in different cities (like I am still worried about my parents and talk to them everyday). Two, it is better to have 4 people together than just 2! 🙂 And between me and Sikander, we are able to take care of all the every day chores at home which otherwise would have been very difficult for our parents to manage alone.
I am grateful that some wise sense made us come back and I really pray for all families who couldn’t travel in time and are currently split across cities. Hope they get back together soon.
How are you doing during the lockdown? I would love to connect on how each of you is managing this unique time and circumstance – in the kitchen or outside of it!
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Thank you for sharing these beautiful tasty recipes
So yummy n delicious for cold weather in Cape Town
Thank you, Lallie!
I am so happy these recipes are finding way into your kitchen in Cape Town! Lentil curries are especially delicious and healthy for cold weather! Let me know if you have any questions in any of the other recipes 🙂