Tomato dal

Make this dal (lentil) recipe with toor dal only. Curry leaves are a MUST and are only available at Indian grocery stores.


1 cup split pigeon pea/ toor dal
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
7-8 curry leaves, each torn in 2
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, whole
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 pinches aforesaid/ hing OPTIONAL
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon  turmeric powder
1 large tomato, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt to taste


If you do not have a pressure cooker, don't worry. Soak lentils (after washing it once in cold water) in 2 cups water, preferably overnight.
In a 5 qt pot, add soaked lentils with any left over water and 3 cups of water, turmeric, jalapeno and bring it to a boil and cook partially covered on low heat for 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and can be easily mashed. Mash.
Meanwhile, you will make "Tadka" or "seasoning".
Heat ghee over medium heat in a small pan. When the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter, you may want to have a lid handy.
Once the mustard seeds have stopped spluttering, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, hing, onions and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes or until garlic and onions are light brown.
Add cayenne powder, tomatoes, and mix well. Cook covered for 5 minutes so that the tomatoes can pulp down a bit.
Add lentils, salt and sugar and mix well. Bring it to a boil and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Set aside for flavors to infuse lentils even more. Serve hot!