If you are a true fan of Gujarati food, you must try out the authentic Gujarati thali once. Fortunately, I had my tryst with one in Gujarat itself. And at some point during the mighty feast, the waiter presented two options in front of me. The choice was to be made between an authentic Gujarati dal or a ‘salty’ alternative of it. So what was so special about the Gujarati dal, you ask? Why was there an alternative in the first place? As it turns out, the Gujarati dal is only slightly different from how most of us generally perceive ‘dals’ in general. In terms of looks and consistency, it looks exactly like a common toor dal preparation, however, when it comes to flavour this particular dal has a delectable sweet and tangy tinge to it. Yes, you heard it- a sweet dal. Gujarati dal is tempered with hosts of spices, a mild sweet element to added to it later in form of sugar or jaggery to off-set the hotness.
You can make the dal as wholesome, or keep it as simple as you want. This particular recipe, uses the goodness of ginger, jaggery, tomatoes, peanuts, potatoes and red chillies. You first need to wash the dal and then boil it. Add ginger, green chillies, jaggery, kokum, coriander leaves, peanuts, potatoes and salt. Let it cook and thicken a bit.
Prepare the lip-smacking tempering or tadka with ghee, bay leaves, boria mirch, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cloves, methi dana, kasoori methi, tomatoes and curry leaves. Add this to the dal, and watch your dal becoming a beautiful medley of colours.
Tur dal is said to be an excellent source of protein, which is known to be the building block of life. It helps muscle recovery and growth. Not just that, it also helps induce a sense of fullness which prevents you from over-eating, and further reduces the chances of excess weight gain.
You can pair this hot dal with steaming hot rice, make sure you serve it piping hot. Since it is so loaded, you do not need many accompaniments either, but if you do like a something on the side, a tangy chutney or pickle would be a good idea. Here is the full recipe of the Gujarati Dal.