As a newly wed with not much idea of what to make, a stock favourite of mine is the Basic Dhandar (Yellow Dal) which after 15 – 20 tries pre-wedding is quite easy to make now on a week night when I am struck by terrifying thought of ‘What should i cook tomorrow?’
However, despite its bright sunny colour there is only so much yellow dal I can consume and feed the Mr. The tangy tamarind dal or ‘Amti ni Dar’ as my mum calls it is a simple way to make-over the yellow dal and make it a bit ‘fancy’ and the best part is that it doesn’t take too long.
The tamarind, jaggery and garam-masala used in this dal give it a really unique sweet and sour taste that first livens up the tongue and later lingers in the mouth.
To make enough for 4 you will need:
Leftover Yellow Dal (enough to feed 4)
A big handful (about 1 cup) of dry tamarind
A big handful of jaggery
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1.5 tsp each of garam masala and chilli powder
2 – 3 small green chillies
- Soak a big handful of dry tamarind and a big handful of jaggery in 2 cups of hot water for 3-4 hours. Before cooking, in a seive drain this tangy water and squeeze dry the tamarind leftovers. Keep the water aside for the dal.
- In a crockpot, heat some oil and fry black mustard seeds, jeera, chillies split lengthwise with the red chilli powder and garam masala. Let the dry spices fry till you get a coughing fit due to the fumes going up your nose.
- When you are done coughing and the masala is fried, add in the tangy tamarind/jaggery water and stir.
- Add in leftover yellow dal and stir everything together.
- Taste to ensure that all the spices are correct. If it’s too spicy, add some lime juice to tone down the spice. If its not as sour as you’d like, take the dry tamarind leftovers and pour some more hot water over it. Squeeze dry this tamarind water into the dal again.
- Let it simmer for 15 mins (after all, it must look like you actually toiled away in the kitchen for much longer)
- Garnish with chopped coriander – the go-to Parsi garnish for just about any recipe – and Voila!
- Serve with fresh steamed white rice, onion kachumbar and fried poppadums or ‘sariya’
After taking strict notes from my mom, I can definately say that this experiment was a huge success – the Mr. mopped up the dal and even better, the in-laws loved it too. Try making it and let me know if it is as much of a hit at your place as it was at mine!