Hot off the stove pulkas with smoky flavored Dal Amritsari is comforting winter food at its best! There is something about langar food at our local Gurudwara that is almost magical, not only is it deeply satisfying but you leave the holy place with a certain feel good factor. It is difficult to recreate the same flavors at home though it is simple, wholesome and humble khana, the dal sabzi and roti fare. I have deepest respect for the Sikh tradition of food charity (langar) for all, irrespective of caste or creed, rich or poor and upholding the values of equality (oneness of all human beings) service and brotherhood.
The chownk or tarka, the final sizzling garnish, where spices are fried in ghee until aromatic and mixed into the creamy Langarwali dal just before serving gives the dal a unique and smoky flavor. A comforting rich Punjabi dal recipe that goes best with hot rotis/pulkas.
Split black urad dal - 1 cup (or whole black urad dal) soaked for an hour in water
Chana dal - 1/2 cup, soaked for an hour in water
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Green chilies - 3, finely chopped or slit length wise
Ginger - 1 1/2", finely chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves, finely chopped
Bay leaf- 1
Cinnamon stick - 1"
Onion - 1, large, finely chopped
Tomatoes - 1, large, finely chopped
Butter - 1 to 2 tbsps (I have omitted butter)
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tbsps
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Kasuri methi - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Method for making Dal Amritsari ~ Langarwali Dal
Pressure cook the split black lentils and chana dal along with 3 cups water. turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp minced ginger and 1/2 tsp minced garlic. Pressure cook upto 4 whistles. Turn off flame and once the pressure reduces, remove the dal and mash it lightly with the back of a ladle. Add another cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and simmer.
While the dal is simmering, heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and once it sizzles, add chopped onions, the remaining minced ginger, garlic and green chilies and saute for 4 mts.
Add tomatoes and saute for another 4 mts. Add the onion tomato mixture to the simmering dal and mix well. Add salt and butter and simmer for 7-9 mts. Turn off flame and remove to a serving bowl.
Heat ghee in a small pan, once hot, add asafoetida, red chilli powder, coriander powder and kasuri methi and immediately add this to the dal and mix well.
Serve with pulka, curd and salad.
You can add half a cup of kidney beans (rajma) too. Soak them overnight and pressure cook with the other two dals. Adding rajma yields a darker looking dal.
For authentic flavor, the dals are slow cooked for 3 to 4 hours in lots of water instead of pressure cooking it.
Cream and butter are liberally used for the authentic dal recipe but I have omitted both of them since I was using ghee in the tadka which gives a rich flavor to the dal.
Fistful of mint leaves can be added at the time of sauteing the onions.
Half a tsp of garam masala can also be added towards the end of the cooking process.
Instead of adding the red chili powder and coriander powder towards the end, you can add it while sauteing the onions and tomatoes.
By Sailu Published:
Dal Amritsari or Langarwali dal is popular among Punjabi dal recipes served in the Gurudwaras. Vegetarian dish made with black lentils,chana dal and spices.
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