Wednesday 4 May 2016

Toor Daal.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Another one of those confusing post-bank holiday weeks!

I hope you had a good day off on Monday. We spent ours up in the hills trying not to get blown off bridges in the insane wind and chasing magic waterfalls.

I wish we could have come home to a pot of this steaming toor daal but alas, it had all finished. Toor daal is another type of lentil - in English, yellow split pigeon peas

Asian stores usually sell it under "Oily Toor Daal". Don't the let the "oily" put you off - a good rinse at the beginning will get rid of any oiliness. 
The daal is the easiest thing ever. We will cook the lentils in water and ground spices until just cooked. Then, we add to them not one but two tarkas. I mean, the tarka (spices cooked in butter) is what makes a daal so why not have two? Our first is fragrant with ginger and garlic whilst the second is filled with the heady aromas of cumin and fenugreek. Yum.
These lentils have more body than the usual red ones and are perfect with anything from naan to boiled rice. I do insist that you have a spicy carrot pickle (achar) on the side though - it compliments the daal so well. Enjoy!

Daal, previously: red lentil curry // quick garlic daal // restaurant-style daal

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Toor Daal
2. Water
3. Salt
4. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
5. Ground Turmeric
6. Ground Coriander
7. Butter
8. Vegetable Oil
9. Tomatoes
10. Ginger Paste
11. Garlic Paste
12. Cumin Seeds
13. Dried Fenugreek
14. Fresh Coriander

Bismillah, let's begin!

There are three stages to this recipe and this is the first. We must first wash and then cook the lentils. So, take 440 grams Toor Daal (yellow split pigeon peas).

Rinse the lentils under cold water.

Change the water a few times just like we do when washing rice. When the water runs clear and not cloudy, we are done!

Like so!

Place the lentils into a deep saucepan.

Pour in 530 ml Water.

Or enough water to cover the lentils!

Place the lentils over a high heat and add 1 teaspoon Salt.

1 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes

1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric

And, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Ground Coriander.

Stir and bring the lentils to the boil.

Once boiling, turn the heat right and partially cover with a lid. Let them cook like this for about 15 minutes or until nearly soft.

Once nearly soft, you'll notice that the water has all been absorbed resulting in plumper lentils! Set aside whilst we get on with stage two!

The first tarka! This one is infused with ginger and garlic! Take a big, deep pan. We are going to add all the lentils into this so it needs to be big enough. Place over a medium heat.

Throw in 70 grams Butter.

Drizzle in a few tablespoons Vegetable Oil. We use butter for flavour and oil so that the butter doesn't burn. There is method to the madness!

Once melted ...

... add in 1 teaspoon Ginger Paste and 1 teaspoon Garlic Paste.
Want to use fresh? Use 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and crushed + 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed.

Stir the two in.

Once the butter is slightly foamy and everything is fragrant ...

... add in all the lentils.

Give them a good stir for a minute or two.

Before throwing in 2 Tomatoes, chopped.

Stir them through until they are also heated through.

Before pouring in 120 ml Water.

Stir the water in and bring to the boil. Do you see how creamy the daal is becoming? It's going to be good!

Once it boils, cover and cook on a low heat whilst we get on with the second tarka!

For the second tarka, take a small frying pan over a medium heat and add in a few tablespoons Vegetable Oil.

And of course, 50 grams Butter.

Also, throw in 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds.

And, 1 teaspoon Dried Fenugreek.

Once the butter has melted ...

... and is beginning to foam.

Uncover the daal.

And, pour in all the tarka.

Making sure to scrape out the pan properly.

Stir in the tarka until well mixed.

Then, add in as much or as little water as you want to get your desired consistency.

We added in 120 ml Water.

Stir the water in and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer on low to let everything heat through properly - for a few minutes.

To finish, uncover.

Throw in a large handful Fresh Coriander, chopped.

Stir through.

And, our Toor Daal is done!

This is a creamy daal curry with a tonne of flavour - especially from those cumin seeds and dried fenugreek we added in. It will thicken on cooling so feel free to heat it up in a pan with a splash more water.

Enjoy with roti, boiled rice, soft naan or a quick pilau!

Full Written Recipe:

Toor Daal.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes.
Cook Time: About 40 minutes.
Serves: About 4-5 people.


For the Daal
440 grams Toor Daal (yellow split pigeon peas)
530 ml Water
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
½ teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 and ½ teaspoon Ground Coriander

For the First Tarka
70 grams Butter
Few tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Tomatoes, chopped
120 ml Water
1 teaspoon Ginger Paste
1 teaspoon Garlic Paste

For the Second Tarka
Few tablespoons Vegetable Oil
50 grams Butter
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Dried Fenugreek
120 ml Water

To Finish
Large handful Fresh Coriander, chopped


To cook the daal, rinse the lentils in a few changes of water - until the water runs clear not cloudy. Add the 530 ml water along with the salt, crushed red chilli flakes, ground turmeric and ground coriander.
Give everything a stir and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil then partially cover with a lid. Turn the heat right down and cook until the lentils are nearly soft – about 15 minutes.

To make the first tarka, place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and the oil. Let the butter melt then add the ginger paste and the garlic paste. Stir for a minute until fragrant.

Time to add the lentils to the first tarka! Once the ginger and garlic is fragrant, add in all the lentils. Stir well to coat everything in the butter. Cook for a minute or two.
Then, add in the chopped tomatoes. Stir them through to heat up before pouring in 120 ml water. Stir in and boil. Once boiling and creamy, cover with a lid over a low heat while you make the second tarka.

For the second tarka, heat the butter and oil in a small frying pan. Add in the cumin seeds and dried fenugreek. Stir everything together until melted, foaming and fragrant.

Time to add the second tarka to the daal! Uncover the daal and pour in all the second tarka. Stir it in and add 120 ml water. You can add more or less water depending on the consistency you want. Bring everything to the boil then lower the heat and cover. Simmer for a few minutes.

To finish, taste and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the fresh coriander. Serve with roti, boiled rice, pulao rice or naan! Enjoy!

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Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your daal,


Spice Enthusiast
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