The various vegetables and the Panch Phutana (indigenous to the eastern part of India) give it a distinct flavor. Lightly mashing up a fresh green chilli for the raw heat and the smoked Lanka Jeera Gunda take it to a different level. Did I mention it was easy to make? Yes, it is - all the more reason to make it often. I often wonder how it got it's name - anyone with more info about the same, please share. The reference to "Maa of all Dals" is just me being silly - don't quote me! :p
My parents are not much into dals - so this was something I have picked up in my culinary journey as a convenient item to make when in a hurry. Hope you get to try this!
Toor Dal - 1 and 1/2 cup
Chana Dal - 1/2 cup
Water - 3-4 times the amount of Dal..in this mix, about 6-8 cups of water
Potato - 1 large, chopped into cubes (about 10 pieces)
Pumpkin - 1 inch cubes, about 24 pieces
Brinjal - 1/2 large, chopped into cubes (about 24 pieces)
Zucchini - 1 medium, chopped into cubes
Tomato - 2 medium, chopped in half
Coconut - 2 tbsp, grated
Ginger - 1 inch, grated (I sometimes add it chopped but a bite into it while eating is not that good!)
Turmeric Powder - 2-3 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
Put all the above ingredients in the pressure cooker. Let it boil before putting the pressure lid on.
Wait for one whistle in Medium-High heat.
Reduce heat to Medium and let it continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes.
Let it sit without heat till the pressure lid opens without any push from your end.
When open, stir to mix all the ingredients nicely. Be gentle to avoid mashing everything.
For tempering (aka Chaunk aka Tadka aka Baghar)
Ghee\Canola oil - 2 tbsp
Dry bay leaves - 2-3
Dry red chillies - 2-3
Panch Phutana - 2 tsp
Heat ghee (or Canola oil, as I sometimes use). I use the type of heavy-bottomed utensil that is shown in the pic below which is specifically meant for tempering. Ghee gives it a distinct flavor when used.
Add the dry bay leaves and the Panch Phutana (more about this special spice mix below). Let it roast and splutter. Once it splutters, add it to the cooked Dal mixture available in the pressure cooker.
Let the Dal continue cooking for another 5-10 mins and absorb the flavors of the tempering ingredients. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves (optional). Add a dollop of Ghee when serving - the more generous and less health-conscious you are, the better it will taste! ;)
Wikipedia entry for "Panch Phoron":
All of the spices in panch phoran are seeds. Typically, panch phoran consists of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts. Some cooks prefer to use a smaller proportion of fenugreek seeds, which have a mildly bitter taste...
In the tradition of Oriya, Maithili and Bengali cuisine , panch phoron is typically fried in cooking oil or ghee, which causes it to immediately begin popping. This technique is known as "tempering", called ବଘାର (baghaar) in Oriya, ফোড়ন (phoŗon) in Maithili or বাগাড় (bagaŗ) in Bengali and छौंक (chaunk) in Hindi.Health benefits of this spice (Source: Tarla Dal)
- The presence of cumin may stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, important factors in proper digestion and nutrient assimilation. As with other carminative spices, cumin's digestive stimulating effects are due to its content of volatile oils.
- Mustard is a good source of selenium and magnesium and is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, protein, niacin and dietary fiber.
- The seeds of the fenugreek plant are known to be great cleansers of the system and those of fennel acts as a digestive, appetite enhancer.
- Kalonji seeds have been known to have many healing properties including migraine, chronic colds, palpitations, alopecia, asthma.