This is a nostalgic recipe I am sharing. During these Diwali holidays our University friend visited us. Just meeting him I got nostalgic about our good old university days. I do miss all my university friends. We used to eat this dal a lot for our dinners.
In the University, we were a bunch of 6 friends (including my hubby). When you live together, it forms a very special friendship. I lived 24/7 with my university friends thus I got to know them faster and better. When we lived together we looked after each other like family. We would cook for each other, clean for each other, buy groceries, help each other in assignments, look after each other in sickness ect. The bonding was very different. I was lucky to spend my M.B.A. years with these awesoeme people. We all are from different cities and from different backgrounds but yet very similar. We were two girls – that’s me a spoilt Gujarati chatterbox girl from Ahmedabad and Sonali, an ambitious already engaged super loud punjabi girl from Delhi. And then four boys, Rahul a Sindhi shy, homely boy from Delhi, Darshan a Brahmin boy who claims to eat anything other than Humans, extremely theoretical, free spirited boy from Mumbai, Siddharth a prankster full of life from a traditional family of Indore and Ajay a serious, family boy who would be totally into Hindi and Tamil movies. Thus all of us were so different with common interests – our love for Indian food, a good sense of humour, love for movies, music and partying… Our friendship was thick! I am proud to claim it is the same!We all are settled in different cities or countries and we all are busy in our lives but we manage to talk on festivals and birthdays. On some drunkun night when some of us meet, we call the others wake them up in the middle of night and remember good old memories..
I love each one of them, though we don’t meet often.They are so close to my heart, I feel they live next door. I know no matter what, they will be here when I need them. Our friend Ajay flew for few hours to meet our new born. Our friend darshan when ever he visits our city will come and see our baby for just some time cause he says he doesn’t want the baby to forget him. In fact when I was on bed rest they all decided to come visit me. It was cancelled when I insisted them not to come….
I am so blessed to have these amazing set of people in my life. I miss them so much when I sit and think of the good old times we spent together!
All six of us never got together after university, always someone was missing. So when all of us made special efforts to get together, that day happened after 8 long years in Delhi. We went for a night to some pub. All of us got very emotional, excited and nostalgic remembering all the crazy nights we had and all the funny things that happened during our M.B.A. In fact we were having a group hug in the middle of the cold Delhi street while the by standers were giving us the look that I usually give to stupid drunk people. Our hug was dispersed after a street dog started barking at us. Probably he was also fed up with such over the top love which he would have not seen on the street. By then it was about 1.30 or so at night and we were hungry. Our Cardiff ritual was always go to a Pakistani restaurant to have Indian Punjabi food. So our friend Rahul, a Delhite, took us to Havmor restaurant at Pandala house. It was a buzzing place in the middle of the night. We ordered the exact same menu we use to order in Cardiff. Yellow tadka dal, palak panner, panner tikkar, butter chicken, chicken biriyani and jeera rice. The dal was so yum, I asked the waiter to ask the chef for the recipe. The waiter told me that he had been working there for more than 20 years and so he knew exactly what was in the dal and gave me this recipe.
1 ½ cup soaked tuvar dal
Half onion finely chopped
2 green chilies finely chopped
1 small tomato finely chopped
½ inch ginger finely chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp jeera
1 cinnamon stick
2 dried red chilies
2 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish
Cook the tuvar dal in a pressure cooker and add about 1 and 1/2 cups of water. Cook it for 3 whistles. Do not overcook the dal and is should not be watery.
In a non stick pan take 1 tbsp of ghee, add the cloves, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, green chilies and onions. Cook till the onions are transparent and then add the tomatoes and cook them for 2-3 minutes or till the water of the tomatoes have evaporated.
Add the tuvar dal and salt to taste and cook for 2 minutes and keep aside.
When its time to serve, temper the dal. Heat the ghee, add the jeera and once the seeds start to splutter, add the dried red chilies and the chili powder. Let the color of the chili powder change into a darker red and turn off the gas and pour the tadka over the dal. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.
This version of the dal is a more healthier one. But in our house usually Sid does the tadka. He takes 2-3 tbsp of ghee in the tadka and his dal tastes much better. Well if you are not health conscious or entertaining then use more ghee in the tadka.