Dal (also known as daal, dhal and dahl) is a very popular spicy dish that is made from pulses. Common pulses used to make dal are lentils and chickpeas with the most common pulse used being dal itself. There are lots of different dal pulses and you can read more about these in the blog called “Types of Dal”.
Dal is popular with both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Vegetarians love dal because it is a great source of protein – there is the same protein in dal as in the same weight of meat. Non-vegetarians like dal because it tastes good.
There is a great range of dal recipes on the Curry Focus website.
Making dal is usually pretty easy. All you have to do is start by soaking the beans or peas (you don’t need to soak lentils). If the pulses need soaking, this may take a few hours so most people soak the pulses overnight. Then you boil the pulses. After this you fry up spices and add them to the pulses that you cooked (this process is called tempering). All you need to do next is eat the dal.
You can eat dal with rice or use roti (or chapati) to scoop up the dal. You do not need to eat dal as a main, although most people do, because you can eat dal as a side dish.
Cooked dal is great for freezing. You just scoop up some dal, put it into a freezer-proof plastic container, pop on the lid and put the container into the freezer. You can put some cooked rice in with the dal as well so you have a complete main meal to unfreeze and heat up at a later date.
Where do you buy ingredients for dal? Well, the most obvious place is your local supermarket or your local Indian shop or supermarket. For the most part, buying the ingredients (including spices) should be cheaper from your local Indian shop (or supermarket) but you do need to look around. Supermarket spices tend to be a bit pricey because you usually buy them in those glass (or plastic) jars. Avoid buying spices in those little cardboard packets because spices should be stored in airtight containers to keep them fresh. If your local Indian shop (or supermarket) has bulk bins then all the better because you can buy the quantities that you need, not what it packaged up.
One really good thing to point out is that dal is a cheap food to make. Tasty and cheap. What a combination.