We regularly get emails about dal (also known as daal, dhal and dahl), from people asking for recipes and where to buy the ingredients.
Dal is a very popular spicy dish that is made from pulses. Common pulses used to make dal are lentils and chickpeas. Of course, the most common pulse used is dal itself. There are lots of different dal pulses and you can read more about these in a fairly recent blog titles “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. Us non-vegetarians like dal like dal because it tastes good.
Most dal recipes are really easy to follow, giving a yummy meal at a really low cost.
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 soak the beans or peas (you don’t need to soak lentils) – just follow the recipe (if the pulses need soaking, this may take a few hours so most people soak the pulses overnight). Then you boil the pulses. Then you fry up some spices and add them to the pulses that you cooked (this process is called tempering). Then you eat the dal. Easy.
So where do you buy ingredients for dal? Well, the most obvious place is your local supermarket or your local Indian supply shop. For the most part, buying the ingredients (including spices) should be cheaper from your local Indian shop but you do need to look around. Supermarkets really have everything but their spices tend to be a bit pricey because you usually buy then 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 you live out of town then you may need to plan ahead and buy your ingredients when you visit town.
If you cannot get into a town then you might be able to get your favourite supermarket chain to deliver to you – just check on their website for online shopping options.
If all else fails you could try looking up “food manufacturers and suppliers” in your local (or online) yellow pages and get ingredients posted to you.
Once you found a good source of ingredients for your favourite dal, all you’ve got to do is make it and eat it. Yummy.