Urad Dal with Tomatoes, Spices and Coconut

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe

This soupy, yet creamy curry is very easy to digest and was inspired from 660 Curries, a favored book that I always browse through when I am looking for a simple, but tasty meal solution. As I have noted before, this cookbook is not vegetarian, but there are tons of creative vegetarian recipes, including ideas for appetizers, spice blends, egg curries, vegetables, legumes, rice and breads. Since I have been eating a lot of dishes with cheese lately, I wanted a vegan meal to cleanse the soul. Serve with basmati rice or Indian flat bread for a complete and satisfying dinner.

Urad Dal with Tomatoes, Spices and CoconutUrad Dal with Tomatoes, Spices and Coconut
Recipe by
Adapted from 660 Curries
Cuisine: Indian
Published on March 10, 2010

Easy, light, creamy and spicy Indian soup

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  • 1-inch piece tamarind pulp
  • 1/3 cup dried grated unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup split skinned urad dal
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 5 green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 5 dried whole red chilies, crumbled
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango) powder
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • generous handful of dried curry leaves
  • Soak the tamarind pulp in 1 cup of hot water for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour. Strain the liquid into a bowl with a fine-meshed strainer, squeezing as much liquid as possible out of the tamarind pulp. Discard the pulp and set aside the liquid.

  • Soak the coconut in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.

  • Wash the urad well in a strainer. Transfer to a large saucepan, pour in 3 cups of water, and add the turmeric and the tamarind water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the urad dal is tender — about 20 minutes.

  • While the urad dal is cooking, heat the ghee, butter or oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and stir for a minute. Now add the chilies, garlic, ginger, cayenne and amchoor powder, and stir for a few minutes.

  • Add the tomatoes, cocount, salt and curry leaves. Simmer until the mixture is thickened — about 5 minutes. Pour into the cooked dal, then stir and simmer for about 10 minutes, adding more water if needed.

Makes 4 to 5 servings

Urad Dal with Tomatoes, Spices and Coconut

More urad dal recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Urad Dal with Tomatoes
Fennel Flavoured Urad Dal Soup
Savory Rice and Urad Dal Pancakes

On the top of the reading stack: The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism by Theodore Dalrymple

Audio Accompaniment: Multila by Vladislav Delay


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful dhal, Lisa.

Cooklyn Veg said...

This looks delicious, dhal is one of my favorite Indian dishes ...

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Looks mmm:) this is new to me

Uma said...

lovely dish. looks so tempting :)

Champa said...

I am from that part of India where this is uncommon. Nice one to try. I am hosting my first event which is on baking. Check it out if you are interested.

FewMinute Wonders said...

Hi Lisa,

I have not used udad dhal the way you have presented here. Will give this one a try.Thanks for sharing.

Parita said...

Lovely flavorful dal!

Cynthia said...

Ummm dhal, how I love thee so.

Mansi said...

Umm, that looks good, but I am more inclined towards your Fennel flavored dal:)

Unknown said...

new to ur blog...nice bolg and nice recipes too...following u...u r also welcome to visit my blog..

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I have heard a lot about this cookbook lately. I think it would be one of those must have books for Eastern cooking.

Meena said...

lovely lentil recipe...urad dal is definitely one of the most flavorful Indian lentils!

Claudia van Veldhoven said...

I made your recipe and liked it a lot. Thanks. Claudia.