Urad Dal with Spices

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
urad dal with spices

Complicated dishes can grace any table, but such elegant and simple yet flavorful dal dishes such as this urad dal dish with spices are a perfect solution when you are pressed for time but want to make sure your family is well-nourished. Pleasing to the eye and palate, serve with a rice dish or Indian flatbread and any vegetable side dish for a complete meal.

This recipe uses split urad dal without skins. These versatile mild flavored beans, when cooked in curries absorb the flavors of the spices and vegetables. They should be rinsed well and are often fried without soaking or cooking beforehand in combination with aromatic seeds and spices for tempering vegetable curries. The possibilities are as endless as the imagination of the cook.

If oil is used instead of butter or ghee, this dish is vegan friendly.

Urad Dal with SpicesUrad Dal with Spices
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on September 7, 2012

Quick, simple, creamy and flavorful Indian dal curry

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  • 2/3 cup urad dal, rinsed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon ghee, butter or oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 dried whole red chilies, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • pinch of asafetida
  • pinch of saffron
  • small handful of dried curry leaves
  • a few teaspoons fresh dill for garnish
  • Combine the urad dal, ginger and water in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the urad dal is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Mix in the salt and black pepper and set aside.

  • Heat the ghee, butter or oil over medium heat in a small saucepan or frying pan. When hot, add the garlic and fresh chilies. Stir for a minute or two and then add the dried red chilies. spices, asafetida, saffron and curry leaves, and stir for another minute. Transfer this mixture to the cooked dal.

  • Serve hot or warm, garnished with fresh dill.

Makes 4 servings
spicy urad dal

Other Urad Dal dishes from Lisa's vegetarian kitchen you are sure to enjoy:
Urad Dal with Tomatoes
Urad Dal with Toor Dal and Spinach and Parsley
Wild Mushroom and Paneer Pilaf with Urad Dal
Urad Dal with Fresh Fenugreek

On the top of the reading stack: Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking by Raghavan Iyer

Audio Accompaniment: Paul Kalkbrenner

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