Spicy Gram Beans
This dal, typical of those made in northern India, is ricelike in consistency and often served with bread.
Yield: serves 4
For the Dal
- 8 oz. split urad dal (gram beans), rinsed and picked through
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 3 1⁄2 Tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
- 5 serrano chiles, seeded and julienned
- 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
For the Tarka
- 3 Tbsp. clarified butter or canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 2 whole dried red chiles
- Place urad dal in a large bowl. Cover with water and soak for 1–2 hours. Drain, then transfer to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add oil, 1 1⁄2 tsp. ginger, and 1 1⁄2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until urad dal is tender, about 30 minutes. (Dal will look like grains of rice.)
- Add remaining ginger, serrano chiles, and cilantro to dal. Cook over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and remove from heat.
- Just before serving, prepare tarka: Heat clarified butter or oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cumin seeds, and dried chiles and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Transfer dal to 4 small bowls, then season with tarka and serve with bread or rice as a side dish.