Gujarati Sweet and Sour Lentils
This delicious stewed dish strikes an elegant balance between sweet and tart flavors.
Yield: serves 4
- 1 cup toor dal
- 1⁄4 cup ghee or peanut oil
- 1⁄4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
- 3⁄4 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1⁄2 tsp. black mustard seeds
- 1⁄4 tsp. asafetida
- 1⁄4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
- 16 fresh curry leaves
- 2 chiles de arbol, broken in half
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp. finely chopped jaggery or packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. tamarind concentrate
- 2 tsp. hot paprika
- 1 tsp. tumeric
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp. roughly chopped cilantro
- Bring dal and 9 1⁄2 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring, until tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, vigorously stir dal to mash it up; set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt ghee in a 12" skillet over high heat. Add peanuts, cumin, mustard seeds, asafetida, fenugreek, curry leaves, chiles, and tomatoes; cook until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Pour spice mixture into dal with jaggery, tamarind, paprika, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and lemon juice. Season with salt. Simmer until flavors meld, about 10 minutes. (Stir in a little water, if necessary; it should be soupy.) Garnish with cilantro.