I came across this recipe in a “Majestic Menu” column of an old edition of Better Homes and Gardens. The guest column recipes were by Monish Gujral, the MD of famous Moti Mahal chain. Usually daal preparations for special occasions are either daal makhni or teen ratan daal. I read this recipe and I knew I was going to add one more recipe to those. When I tasted it I had the same feeling as I had after making the new recipe I had found for bhindi last week! Maybe I am building up on my dastarkhwan menu! 🙂
The name hardili also caught my attention… I would say it means “for every heart”… har – every and dili – heart.
Saffron spiced Daal Hardili
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Prep time: | Cook time: | Serves: 2
1 cup toor daal/ yellow pigeon peas lentil
1 onion, chopped in big chunks
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp shah zeera
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 whole dried red chillies
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp cream
A pinch of saffron, dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water
A bunch of chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
- Wash toor daal in running water thoroughly
- Soak in water for about an hour
- In a heavy bottomed pan, boil about 4 cups of water, drain the daal and add it to the boiling water. Leave it on boil on medium flame for about 15 mins. You would have to keep removing the scum that forms on top in between.
- After about 15 minutes, add ¼ tsp turmeric; cover and cook till the daal is completely soft. Add salt and mix.
- In a separate pan heat butter. Add the dried red chillies. Sauté for about 10 seconds. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes till the onions start to become transluscent.
- Add shah zeera, remaining turmeric powder and red chilli powder and stir well to coat the onion in the spices.
- shahi zeera or shah zeera is grown in hilly regions. It is finer and smaller than the regular cumin seeds and has more flavour to it. If you cannot find shah zeera, use regular cumin seeds.
- When the seeds begin to crackle, add the cooked daal.
- Cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour cream and saffron water over the cooked daal. Stir in for a minute.
- Remove in a dish and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve hot with roti, naan or rice.