02 October, 2017

Kandi Pappu (Roasted Toor Dal)

Simple, earthy, nourishing, delicious. Looks can be deceptive. ;)

Toor dal, called Kandi Pappu in Telugu, is one of the most common, everyday dals used in the average Indian household (though, not by far, the only one!).

When someone says “yellow dal” it’s very likely that this is the one they mean, although there are other dals which would qualify as being yellow, and most become so after being cooked. such as they are, usually with a bit of turmeric.

Dal is an important constituent in an Indian vegetarian diet, which, when combined with either rice, or roti as it usually is, provides a complete protein, besides minerals and vitamins.

In its most basic version, dal is simply soaked for a bit, then boiled (pressure-cooked) with salt, and it is ready! This is the version that gets made most often in my house, with the addition of turmeric and a tempering of cumin seeds and asafoetida.

I love this Andhra version which is completely transformed into a whole different avatar by the simple process of roasting the lentils before cooking them. 

For this version, because of the roasting, I tend to  bypass the soaking stage. But because it's so important to soak dals to improve digestibility and cooking ease, it's probably a good idea to give it a 15-30 minute soak anyway, after the roasting. ;)

The aroma of the roasted dal beckons enticingly, and it does not disappoint. In our house, we call it “biscuit dal” because the colour and flavour is slightly akin to that of biscuits!

There are more delightful and delicious versions of roasted dals (also many other ones, besides tur) that can be made into a  Podi (Roasted, spiced dal powder) or Pachadi (Roasted, spiced dal chutney) etc. 

But those are for future posts. :)

Though dals typically tend to be soupy, the interesting thing about this one, also called "mudda pappu" is the consistency, which is kept fairly thick, almost chutney-like, and is also served in a similar, small quantity  to be had along with rice, as part of a larger course meal.

Tur Dal (Red Gram/Pigeon Pea) ½ cup
Salt to taste
Water – 1 1/4 cup

1.) Roast the dal on medium heat with constant stirring, till nicely browned and fragrant.
2.) Rinse and pressure cook with the water as usual till soft (ie, bring to full pressure, then maintain on simmer for 8-10 minutes, allow pressure to drop normally).
3.) Add salt to taste. Serve hot.

Traditionally loved with steaming hot rice (and a bit of jaggery and ghee) on the side, but versatile enough to go with anything.

Or as a dip.

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