April 18, 2013

Special Dal with vegetables

How to make Special Dal (with Ridge Gourd)

                I like to add vegetables in my dal, so i can sneak in atleast one more serving of vegetables during dinner/lunch. You can omit the vegetable altogether or substitute the Ridge Gourd (Peerkangai) with any other vegetable of your choice. Vegetables with a high water content works well for this dal, ex: Bottle Gourd (Sorakkai), Chayote Squash (Chow-Chow or Bangalore Brinjal),Spinach or other greens. As a plus, you can also use the peel/skin of the Ridge Gourd to make a yummy Chutney/Thuvayal.

Dal with vegetables


Cooked Toor Dal - 1 cup, Mashed
1 large Ridge gourd - peeled & cubed
1 big Onion - sliced
1 Tomato - Chopped
6-8 pods of Garlic - sliced
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Tomato paste - 1.5 tsp
Garam Masala powder - a pinch
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Water - 500 ml
Salt to taste
Besan/Gram Flour - 1 tsp
Chopped Coriander leaves - for Garnish

For Tempering-

Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Kashmiri Red Chillies - 2, broken into halves
Jeera - 1tsp

  • Wash & peel the Ridge Gourd with a peeler. If the seeds are soft, you can ignore them; if they happen to be hard, you will have to remove those seeds & discard.
  • Chop all other vegetables as mentioned.
  • Heat a pan/kadai with 2 tbsp of oil. When it gets hot, add the mustard seeds, wait for it to splutter, then add the Jeera & Red Chillies & fry them on medium heat.
  • Next add the chopped Garlic & saute it till light brown. Next goes the Onions & saute them until it gets translucent in color. Now you can add the Ridge Gourd & tomatoes along with the salt & cook it covered for 5-10 minutes. The salt helps in cooking the vegetables faster.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, you can add all the powders except Garam Masala powder. Stir & add tomato paste/ Tomato puree. If you do not have it on hand, you could substitute it with additional juicy tomatoes.
  • Add water. In a small cup dissolve 1 tsp of besan in cold water & add it to the dal.
  • Taste & add chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with Rotis or Rice. I like to have this dal like a chunky soup/stew in the winter. It can be a meal by itself along with a salad.


1.If you add besan directly to the hot dal, it will form into lumps.
2.You can also save the peel to make Peerkangai Thuvayal/Ridge gourd peel chutney for Idli/Dosa.  

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