My mum belongs to a rather small community from the southern state of Karnataka, India. The Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin community, though originally from Kashmir, settled down along the coast of North Karnataka, around Karwar a few centuries ago and adapted their food habits to the local produce such as coconut, tamarind, red chillies as well as local vegetables & sea food.
They have a vast range of delicious dishes ranging from coconut curries known as Ghasshis and Tamblis to a range of lentil curries or dals, vegetables & snacks. It would be my pleasure to share these traditional recipes from my Grandma’s kitchen with you over time.
The past 2-3 days have brought a sudden nip in the air & slight under-the weather feeling that left me craving for simple comforting home food, what with all the over eating over Diwali. That’s when I thought of sharing one of my favourite traditional meals, which reminds me of my Mum’s home.
Every time we returned home from a long day out or felt under the weather, Mom always assured us this tonic of light soupy dal (lentil curry) known as Dali Toye or Dali Thoy with hot steamed rice and a large spoonful of ghee would be sure to frighten the chills away! Of course you know the chills would rarely disobey any Mum!
Using readily available ingredients from any Indian kitchen, this dal is sure to delight you and your family in any weather, so try this recipe out real soon. Today I have paired this dal with another of my favourites from the Konkani kitchen, Batata Saung.
Recipe for Traditional Konkani Dali Toye/Thoy with Steamed Rice
Ingredients (Serves 4 Persons)
- 1 cup toor dal/split pigeon pea lentil/ arhar dal
- 2-3 green chillies, slit
- 1 inch piece of ginger, lightly crushed
- 3 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
- 1 pinch asafoetida/hing
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds /rai
- 1 pinch asafoetida/hing
- 8-10 fresh curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
- To cook the dal, rinse it well a couple of times until the water runs clean. Cook the dal in the pressure cooker with 2 slit green chillies, 1 inch piece of lightly crushed ginger and 2 cups of water for 4 whistles or until well cooked.
- Once the pressure settles down, open the lid and check that the dal is completely cooked & mushy. Mash & churn with a whisk or spoon until you get a smooth consistency.
- Add 1 more cup of water, a pinch of turmeric powder & salt to taste.
- Cook covered on a low-medium flame for 7-8 minutes to get a nice well blended consistency.
- In the meanwhile, prepare the seasoning in a small pan. Heat 2tbsp ghee, add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and allow them to crackle.
- Now add a good pinch of hing/asafoetida, another pinch of turmeric powder and the curry leaves. Switch off the flame, stir to mix & add your tasty tadka to the pot of boiling dal.
- Cover with a lid immediately and allow it to rest for 5 minutes until the flavours have beautifully infused themselves into the dal.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves & serve hot with steamed rice and some more ghee!
- Warm, delicious, comforting Dali Toye is ready to devour!
- This dal relies on basic ingredients easily available in any Indian kitchen & hence very easy to make.
- The dal consistency should ideally be soupy and medium thick, neither too thick, nor too thin.
- Like any other dal, this dal too has various versions, some using red chillies for tempering for added flavour. This would give the dal a reddish tinge.
- In the absence of ghee, you can also use coconut oil or any other cooking oil you have at home for tempering. However the flavours of ghee, ginger & chilli are truly brought out beautifully in this dal.
- This dal & rice meal pairs very well with Batata Saung.