This is a standard Indian recipe but over the years I've tried it by tweaking the ingredients and now it's come to a stage where its perfect for my taste.
Toor dal or Moong dal - 1 cup
Onion (big) - 1
Tomatoes (medium) - 1
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Garlic - 2 cloves
Green chillies (hot) - 4
Red chilli powder -1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - finely chopped, 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
1. Pressure cook the dal with twice the amount of water. My mom also taught me this trick to add turmeric powder and half a teaspoon of oil. It's supposed to cook the dal better.
2. Finely chop the onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic cloves and green chillies.
3. Add some oil in a thick bottomed pan and add about a tbsp of oil and splutter some cumin seeds (jeera).
4. To this add the green chillies, ginger and garlic and fry them until they get a little browned. I've learnt that this brings out the flavor better.
5. Then add the onions and add about half a tsp of salt. This helps to fry the onions faster and also keeps them from burning. I let the onions fry really well until they are brown.
6. Then add the masalas. I use a standard plastic disposable spoon as measurement. Red chilli powder and coriander powder. I let the onions get completed coated in the masalas. Just make sure it doesn't burn.
7. Then add the tomatoes and let it cook completely until oil separates. This is the only way the raw taste of the tomatoes won't linger in the dal.
8. To the pressure cooked dal, add as much water as desired and use a thick wooden spoon to blend it all together so that you get a smooth consistency.
9. Add this dal to the onion-tomato paste and add salt to taste.
10. After one boil, you can leave it to simmer on the stove on low for 15 minutes with a lid.
I know this may be a very juvenile recipe, but like I said its my recipe book and I get to put anything in it :)