Urad Dal with Fresh Fenugreek

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Sometimes a gentle Indian meal with split dal is just the thing I crave. I adore the creamy texture and mellow, yet unique flavour of urad dal so I made this simple dish for a special lady friend of mine when she was over for an afternoon visit. Fresh fenugreek is a must in this dish and it was a delight to find some at my local Indian grocery store. I served it with hot basmati rice, but it certainly would go well with naan or any other Indian flatbread.
Urad Dal and Chana Dal with Fresh Fenugreek and Tomatoes

Adapted from Pure & Simple by Vidhu Mittal

2/3 cup of skinless, split urad dal, well rinsed
1/3 cup of chana dal, well rinsed
sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup of fresh fenugreek leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons of ghee, or a mixture of butter and oil
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups of water

For the tempering:

1 tablespoon of ghee, or a mixture of butter and oil
1/2 teaspoon of asafetida
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder

Soak the urad dal and chana dal in enough water to cover for at least 1 hour. Drain, transfer to a large pot, add 1 1/2 cups of water, bring to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and simmer until the dal is soft, stirring occasionally to ensure the water does not boil away.

Add the fenugreek leaves to the pot and set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons of ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the tomato and salt to the pan and stir and fry until the tomato begins to soften. Add the tomato to the beans, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 5 - 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the tempering. Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a small frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the asafetida, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and red chili powder. Stir and fry for a minute. Pour over the cooked lentil dish.

Serves 4-6.

More urad dal recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Urad Dal with Tomatoes
Fennel Flavoured Ural Dal Soup
Urad Dal with Tomatoes, Spices and Coconut

On the top of the reading stack: The National Post

Audio Accompaniment: Arc of Passion by Steve Roach


roxan @ kitchen meditation said...

Mmm, I'm getting ready to have lunch, I wish I could have a bowl of that today!

Astra Libris said...

So perfectly comforting... I'm imagining the wonderful texture of the dal, and feeling warmer and cheerier already! :-)

Apu said...

Urad and methi - what a perfect combination!!

Curry Leaf said...

Love the combo of urad and methi.Exotic.Normally split urad is not used in a recipe compare to whole black one.Must try

Usha said...

This dhal looks inviting, the combination of urad and fenugreek sounds perfect !

Jacqueline said...

I was watching The Delicious Miss Dahl last night and she was making dahl, which gave me a serious craving. I like the sound of this one even more :)

Indhu said...

simple comforting foods are the best, aren't they? :)

Maccaveggieblog said...

Hi, I found your blog through another website! I love Indian food and this dish looks very good:)) Bye Sabrina

maninas said...

Interesting dhal. Bookmarked!

eatme_delicious said...

Looks good! I bought some fenugreek but I guess it's dried or the spice or something? I haven't used it yet.

Lisa said...


Sounds like you picked up some dried fenugreek leaves (methi), though fenugreek is available in powder and seed form too. If you do have the dried leaves, just use them instead of the fresh leaves, but use less. If you can find the fresh leaves, they are a real treat.