Kalai Er Dal (Urad Dal / Split Black Gram)

          A very popular Dal recipe among the sri lanka and bengali is this very special Kalai Er Dal, which is nothing but our very own split black gram lentil. It is first dry roasted to bring out the nutty flavour and to remove the slimy texture.

          This is my version where I first boil it along with some ginger, green chilies and mustard oil. I then give a tempering of panch phoron and asafoetida, finishing it off with some ghee and coriander leaves. It is a great comfort food and if paired with some aloo bhaja (fried potatoes),  is simply out of this world. Please find below a step by step guide with pictures to prepare it.

  • 1/2 cup urad dal (split black gram) soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1″ ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (equal quantities of fennel, mustard, cumin, fenugreek & nigella seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1/2 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves

          Boil the dal with ginger, turmeric powder, green chilies, 1 tbsp. mustard oil and 1 1/2 cups water for 4-5 whistles.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with panch phoron. After it stops spluttering, add asafoetida and onion. Saute till light brown in colour.

          Add the boiled dal and salt. Simmer on low flame for 2-3 minutes. When done, add ghee and mix well. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and cumin powder.

Soak dal for 30 minutes.

                              Add turmeric powder, ginger, green chilies and mustard oil.
                              Pressure cook in 1 1 /2 c ups water for 4-5 whistles.

                              Heat oil in a pan and temper with panch phoron and asafoetida.

                              Add onion and saute till light brown in colour.

                              Add the boiled dal, salt and 1/2 cup water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

                              Add ghee and serve …………

                              …………garnished with coriander leaves and a sprinkle of roasted
                              cumin powder.

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