Dali Varan, Lentil Gravy

          Couple of months back I bought this cook book Rasachandrika, a very old book on Saraswat cooking, originally written in Marathi and later translated in Hindi and then in English. The first edition of the book came out in 1943 and I love the picture on the front cover, showing an Indian kitchen in the 1940's. There are many interesting recipes, and I tried this Dali Varan, a simple gravy with tuvar dal/ split pigeon peas. It's like our sambar, but tastes a little different and goes very well with plain white rice or even with idlis and dosas..

Need To Have

Tuvar Dal/ Split Pigeon Peas - 1/3 cupTurmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoonMustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoonCurry Leaves - 10
To Grind

Grated Coconut - 1 tablespoonDried Red Chillies - 4Black Peppercorns - 1/2 teaspoonCumin Seeds - 1/2 teaspoonTamarind - small marble size

          Pressure cook the tuvar dal with the turmeric powder. Grind together all the ingredients given under ' to grind ' using some water.

          Mix the ground paste with the cooked dal and some water (sambar or thin gravy consistency) and bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes and switch off. Heat some oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds, when it starts spluttering, add the curry leaves, remove and add it to the cooked dal.
Serve it warm with some rice and any vegetable curry for a complete meal.

The original recipe uses more coconut, but I have reduced it.

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