Daal is a term used on the Indian subcontinent for dried, split pulses, meaning lentils, peas, and beans. The word can also be used to describe various soups made from the pulses. Among the most important staple foods in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, pulses play a major role in a largely vegetarian cuisine due to their high protein content. They're often served with rice and/or flatbreads such as chapati and naan and accompanied by a salad or vegetable side dish for a... complete meal.
There are a great many daal recipes in Indian cuisine but here are just a few delicious ones to get you started.
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Made from scratch with spinach and orange lentils, this simple soup dish is as tasty as it is good for you. Serve it with crusty bread anytime of the year, but especially to warm you when the weather is cold.
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Rajma dal is a rustic, one-pan, vegetarian red kidney bean curry dish popular in northern India, but enjoyed throughout the country. The beans are cooked in a spicy paste featuring ginger, garlic, chilies, and tomatoes and traditionally served with plain boiled rice, Kachumbar salad, and a pickle.
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This Indian vegetable stew with tamarind that is typically served piping hot with idlis (a savory cake), vadas (fritters) or plain rice.
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Kaali daal is also known as ma ki daal (mom's lentils) since it is wholesome and delicious! Black lentils are cooked with spices, tomatoes and cream for the ultimate in Indian comfort food. Serve it with a vegetable side dish and Naan (tandoor baked flatbread) or butter chicken.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Classically North Indian, chole (pronounced chho-lay) or chickpea curry probably has almost as many variations as there are households in North India.
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This mild, tasty yet easy-to-cook daal dish is hugely popular in India and has an almost endless array of variations.
Hugely popular, it can be made ahead and frozen. When ready to eat just thaw, heat through, temper and serve with plain boiled rice or any side dish you like.
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This regal, soup-like dish combines five different kinds of daals (lentils) and is therefore also known as panchratan (five gems) daal. Serve it with naan or plain boiled rice and a salad.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Unlike other daal dishes which usually have a soup-like consistency, this tasty lentil dish is actually dry. Serve it hot chapatis (Indian flatbread) or parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread) and your favorite pickles.
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This traditional bengali tangy curry, typically served as a second course, is full of vegetables and made with tomatoes and bengal gram or chana daal.
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Daal gosht, or dal gosht, is a popular dish of spicy cubed lamb, a blend of herbs and plain lentils. In Pakistani and North Indian cuisine, this is a wholesome one-pot meal that's easily doubled or tripled for large gatherings. Just add a green salad and you're in for a satisfying meal.
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This easy savory dish is North Indian in origin and serves equally well as a main dish, an accompaniment to other meat or vegetable dishes on a special occassion or even just a tasty snack. While it looks a bit tricky to make, it's actually much more simple and well worth the effort.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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These savory pancakes are equally well received as a breakfast food or an accompaniment to any gravy-based dish. Just remember to factor in the lentil soaking time when planning to make these.
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On a street corner in Delhi's busy Laipat Nagar market, you'll find hot-off-the-fire, freshly fried mangodis, served with tangy mint-coriander chutney.
They're not complicated to make at home if you allow for some pre-planning for the moong daal to soak overnight.
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An unusual savory ingredient - lentils - is the hidden secret behind this rich, delicious dessert. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and everyone will be back for seconds.