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Pick and rinse both the lentils in fresh water a few times. Soak them in enough water for 30 minutes.
If you have time, you can soak the dal for 45 minutes or more for faster cooking.
Later drain all the water and set the soaked lentils aside.
In a 3-litre stovetop pressure cooker, heat oil. Add the cumin seeds and fry them until they crackle on low heat.
Then add onions and sauté them until light golden stirring often on medium-low heat.
Add the finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies.
Sauté for about 15 to 20 seconds or until the raw aroma of the ginger and garlic goes away.
Add the tomatoes and sauté stirring often until the tomatoes become soft and pulpy.
Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, asafoetida and garam masala. Fry for 4 to 5 seconds.
Add both the soaked lentils. Stir and mix well.
Pour water and add salt as required. Mix again
Stir and pressure cook for 8 to 9 whistles or 10 to 12 minutes on medium to medium-high heat until both the lentils are softened and mushy.
When the pressure settles down on its own, then only remove the lid and check the lentils.
If they are not cooked completely and the water has dried up, add about ½ to 1 cup water and pressure cook for some more time. Both the lentils should become mushy and soft.
Open the lid when the pressure settles down on its own in the cooker.
Simmer the dal for some more minutes until you get a smooth medium consistency.
The dal should not be watery or runny.
Mash a few cooked lentils with the back of a spoon when the dal is simmering. This helps in thickening the dal. If needed you can add some water if the dal looks too thick.
Check the seasonings and add more of the spice powders and salt if required.
Once the lentils have cooked to your desired consistency, add or garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve the Maa Chole Ki Dal hot or warm with roti, paratha or steamed rice.
Refrigerate leftovers for a day only in a covered container or bowl.