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Pick the sabut urad dal and rinse in water for 2 to 3 times and soak it in water for 30 to 40 minutes. You can also soak the lentils for 4 to 5 hours or overnight, depending on the quality of dal. If the lentils are old or near expiry date, then soak overnight.
Later drain the soaked sabut urad dal.
Heat ghee or oil in a 3 litre stovetop pressure cooker. Instead of ghee you can also use butter. Keep the heat to low. Add the cumin seeds. When they sizzle and crackle, then add chopped onions.
Fry the onions stirring often till light brown or golden on low to medium-low heat.
Add the pureed tomatoes. Stir and mix well.
Next add the crushed ginger-garlic or ginger-garlic paste.
Add the all the dry spice powders - coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder. Stir the spice powders and mix well.
Add chopped green chilies.
Saute the masala on a low to medium-low heat till the oil starts to leave or separate at the sides. Ensure that the masala does not burn while sauteing.
Add the soaked sabut urad dal (black gram). Add water and salt as needed. Stir and mix well.
Cover the pressure cook for about 15 to 18 whistles or 18 to 20 minutes or till the lentils have become soft and buttery. If still they are not cooked well, then continue to pressure cook for a few more whistles.
When the pressure falls down naturally in the cooker then only open the lid.
If the dal looks thin, then simmer without the lid, till it reaches the desired consistency.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve maa ki dal hot with naan, kulcha, rotis, plain paratha or plain boiled rice.