Thoor dhal is a kind of legume seed, which looks like a flat, beige split pea. Its rich, earthy taste makes it popular in Kerala.
Maya Kaimal's aunt finishes this dish by adding the classic Keralan seasoning blend of mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried red chiles, sizzled together in oil.
Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips
1 cup thoor dhal (7 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 1/2 cups water
2 serrano or Thai chiles, cut in half lengthwise
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 tomato, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
10 curry leaves or 2 bay leaves
2 dried red chiles
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the thoor dhal and turmeric with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Add the serrano chiles, onion, garlic and ginger and simmer until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and salt and simmer until the tomato is softened.
In a small skillet, combine the oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried red chiles. Cover and cook over moderately high heat until the seeds pop. Stir the spices into the dhal and serve.
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