Gujarati Style Daal

ImageCooking is a form of translation, where my taste begins converting flavors and traditions from another culture into my own recipes. Indian food my be my favorite, because the ingredients are so colorful, so spicy, and so filled with life. Inevitably though, I make changes, like adding an onion, dropping a spice I don’t have, or taking out the ever present ghee to make the dish dairy-free with coconut oil

Gujarati Style Daal


1c. lentils (urid daal that has been presoaked in water for 2-4 hours)

4 c. water

1 onion

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 garlic cloves

4 curry leaves

2 tsp. ginger

3 finger chilies

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 cup pureed tomatoes (about 3)

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. hot chili powder

at least 1 and 1/4 tsp. salt

Step 1. Cook the 1 cup of lentils in 3 cups of water and a teaspoon of sea salt for 30 minutes, and then smash the lentils with a spoon (every lentil does not have to be smashed, but smash enough so you begin to get a creamy consistency)Image

Step 2. Cook 2 tablespoons of virgin/cold-pressed coconut oil, drop a cumin seed in when gets hot, if it pops (a sizzling, crackling noise) the oil is hot enough and you can add all the cumin seeds

Step 3. When the cumin seeds have ‘popped’ add the diced onionImage

Step 4. Let onion cook 1-2 minutes (you don’t want it to brown) and add the diced garlic, ginger, curry leaves, and finger chilies. Allow to cook for an additional minute

Step 5. Add the tomatoes (which you should have pureed in a blender or food processor), turmeric, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt

Step 6. When the tomato, onion, and spices mixture has cooked about 5 minutes more, add this mixture to the lentils. Stir and mash further.Image

Step 7. Add 1 cup additional water to the pot and let cook on low for 10 to 15 more minutes, until creamy.

Step. 8 Serve with chopped cilantro, rice, and some naan or chapati


Note: If you taste the daal and you think “hmm, it needs something, but what is it?” Add a pinch more salt at a time until that question goes away. This lentil dish might just need a little extra salt to taste)


2 responses to “Gujarati Style Daal

  1. This looks delicious. More and more often what I crave is a plate of heavily spiced lentils cooked down to a mush and served with some salty chili pickle. Heaven 🙂 This is my go to recipe
    Will have to adapt it now I have seen yours 🙂

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