No one in an Indian home would serve dal without adding a tarka. The preparation of tarka varies in the different regions of India. Each region boasting their version to be better. What I have found is that they are all good. Whenever I have varied it in one region by preparing a different region’s tarka it has raised question, ‘How did you make this dal?’ It just shows that by using different tarkas one can totally change the taste of dal and almost all of them are good.
My friend and mentor in Aurangabad, Ranjana shows me her style of tarka which transformed the dal into the most exquisite dish. This unfortunately would be the last dish that she could teach me on my whistle stop tour of Maharashtra.
- 1 Tomato chopped
- 2 Green chillies cut into small pieces
- Curry leaves
- Chopped fresh coriander
- Cumin seeds
- Garlic chopped.
- Boil the dal as usual with turmeric powder and salt for approximately 20 minutes or when the dal is done. Some people use a pressure cooker when one would need to cook till the first whistle. Leave it aside.
- Before serving the dal prepare the tarka by heating ghee or oil in a pan on high heat.
- Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
- When cumin seeds start to sizzle add the garlic and lightly brown.
- Add the curry leaves and fry for 30 secs.
- Add chopped green chillies and fry for 30 secs.
- Add chopped tomatoes and fry for a few minutes.
- Add chopped fresh coriander and fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the tarka to dal before serving.
It goes with any meal. This was my last Maharashtra regional dish blog till I revisit or have the opportunity to be invited by a Maharashtrian friend!