Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal Curry (no onion, no garlic recipe)

 


Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal is, as the name suggests, a sour or tangy (“khatti”), mildly sweet (“meethi”) and totally aromatic spicy dal from the state of Gujarat in India. This dal uses cooked toor dal or split pigeon peas in a lovely golden colored thick dal curry with an amazing balance of flavors. Paired with hot steamed rice or even a simple Indian flat bread, it gives you a small sample of the amazing Gujarati cuisine.


I have always dreamt that one day, I must tour the state of Gujarat in India not only to explore the beautiful region with its beautiful art, culture and architecture, but also to savor its simple but divine cuisine. For now I wanted to bring a small sample of their cuisine into my home.

Dhoklas, khandvis etc. are very popular Gujarati snacks enjoyed by every Indian. I love my dals, so I decided to start exploring this simple but rich cuisine in the comforts of my own home with a simple dal, khatti meethi dal.

All the ingredients are easily available in every Indian home; split yellow lentils or toor dal and some basic Indian spices like mustard, hing, cumin, cinnamon etc. To lend tang or sourness to the dish, dried kokum peels which gives a unique sourness are traditionally used. Kokum is from the mangosteen family and its peels are normally used in Goan cuisine and parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka in India. You can more about it here. If you do not have it, you can use tamarind or even lemon juice as a souring agent.

Addition of jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) gives a slight sweetness to the dish; most Gujarati dishes are known for a slight sweet tinge that they have. Some Gujaratis prefer to add some peanuts to the dal which I love; I adore the texture it lends to any dish! So, do add them if you can!

Once the dal is cooked with all the spices and aromatics like ginger, curry leaves etc. temper or season with some mustard in ghee or clarified butter; this gives a rich hue to the dal. If you are vegan, using any oil will not take away too much from the flavor!

Make it thick or thin and enjoy a bowl of this super simple Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal with hot steamed rice or any flat bread you like!

 


Step-by-step method to make Khatti Meethi Dal:

To prepare the dal:

Wash dal and  peanuts well and cook in a pressure pan with plenty of water for 10 minutes on low after the first whistle or until the dal is soft and well cooked.

Soak kokum in a little water for about 10 minutes.

Once the dal is cooked, mash well and add red chilli powder, haldi, grated ginger and mix well.

Add the soaked kokum along with the water to the dal.

Stir in jaggery and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings. Lower heat and simmer dal for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the seasoning or tempering:

In a small saucepan/kadai, heat ghee or oil and add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to crackle, stir in the rest of the seasoning ingredients and sauté for a few seconds.

Pour over the simmering dal, mix well, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and remove from heat.

Adjust the consistency of the dal according to your preference; it thickens as it cools.

Serve hot khatti meethi dal Gujarati style with hot steamed rice and with a vegetable stir fry on the side or a salad, your simple Indian meal is complete!

I love to enjoy this mildly spicy, sour and slightly tangy dal with my favorite breads, Flaky Dill Paratha and Methi Laccha Paratha!!!

Enjoy!!

For more similar dal recipes, try:

Tadkewali Masoor Dal Curry

Konkani Style Dalithoy

Chilkewali Moong Dal Curry

 


Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal/ (no onion, no garlic recipe)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Gujarati Khatti Meethi Dal/ (no onion, no garlic recipe)

Quintessential mildly spicy, sour and sweet Gujarati dal made with toor dal; paired with rice or any Indian flat bread it is a quick Indian meal on your table!

For more tang, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice just before serving.

Ingredients

    For the dal:
  • ½ cup toor dal/split pigeon peas/split yellow lentils
  • 2 tbps peanuts
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 to 2 tbsp grated jaggery or brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • For the Tempering:
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp jeera
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • Few curry leaves
  • ½ tsp hing
  • 1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • Coriander leaves or cilantro for garnishing

Instructions

    To prepare the dal:
  1. Wash dal and peanuts well and cook in a pressure pan with plenty of water for 10 minutes on low after the first whistle or until the dal is soft and well cooked.
  2. Soak kokum in a little water for about 10 minutes.
  3. Once the dal is cooked, mash well and add red chilli powder, haldi, grated ginger and mix well.
  4. Add the soaked kokum along with the water to the dal.
  5. Stir in jaggery and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer dal for about 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the seasoning or tempering:
  7. In a small saucepan/kadai, heat ghee or oil and add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to crackle, stir in the rest of the seasoning ingredients and sauté for a few seconds.
  8. Pour over the simmering dal, mix well, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and remove from heat.
  9. Adjust the consistency of the dal according to your preference; it thickens as it cools.
  10. Serve hot khatti meethi dal Gujarati style with hot steamed rice and with a vegetable on the side or a salad, your simple Indian meal is complete!

Notes

If you cannot find dried kokum peels, you can use tamarind paste or soak a small marble sized tamarind in water and after some time, squeeze the tamarind well, and use the tamarind water to the dal. Adjust the amount used according to how tangy or sour you want your dal.

This dal should have a mild sweetness to it, so add jaggery or brown sugar accordingly.

Once thickened, it tastes great with any Indian flat bread like rotis, chapattis, naan, parathas etc.

For additional crunch, you can fry a tablespoon or two of more peanuts in the tempering and add to the dal.

If you have a peanut allergy, you can totally omit them; but I love the texture it brings to the dal!

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