2 step daal recipe

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A quick translation – PhoDNi is the Marathi word for Tadka or tempering. VaraN refers to cooked daal. So this is tempered daal Nagpur style. This is a common everyday daal recipe from the central Indian city of Nagpur – a family recipe I grew up eating.


  • 2 cups split yellow pigeon peas (toor daal) cooked
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Pinch of hing or Asafetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
How to Make It
  1. Cook about 1 cup of dry toor daal with turmeric and 2-3 cups water in a pressure cooker, or use the stove top method.
  2. This cooked daal is the starting point of the recipe.
  3. Mix cooked daal and water, whisk well and bring to a boil.
  4. Heat oil in a small wok or kadai.
  5. Add mustard seeds and let them pop for a bit.
  6. Switch off heat.
  7. Add hing or Asafetida and the cayenne pepper.
  8. Immediately pour this over the daal.
  9. Now bring the daal to a boil – just let the mixture come up once and switch off heat immediately.
  10. You want to lightly mix the tadka with the daal but still leave some at the top.
  11. Serve hot with rice or as part of an Indian meal.

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