On my visit to the Garhwal Himalayas in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, my friend’s cook introduced me to a local lentil, a variety of horse gram. The local residents make this using a herb that grows in the region, jambu, and a native spice called gandherni.
I could not get it where we were staying, however, as it was remote with only a tiny shop selling essentials at the foot of the mountain. So I decided to try to cook it with the ingredients available in my friend’s kitchen. It turned out delicious with a lovely, earthy taste.
Gahat ki dal 1 cup, soaked for two hours
Turmeric 1 tsp
Garlic 10 cloves, chopped
Ginger 1” piece, chopped
Onion 1 large, sliced
Tomato 1 large, chopped
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tbsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Green chillies 3, sliced
Coriander leaves 1 bunch, chopped
Tomato 1 small, sliced
Salt to taste
Mustard oil 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Wash and steam the dal with the turmeric in a pressure cooker.
Heat the mustard oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds. When they stop sputtering, add the garlic. Sauté for two minutes.
Add the ginger and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the sliced onion and sauté till they turn translucent.
Add the tomatoes and cook till they become soft.
Add the cooked dal.
Add the coriander powder, red chilli powder and salt.
Add 1/2 cup water and cook covered for 10 minutes on a low flame.
Add the garam masala and cook for another five minutes.
Serve hot, garnished with green chillies, coriander leaves and tomatoes.