I was watching a film where the guys were eating “matar daal”. I know tamatarr is tomato, I didn’t know what matar was. Google said matar is peas. I peeked at the recipe and adapted it with the spices I have at home and it turned out real tasty!
1 cup yellow split peas (daal)
5 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
1 medium-sized onion, freshly chopped
10 large or 15 small curry leaves
2 large tomatoes, chopped (I used Roma)
3 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp salt (to add more after cooked)
Half tsp turmeric powder
Half tsp coriander powder
1 tsp grounded cayenne pepper
Half tsp red chili powder
1 red or green chili, finely chopped
Half tsp sugar
Half cup chopped parsley
Half cup finely chopped coriander
Half cup fried chopped onions
- Wash and soak the yellow split peas in water for an hour, covering it with several inches of water above the peas level. Then, drain the peas, put in a pressure cooker with 5 cups of water and let cook on low heat for around 15-25 minutes or until it sort of whistles with the foam coming out. The peas should not go creamy but should be soft enough to eat. Leave aside.
- In a non-stick pot, put the ghee to melt on medium-low fire then throw in: Cumin seeds, cumin powder and freshly chopped onions. Let cook for a minute.
- Add the curry leaves, let cook for 30 seconds.
- Throw in the rest: chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, freshly chopped chili, sugar and half cup of water. Let cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add in the boiled split peas and parsley. Increase the heat to medium-high and mix well with the spice. Cook for 5-10 minutes, half-covered. It should not go dry. Check the salt and add more, if required.
- Before switching off fire, add the coriander and fried onions. Churn well and serve hot on its own or with bread, rice, farata…
Okay, I should be honest. I love spicy food… that’s why it’s full of flavours. But you can reduce the quantity of the spices to suit anyone’s taste.