After some thought - the answer was simple - I will start with "Dalitoy" - the quintessential comfort food for Konkanis everywhere. Dalitoy is a staple accompaniement to rice, usually served with some simple vegetable side-dish (upkari).
Serves - 4
Preparation time - about 30 minutes
- Toor Dal (also called Lentils/English, Thogari bele/Kannada, Turchi dal/Marathi, Kandi pappu in Telugu) - 1/2 (half) cup
- 1/2 (half) spoon Turmeric (haldi) powder
- 6 green chillies
- 3 red chillies
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds - for seasoning / tempering
- 2 tsps oil - for seasoning / tempering
- 2 sprigs Curry Leaves - for seasoning / tempering
- Hing (also called asafietida) - 1 small chickpea sized - for seasoning / tempering
- Salt to taste
- Wash the Toor dal thoroughly - twice.
- Pressure cook dal, turmeric powder and green chillies with about 1 litre of water - until soft.
- Optional and recommended- you can mash the dal with the flat end of a cup - this makes the curry more thicker.
- Remove from cooker and heat in a seperate vessel - adjust consistency and add salt to taste.
- Heat the oil seperately - add the Hing, curry leaves, red chillies. Be careful not to burn it.
- Add the seasoning to the dal.
- Enjoy with rice and some upkari of choice! Tastes awesome with a spoon of Ghee (clarified butter)
- You can add 2 chopped tomatoes to the pressure cooker - gives a nice tangy taste.
- Seasoning - can be done with onion and garlic instead of Hing. But never use both garlic and hing together - as they both are strongly pungent.
- Mom's secret ingredient - Add 2 spoons of dried Kasoori Methi leaves just before seasoning - imparts an unbeatable new flavor to the curry.