Simple Tomato Dal with Spinach-Garlic Rice

fresh tomatoes, garlic, and soaked dal

It’s too hot to cook, too hot to go out in the morning, nevermind at noon, almost too hot to eat at all. This dal is tasty even at room temperature; the perfect candidate for these long, sweltering days.

I enjoy the slow-cooked taste of this dish, where the flavors have more time to mingle and intensify. You can, of course, make it in a conventional pressure cooker and adjust the time accordingly.

Simple Tomato Dal

1/4 c toor dal
1/4 c masoor dal
1/4 c moth dal
1/4 c whole washed urad dal

1 tsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seed
5-6 curry leaves
1 TB cumin-coriander powder
1 TB dried methi leaves
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chile powder, or to taste
salt to taste

1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 large red ripe tomato, chopped fine
1 small can diced tomatoes and their juice
5-6 c water

Wash all the dals well and soak together about one hour.
In large saucepan, melt ghee over medium heat and pop mustard. Add curry leaves, stir a minute, then add cumin-coriander powder, methi leaves, asafoetida, turmeric and chile powder. Stir briefly (don’t allow powders to burn), then add onion and garlic. Cook 10 min or so, stirring, until onion is nicely colored, then add tomatoes. Raise heat to med-high and cook 5 minutes to blend flavors, then add the dals and 5 cups water.

Cover and cook over medium heat about one hour with homemade pressure cooker (invert the cover of the pan and weight it with canned goods). Stir occasionally (don’t forget potholder for inverted lid) and add more water if necessary to keep the dal fairly thin.

Remove lid after one hour and mash the dal slightly, and reduce heat to medium low. Continue to cook, uncovered, another hour or until it reaches the consistency you prefer.

Correct the seasoning and serve with spinach-garlic rice.

Spinach-Garlic Rice

Rinse and drain 1 c rice. In saucepan melt 1 tsp ghee. Spear one peeled garlic clove on a fork and stir it around in the melted ghee till fragrant. Add 4 oz spinach and stir with garlic-fork till wilted. Add drained rice, stir about with garlic-fork to flavor. Remove garlic from fork but leave in the pan.
Add 2 c water and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook as usual.

tomato dal with spinach-garlic rice
simple tomato dal over spinach-garlic rice



  1. Nabeela said

    you’ve been cooiking up a storm! The dal looks very tasty

    Thank you Nabeela! Cooking now, vacation Friday πŸ™‚

  2. Linda, great recipe, i loved the rice very much..i think im gonna make it tom..thanks for sharing.

    Thank you sudah — spinach and garlic are a favorite of mine. Hope you enjoy!

  3. My,it looks so good Linda!

    Thank you, Sumitha! Just peeked in at your blog – you’ve been busy! I’ll have to try that pizza πŸ™‚

  4. Mythili said

    Awww look at you ! That’s such a nice and simple meal. Great presentation πŸ™‚

    Hi Mythili, nice to see you here and thanks! I had left you a comment about the silver box and sanuf — I don’t think it took. Your new blog template looks great πŸ™‚

  5. vineela said

    Hi Linda,
    Dal looks yummy and Yorkshire Pudding sounds great.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks, Vineela… Yorkshire Pudding was a little unconventional but that’s all part of the fun πŸ™‚

  6. Archana said

    I could totally grab that plate right now !!!! A very homely meal !!!!

    thanks so much, archana … now, how about if you bring the dessert! πŸ™‚

  7. LERA said

    Wow! what a nutritious combo and gorgeous pictures to boot…..Nice post…:)

    Thank you, Lera! Your bottle gourd dal is next on my list πŸ™‚

  8. Tanuja said

    wow what a yummy meal Linda.Its healthy and easy, thanks for sharing them.

    Thank you, Tanuja, so glad you stopped by πŸ™‚

  9. menutoday said

    Hi Linda,
    Your dal and Palak rice looks so delicious. Thanx for sharing.

    Thank you so much for the kind words! πŸ™‚

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