Archive for December 7, 2007

Toor Dal Gravy in Coorg Style

alotta toor dal!
I took Richa’s advice to heart and got this stored right away ~
luckily it fit nicely into my big airtight toor dal canister

I would like to send a great big thank you to everyone who has participated in
Jihva for Toor Dal! I am so excited about the great variety of recipes that are waiting to be rounded up! You all are the best 🙂

Tomorrow (or today, now — Friday December 7) is last call for
JFI: Toor Dal, with contributions accepted up until midnight.

Of course, anyone who knows me also knows that I am the one always
‘just under the wire’ with my entries for the various events!
I am the last one to be a stickler.
So don’t be shy, a little late is better than never 🙂

For Jihva, an adaptation of mudare kannie, a traditional recipe from
Manavattira Sharada Mandana, who writes in detail about traditional
Coorg cooking at

Toor Dal Gravy in Coorg Style

For the dal:

1 c cooked toor dal, on the thin side (cooked with extra water)
2 TB thick tamarind pulp

For the paste:

1 TB coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp methi seeds
1/4 tsp peppercorns
1/4 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 small red onion
6 cloves garlic (or 1 TB garlic paste)

For the tadka:

2 tsp canola oil (or oil and ghee mix)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 curry leaves
2-3 dried red chillies
1/2 small red onion, cut in thin strips

For finishing:

Salt and chilli powder to taste


Heat the thin dal in a small saucepan over med-low flame, and add the tamarind. Cook and stir until the mixture thickens and bubbles like porridge.

Meanwhile, roast the dry spices. Cool and grind with the onion and garlic and 2-3 TB water to make a smooth paste.

Add this paste to the thickening dal and stir well.

In a small pan heat the oil or oil/ghee over med-high flame. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard splutters, add the cut onion and dried chillies and reduce heat to med-low. When onion is translucent, pour the tadka over the dal gravy and stir well.

Cover and cook 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Before serving, add and, if you need more heat, chilli powder to taste.


For this recipe, I only changed one ingredient — and my guess is it was the most important one — the dal! The original recipe calls for horse gram, and after tasting this with toor dal, I will certainly try it with kollu as well.

The original instructions as written by Manavattira Sharada Mandana
say the following:

“Cool well and bottle this mudare kanni, can keep out of fridge for a month – preferably keep in fridge if you need to keep for longer time.

Goes well with hot rice and ghee.”

toor dal in coorg style

It’s amazing what happens when I follow the directions. I used my measuring spoons and I paid attention to the instructions — two things I often don’t bother to do 🙂

The result? The gravy was so good that I literally stood at the stove spooning it out of the pan. I am lucky there was any left to photograph.
Rice? Who needs rice… 😉

I am sending this plate of Coorg-style gravy to vacationing Asha on her anniversary — Happy Anniversary Asha and Arvind! 🙂


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