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! 🙂



  1. Suganya said

    A foodie like Asha is going to be thrilled :). My mom has lotsa canisters like that one. They are easy to maintain and serve the purpose well.

    This is my favorite canister, Suganya. I keep most of my other dry goods in canning jars 😉

  2. Jayashree said

    Lovely looking curry, Linda.

    Thanks so much Jayashree 🙂

  3. Asha said

    You called Linda madam? Here I am!! 😀

    Thank you so much for remembering Dec 7th.I didn’t want say since I made a big deal out of our 20th lat year! ;D
    THANK YOU Linda. He said he is taking us to Charlotte for a weekend this morning! Did the Sun rise on the opposite side? Usually he is a quite guy, must be happy this time around to make it to 21st!! Hahaha!!

    I was just deleting my 60+ blog roll pop ups and I saw the word Coorgi, I was thrilled. Then I see you even remembered my anniversary!! You are such sweetheart, God bless all of you! :))

    Kanni looks yum, I will make it and thanks for the Coorg link. I made Kattu Huruli (thick Horse gram gravy) this week, I will post sometime next year. It takes 3 days to make it, a traditional dish!

    See you on the 19th Linda, have a great weekend. I know you are getting ready for Hanukkah, enjoy! Hugs to you!:)

    Aww, Asha, so glad you popped in — in the middle of your break too! Charlotte sounds exciting, can’t wait to hear all about it!! 21 happy years is surely something to celebrate 🙂 I will look forward to your kattu huruli. Love horse gram!

    Hugs to you and enjoy the rest of your break!

    Oh, btw — we celebrate just about everything around here. As my daughter would say, Happy ChristmaKwaanzakkah! 😉

  4. indosungod said

    Linda, you are a sweet heart. I am sure Asha would be pleased as punch, hope they are enjoying the break. That is one tasty dish of toor dal. Toor dal lends itself to so many beautiful dishes that it is almost a sin to pigeon hole it to just sambhar !!

    Oh ISG — Pigeon Hole the Pigeon Peas! LOL!!

    You’re right of course, and just from doing the JFI Toor I’m learning that yes, there is life beyond sambhar… even with your magic powder! 😉

  5. Mishmash! said

    ohh myyyy you re sinking in toor dal here 🙂

    Hehe, Shn 🙂 That’s not so far from the truth! 😉

  6. bee said

    that dal looks silken and luscious. thanks for the recipe.

    Thanks for providing the perfect words, Bee. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Whenever I follow a recipe to the letter, and the result is as good as this was, I wonder why o why don’t I follow them more often!

  7. vineela said

    Hi Linda,
    New dish to me. thanks for the recipe and for the link .

    Hi Vineela, this was so easy to put together with some toor already cooked. Try and I think you’ll love it 🙂 Thanks for stopping!

  8. Shankari said

    I just cant stop admiring you…I have horsegram at home, shd try it with that.

    Hi Shankari — thanks for your kind words 🙂 I am going to try with horse gram too — should be even tastier!

  9. shivapriya said

    That soooo sweet of you linda. Dal looks delicious.

    Thanks Shivapriya — this really was a special dal and easy, too! Give a try and see what you think 🙂

  10. Cynthia said

    That’s a lotta dal! 🙂 I’m looking forward to the round-up.

    Tee hee, Cynthia, you read the caption! 😉 Should be a great assortment! 🙂

  11. Shweta said

    Great daal Linda! Hope you received my entry, there seemed to be some trouble with yahoo…

    Yahoo has been giving many bloggers fits lately! Sorry about that Shweta, I did get your entry and all’s well! Try this dal when you have some toor already cooked — easy as pie and twice as delish 🙂

  12. TBC said

    Oh what a gorgeous looking thick and creamy dal, Linda! 🙂

    Thanks TBC, glad you liked it! There are some awesome recipes at that Coorg site, check it out. I could have eaten that whole pot in one night 😉

  13. VegeYum said

    Sounds too good, Linda. I am keeping this one to cook in my kitchen.

    Thanks so much and hope you try, V! It’s truly delish and easy to make 🙂

  14. Deepa said

    This one is exceptionally too perfect toor dhal recipe …awesome one ….Sorry linda i could not particiapte this time on the Event ..Will do to next time for sure

  15. sagari said

    lovely recipe have to try looks delecious

  16. neroli said

    “It’s amazing what happens when I follow directions”—Linda, that is *hilarious*!
    I can’t imagine anything from your kitchen ever coming out badly.

  17. Latha said

    That looks delicious Linda! Yumm! lucky Asha 🙂
    Sorry for my late comment but i’ve been really tied up and have not been blog hopping!

  18. anon said

    Linda, that is such a sweet gesture… or savory if you will 🙂 the coorgi dal looks fantabulous. I am looking forward to the collection of recipes for toor dal 🙂

  19. Richa said

    wow, would love to make this soon 🙂
    keeps out of fridge for a month, wowieeeeeeee

    Glad you liked it Richa — it really was completely tasty! I am not sure how they say for a month though… it was gone in about 2 days here :):)

  20. sunila said

    Hi Linda,
    Cooked this daal ,exactly like u said and it turned out v good and disappeared in 2 days( i made a big batch) and my punjabi dad who,s a stickler for a perfect daal and a great cook too ,loved it too .Looking fwd to more recipes frm u.

  21. rak edward said

    this special recipes, making dal in coorg style, i want to prepare this, thanks for post on how to make.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: