Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Langar Wali Dal

Langar wali Dal also Known as Amritsari Dal -  gets its name from "Langar", Langar is a community meal organised by the Sikh community, this dal is commonly prepared at Langar's hence its known as "Langar wali Dal."

Traditionally this a slow cooked preparation of Split Black Urad Dal (Black Gram) and Chana Dal (Bengal Gram). Dal's are soaked until they are completely re-hydrated and then simmered on low charcoal or wooden flame for hours along with various spices, until it gets a nice creamy texture. while the Dal simmers you need to keep a close eye and keep stirring to avoid the dal from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

These days due to time constrains its not possible for most us to prepare Dal the traditional way, but just because we are in a hurry these days doesn't mean we give up of the pleasures of relishing these traditional dishes. You can always prepare them at home and thanks to the Pressure cooker the Dal can be boiled in a matter of minutes. I like to make this dal way before the serving time, and let it simmer along with all the masalas for 15 - 20 minutes on low flame. turn off the gas and let the flavors blend together for 2-3 hours, just before serving reheat on low flame and add the tadka. (The dal served at Langar doesn't have tadka, but since this is a home version I have added it.) 
Trust me there can be nothing as comforting as a bowl of rice and Langar wali Dal along with a generous dollop of Desi Ghee. 

So here is a simple and easy to follow recipe of the "LangarWali Dal" which can be prepared at home and can be enjoyed with some plain steamed rice or garma garam chapatis.


Split Black Urad dal - 1 cup
Chana Dal - 1/4th cup
Tomato - 2 medium size
Onion, chopped - 1 medium
Garlic, fat ones - 3-4 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch piece + another 1/2 inch piece
Green chilies - 5 pieces (Mild ones)
Fresh green coriander, chopped - 2 tablespoon
Green Cardamon - 2 pcs
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
Cloves- 3-4 pieces
Bay leaf - 1
Asafoetids - a generous pinch
Red chili powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 2 teaspoon
Garam Masala powder - 1/4th teaspoon
Oil - 2 tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon
Salt as per taste.

For Tadka / Tempering

Oil - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1 teaspoon


Pick and wash the dals thoroughly,and soak them for 1-2 hours.(Black Urad dal needs to be washed a few times so just wash it a couple of times until the water runs out clear)

Grind 1 inch ginger and 4 cloves of garlic to make a paste and keep aside.

Roughly chop the tomatoes and grind along with 2 green chilies and keep aside.

Chop the onions, from the remaining ginger cut a few juliennes and chop the remaining.


Place the ginger garlic paste in the pressure cooker along with the green cardamon, cloves cinnamon stick and bay leaf, Add 4 cups of water along with turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt and half a teaspoon of oil. Place the pressure cooker on the gas stove and bring it to boil.

Once the water comes to a roaring boil add the soaked dal, close the lid of the pressure cooker and let it cook for 3-4 whistles turn off the gas and let all the steam escape before you open the lid of the pressure cooker.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, add the chopped onions, fry for a minute or two and add 2 slit green chilies.fry until the onion starts to change colour.

Add the tomato and green chili paste along with the red chili powder, coriander powder and salt, mix well if needed add a tablespoon or so of water and continue frying until oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.

Add the fried masala to the cooked dal, mix well if you feel that the dal is too thick just add some warm water to adjust the consistency. Add the garam masala powder along with chopped ginger,mix well. Let the dal come to a boil, reduce flame and let it simmer for 15 - 20 minutes on low flame.

For the Tempering

Heat one tablespoon of oil, add the cumin seeds, once the seeds start popping turn off the flame and quickly pout the tempering over the cooked dal.

Garnish with julienned ginger, chopped green chilies and freshly chopped green coriander.
Serve hot along with steamed rice or chapatis.


Ratio of Chana dal and urad dal is 1:4 that is 1 pact chana dal for 4 parts of urad dal, however you are free to increase or decrease the quantity as per personal preference.
I have used 5 green chilies for this recipe, don't panic...these are mild ones which are high on flavor and low on heat. If it still bothers you then just adjust as per your taste.
Adding a few drops of oil while cooking the dal is an age old tip from my grand mom, this ensures that the dals retain there shape while they are well cooked.
Please go slow with salt as we have added salt while boiling the dal, and also added salt while making the tomato onion masala.  Moreover once we keep the dal for simmering, it tends to thicken so  do check and adjust as per taste.
I like to add the jeera tadka at  the end as it enhances the taste as well as adds a nutty flavor to the dal.

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