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  • Writer's pictureVaishali A. Patel


Updated: May 3, 2021

Traditional Gujarati thali (plate) has a variety of foods. It has two to four different types of shaak (curries), athaanu (pickles), papad, mithai (sweet), farsan(savory treats), rice, rotli (tortillas) and other goodies. However on a daily basis most Gujarati households have shaak and rotli or rice with either daal (soup made with split grains) or kadhee (buttermilk cooked with gramflour and spices).

Daal is normally made with tuver daal and rice is cooked with just salt. However this is not complete without Raitu (yogurt dip made with either onions or cucumbers shredded and mixed in).

Here is the recipe for one of my favorite Gujarati foods:

Gujarati Surti Dal:

Course: Main Cuisine: Gujarati, Indian Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml

Main Ingredients

•    ¾ cup pigeon pea lentils (tuvar dal or arhar dal) •    2 medium size tomatoes, chopped •    1 green chili, chopped (hari mirch) •    ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi) •    ¼ or ½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder) •    2 tablespoon unroasted raw peanuts •    1 sprig curry leaves (kadi patta) •    ½ inch ginger, finely chopped (adrak) •    1 or 1.5 tablespoon jaggery or sugar •    ½ or 1 tablespoon lemon juice •    salt as required

For Tempering:

•    ½ teaspoon mustard seeds (rai or sarson) •    1 pinch asafoetida (hing) •    2 tablespoon oil or ghee •    1-2 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch)

How to prepare recipe:

1. Pick and rinse the tuvar dal. Pressure-cook the dal with the tomatoes in 2.5 or 3 cups of water ’til the dal is completely cooked.

2. With a whisk or wooden spoon, mash the lentils to a smooth mixture.

3. Add the peanuts, green chilies, curry leaves, turmeric powder, red chili powder, ginger & jaggery and salt to the dal.

4. Bring the whole dal to a boil and then simmer for 3-4 minutes.

5. If the consistency of the dal becomes thick, then add some water. Switch off the flame.

6. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and when they pop, add the asafoetida.

7. Lastly add the red chilies. Fry for a few seconds but don’t burn.

8. Quickly pour this tempering along with the oil in the dal.

9. Stir and continue to simmer the dal for a couple of minutes.

10. Add lemon juice and stir. Check the seasonings.

11. Garnish surati dal with coriander leaves.

12. Serve the hot surati dal with rotis or rice along with a side vegetable dish.

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