Recreating dhaba-style dal fry at home doesn’t have to be a hassle if you have the right know-how. Here are some pointers that will help you make this beloved recipe at home
Some of the most delicious meals in the country are found at roadside dhabas, across the highways which serve local cuisine. You can score a scrumptious, hearty meal at under a hundred bucks and chances are you'll remember the food for its distinct taste.
The best thing about dhaba-style cooking is its simplicity, it's usually made with fresh ingredients and simple techniques; however, there are some elements which make dhaba-style food different from home-cooked meals.
Freshly ground spices are key to dhaba-style cooking; they don't just elevate the taste but also work wonders in terms of aroma. Another crucial element is the smokiness that accompanies dhaba food and is usually attained manually through the tandoor method and the usage of coal. The dhaba dal fry is one of the most widely-appreciated dishes in the country which almost everyone tries to recreate in their kitchen. If you love dal and would love to savour this recipe at home, make a note of these essential points.
Pressure Cook The Dals Separately
Though toor dal is commonly used for most homemade dal fry recipes, this preparation is mostly made by combining two dals when it's made in dhabas. Toor dal and chana dal are best used together for a dhaba-style dal fry since they offer an interesting texture (a 2:1 ratio of channa dal to toor dal is ideal). It is important to pressure cook the two deals separately since their cooking time is different.
Pressure cooking is the best method because not only can it cook dals faster, but it can help to retain more nutrients in cooked dishes. Drain the lentils and add them to the pressure cooker. Chop the veggies with spices and sauté with spices to turn it into a paste and add the two deals.
Do Not Mash The Dal Completely
The dal may be partially blended even after you've cooked it. After draining the extra water, mash the dal blend with a masher to make it more consistent but let some grains stay semi-solid since it adds to the richness of the texture. Also, make sure you don't add salt at the beginning of you're cooking in a pressure cooker. Salt does not let the dal cook thoroughly and increases cooking time. You can add salt after it is cooked.
Add Baking Soda
A common hack with restaurants and dhabas – adding baking soda can actually tenderise dal quicker. Use a pinch of baking soda before pressure cookering it. Baking soda essentially softens the legumes and also reduces the amount of sugars and starches which helps the dal cook quicker and also makes it less dense.