I have talked endlessly about my mixed parentage and to some extent about dali saar too. Growing up in Madras, we had different cuisines arrive at the dinner table or in the lunch box. The variety did not include global foods the way it does today (Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, etc), but we had quite a spread.
On a typical day, we'd see the sambar-rasam routine or the dali saar-masla randeyi routine. For some reason, I formed a strong bond with rasam and discovered a love for dali saar. Sambar (which S loves) and I are civil and even friendly at times, but the love affair really hasn't taken off.
Dal is an integral part of konkani cuisine and appears on the table in several forms, the most popular ones being dali saar and dali toy. The preparation is pretty much the same and the former is a little more liquidy than the latter. Given my fixation on rasam, it is anyone's guess which version I love.
This is one dish that comes to the rescue on many weeknights.
1/2 cup Toor Dal
1 tsp Green Chilli Paste
1 tsp Ginger Paste
Salt to taste
A pinch of Turmeric Powder (optional)
For the tempering:
1 tsp Oil or Ghee
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves
1 Red Chilli or 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
Pressure cook the toor dal with the chilli and ginger pastes (and turmeric, if using) and 1 1/2 cups of water. Alternatively, you can cook the dal with a couple of slit green chillies and a 1" piece of chopped ginger.
When cooked, beat the dal well and add another cup of water. Add the salt and bring the mixture to a boil.
In a small kadhai, heat the oil or ghee, add the mustard seeds and asafoetida, and when the mustard splutters, add the red chilli and curry leaves. Add this to the dal mixture.
Serve hot with rice and a kosumbari or crisps on a busy day or make an elaborate meal with sheet (rice), dali saar or dali toy (dal), upkari (steamed vegetable) or talasani (fried or roasted vegetable), masla randeyi (coconut gravy item), kosumbari (salad) and dhayi (curd) or taak (buttermilk) and phodiyo when you have the time.