Friday, May 28, 2010

Lentils with Peanuts

The daily bread for me (like for many Indians) is actually daily rice and dal. I was so excited when Suma announced the Delicious Dals of India event. Adding a few new dal recipes into the dinner rotation can only be a good thing.

Growing up, the everyday dal was the simplest ever- varan. On other days, there was amti. In fact quite often, leftover varan would be converted to amti. Other types of dals were made off and on. This was one of them- masoor (whole lentils) cooked with mild spices and peanuts.

This mild dal gets most of its flavor from cumin and coriander. As is quite typical with the Brahmani variety of Maharashtrian cooking, it has some sweetness from jaggery and some tangy from dried kokum fruit. You can substitute tamarind for the latter.

I like using tiny brown lentils from the Indian store in this recipe (for some reason, it is labeled "masoor matki"), but any lentils will do.

Masoor Shengdana Amti
{Lentil stew with Peanuts}

1. Cook in the pressure cooker-
  • 1 cup brown lentils (whole masoor)
  • 13 cup raw peanuts

2. In another pot, do the tempering-
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds

3. Add 1 medium chopped onion and saute until translucent.

4. Add spices and stir for a few seconds-
  • 12 tsp. turmeric 
  • 12 tsp. red chilli powder (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp. cumin-coriander powder
  • 12 tsp. garam masala
5. Add the following and simmer for 5 minutes-
  • Cooked lentil-peanut mixture
  • Small lump of jaggery
  • 4-5 pieces of dried kokum
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required to get the desired consistency
This dal tastes even better if you let it rest for 30 minutes or so before serving. Serve it with any bread or with steamed rice. Garnish it with a handful of chopped cilantro if you wish.

This dal goes to Suma for the Delicious Dals of India event.

Once the entries are posted, I'll be busy making everyday meals special by trying dals from other homes. Isn't it extraordinary that humble lentils and everyday spices can be put together in so many permutations and combinations?

If you grew up eating home-style Indian food, what was the go-to dal in your home?


  1. Wowo this lentil curry looks so so good. Back home we too had rice and dal almost every day or some kind of dal.

  2. Our go-to dal was of course toor dal. Being a tambram, it got to be with all the sambars and adai :). Lovely amti...bookmarked!

  3. I love the taste of cooked peanuts, especially boiled in a gravy. Since I have some good kokum now, am sure am going to make this. Would love this with plain rice. :-)

  4. This sounds gorgeous! Will definitely make it, as I adore both dal and peanuts.

  5. I love peanuts in anything and everything! Growing up in a telugu household, our go to dal dishes were pappu chaaru and mango dal. Of course, living in madras, sambar infiltrated our kitchen... and thank god for that! :)

  6. In a typical gujju household, the staple dal is toor dal, typically a mix of sweet, sour and spicy. It's commonly called gujarati sweet dal, and it tastes awesome with hot rice and masala papad.

  7. Thanks Nupur for the lovely, traditional dal.
    As you mentioned, checking out the the variations in dal preparations is the basic idea behind the event and hoping that there would be a good number of home cooked delicacies.
    Growing up in an Andhra household, the main deal was always rice-dal-vegetable. Toordal was and still is the primary choice for preparing pulusu / pappu.

  8. Peanuts in masoor daal, wow new to me....we gujjus add peanuts in Toor daal...most of the time Gujarati daal and plain rice..but here in UK I try lots diffrent daals...

  9. dont know if sambar can be called as dal - but it was toor dal and also the urud dal for idli/dosa.

  10. peanuts in dal.. now why didn't I think of that?

  11. I'm a peanut fangirl. So, this goes to my never ending list of bookmarks!

    Nupur, Nupur, I can't wait to try that ice cream. I'm busy recommending it to the whole world, but I promise to try it soon.

  12. I love peanuts in daal - I make it gujarati way. never made it with masoor though. will try it for sure.bookmarked!

    when growing up, mom's go-to daal was always varan on Monday and give fodni and make amti using goda masala for tuesday! If I don't get my regular dose of amti, I get some serious cravings for it. :-D

  13. Masoor amti is one of my favorite too ! Mom used ton add coconut gravy to it !

    At my place varan was most common then Amtis out of those "Tohy" - ginger added konkani style amti - this was quite regular :)

  14. I make whole masoor like this always but without peanuts. I guess these are the kolhapuri touch. Sucking the kokum out of the dal is bliss. A friend of mine when he visits me likes to demand for these aamtis to eat from a vaati but I sometimes add a handful of chivda to make it a misal.

  15. I know that they make a tangy gravy out of raw peanuts. This combo is definitely different. A gr8 entry for the event.

  16. I always love visiting your blog...sigh.

  17. Happy Cook- Yes, this is the stuff of everyday meals.

    Preeti Kashyap- Yes, sambar itself has so many delicious avatars.

    Sharmila- Me too, love love love the taste of cooked peanuts :) Let me know if the recipe works for you!

    maninas- Thanks, yes, can't go wrong with dal and peanuts.

    The Housewife- Mmm, mango dal is such a treat.

    jk- I absolutely adore Gujarati dal, love the tangy-sweet flavors.

    Suma Gandlur- I am loving this event; thank you for thinking of this fantastic theme.

  18. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal- Thanks!

    Jagruti- I love the Gujarati dal with peanuts!

    Sachita- I definitely think of sambar as a form of dal.

    Nags- Try it, you might like it :)

    A_and_N- I am a peanut fan too. Big time. What ice cream are you referring to?

  19. Meera- Love the frugal way of recycling varan for amti! I crave my regular dose of amti too :)

    Kanchan- Oh yes, adding coconut is a great variation, more of Konkan and Goan thing. How did I forget tohy- we had that regularly at my parents' home too!

    Anjali- Yes, adding peanuts to everything is very typical of these peanut-growing regions :)
    Love adding chivda to leftover dals to make misal...mmm. Simple pleasures of life.

    Life is Beautiful!!!- We made that tangy gravy from peanuts too, specially for fasting days to be eaten with sabudana khichdi.

    Cooking Vegan With Soul- What a nice thing to say. Thank you!

  20. Wow, this amti looks fantastic. We grew up on the good old varan, chincha-goolachi amti, dal fry and the occasional 'danyachi amti' which I love

  21. our go-to daal was chinch-gulachi amti. i can never make one as good as my Aaji; but i think after countless variations i have hit upon a recipe that comes seriously close :)

  22. Oh I love this combination - am going to try it this evening itself! Growing up - my favourite dal preparation was "kootu" - moong dal with a vegetable in it (cabbage,chow chow or white pumpkin)flavoured with a coconut-cumin-greenchilli spice paste. Amazing and I love it even today.

  23. Superb combo!!! mast lagat asel na?

  24. Just to let you know that I made this dhal at the weekend. We loved it! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  25. I love the flavoring in amti, so I am excited to try this as soon as I can get to the Indian store and pick up the right lentils and some more groundnuts.

    I also have to agree with Sharmila - cooked peanuts are wonderful! I love them in lemon rice, where they sort of swell up and soak in a subtle lemon flavor.

    In my house the dal that is served most is a relatively plain toor dal with just basic fodni for seasoning. I find it super bland, but everyone else loves it and it requires no effort to cook, so I make it a lot. Hopefully this recipe is easy enough to make it into the normal rotation. It has many fewer ingredients than my mother-in-law's amti.

  26. Preeti- Ooh, I've almost forgotten about danyachi amti, love that stuff with sabudana khichdi.

    PJ- Yes, that perfect balance of chinch and gul and spice is so elusive, right? Now I will sit here and patiently wait for you to post the recipe you are perfecting ;)

    Miri- If you try it, let me know if you like it. Kootu is something I love to eat (when visiting V's relatives), I don't make it at home because it is something he does not like much.

    Khaugiri- Yes, indeed!

    maninas- I'm so glad you like it; thanks for letting me know.

    Anisheetu- Thanks.

    Gabi- Yes, peanuts soak in the flavor and become quite irresistible. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  27. Dal as a staple for us was always sambar, dali-saar or yelai paruppu (the thick plain dal).

    I have got to try masoor amti :)

  28. Nupur , I ve 2 small packs of kokum and after going thro ur blog, felt that the lots of hoarded groceries be used, Combining both, i made this beautiful, tasty amti, going exactly as per ur recipe, but used ur version of amti masala instead of garam masala. superb,


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