Simple Dal with Shallots, Ginger and Tomatoes For Idlis



This simple dal with shallots, ginger and tomatoes, is what I call the soul mate for idlis. I know idlis are officially married to sambars and no doubt they make a handsome pair. But according to me their divine, spiritual and natural love totally lies in this dal ;).

I got this recipe from my sister Sophie, who I think tried to imitate something that my God Mother auntie M used to make and ended up with something  completely different but divinely delicious. And like I said before, if you have to do justice either to this dal or to the idlis you HAVE to get these two together. 


1 cup tuvar dal/ lentils (pigeon pea)
1 8-10 shallots each cut into half
1 cup tuvar dal/ lentils (pigeon pea)
4 plump and ripe tomatoes chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1tbsp finely cut ginger julienne style
1/2 tsp turmeric
5- 6 curry leaves
1/4 tsp tamarind paste or 1 marble sized ball of pitted tamarind soaked in warm water and pulp extracted (optional)
4- 5 green chilies silt into half
2 tbsp chopped cilantro (an absolute must)
2 tbsp oil/clarified butter /ghee
salt to taste


  • Pressure cook dal with turmeric, tamarind and half of the shallots with sufficient water.
  • Heat  oil add mustard and curry leaves.
  • When the mustard pops, add a spoonful of finely sliced ginger, sauté for 2 mins.
  • Add green chilies and remaining shallots and curry leaves.
  • Add coriander powder, chopped tomatoes and sauté until the tomatoes are cooked and form a mush.
  • Add this to the cooked dhal and let it boil.
  • Garnish with with cilantro.
  • 2 Responses to “Simple Dal with Shallots, Ginger and Tomatoes For Idlis”

    1. shiniga ratish says:

      Hai, this is the third recipe of yours that am gonna try out. I used to have this sambhar wen in chennai, and i was trying to find this recipe for a while, but in vain. I had tried your fish in banana leaves recipe, and that was very successful. I had a told a friend about the recipe and she wanted it too,so dropped in today to send her the link to the recipe and here my special idli dal is waiting. Thanks a lot.:) i find most of wot i need here. As a newly wed this is absolutely great blog to drop in once in a while. And i like your writing style, especially the one for this(soul mate). 🙂

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