There is no substitute for having saffron at home!
I’m not sure where I found saffron (I haven’t had the opportunity to order it in the US, and don’t plan to come here anytime soon), but I love it. I got it from my friends in Sri Lanka and they bought it from my mother (an Australian), because she makes dal in Sydney. I have not tried other dals because I have not found a substitute.
There are many different recipes you can follow with this dal…
This is all about the dal and dal masala together.
This recipe was my first time making Dal, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be making any other Indian-style meals for a while. Although, I haven’t been to India or Sri Lanka in ages but I had a dream about visiting Sri Lanka one day and now the dream is about living there. So you can imagine how excited I am for that! I feel so much more alive there.
I made this meal with just onions and spices, not all of them (the coriander, cumin, turmeric). But this recipe works well with a good deal of spices. I also used to make these with lots of cumin and curry powder, but I’ve been eating this without much fuss lately. As we know, curry powder makes the dal taste quite spicy.
The dal is very easy to make – I do it almost every time (that sounds ridiculous, but it’s the truth). After you make dal in a saucepan, add water to cover the dal and bring to boil. Then, allow it to boil a little before serving. After 1.5 to 2.5 hours, I can usually get the dal down to the consistency that I like and leave the whole thing aside. For a slightly firmer dal with a firmer texture, I add some salt at the end.
If you’re using frozen dal or dal that is very hard but soft, freeze it in the freezer for at least an hour before you make the dal. Even better is to leave the dal in the freezer or in a small bowl in the fridge for an hour or two before you use it.
If you like, you could serve this along with any dishes you’d like.
For this dal, I used some homemade dal (just the dal and the spice mix I usually