Monday, June 22, 2015

Recipe: Andhra Tomato Dal

This dal is famous from husband-ji's region and a versatile dish ("pappu") that goes along with any curry or stir-fry. This dish is very healthy, using very little oil but maximum flavor. It has roughly 16 grams of protein (31% of your daily value) and 18 grams of fiber. This dish is one of the fundamental basics of classical Andhra cooking. It is the perfect beginner recipe for any Bahu - one that you can master quickly in the Indian Kitchen.

Madh Mama's Andhra Tomato Dal
(Serves 4-6 people)


- 1 cup toor dal
- 2 cups water
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 3 green chillies
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves

- 1-2 tbsp oil (sunflower or peanut oil)
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 dried red chilli (rip in half)
- 2 dashes asefoetida
- 1/2 tsp cimun
- 1-2 sprigs of curry leaves
- 3-8 cloves of chopped garlic (as per your taste)


Wash the dal, drain it, and add it to the pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Chop the tomatoes and add it to the pressure cooker. Slice the green chillies in half, keeping the stem intact, and add it to the pressure cooker. Add the turmeric and salt.

Pressure cook the dal for about 10 minutes when it starts to whistle. Then, take it off the heat and let it cool down for 20 minutes (keep lid closed).

Open up the pressure cooker, stir and mash the dal while you bring it to a boil. You can add a few more cups of water at this point.

In a separate small omelette pan, heat up the oil and then pour in the mustard seeds.

When the mustard seeds start to crackle, add the dried red chilli, asefoetida, cumin, and curry leaves and saute for 5-10 seconds.

Then add the chopped garlic and saute until lightly browned - be careful that it doesn't burn. 

Immediately pour the tempering into the boiling dal and mix. 

Let it boil for a few minutes, and then put in 1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves. Boil for an additional 5 minutes and then turn it off.

And voila!

This dish goes well as a soup, or with rice, or roti.

It goes with many vegetable dishes, including Aloo Jeera, Carrots Poriyal, Punjabi Beetroot, Beans Poriyal, Bindi fry, or Tinda fry.



  1. Aah, yes, the "tomato pappu". I love this!

    1. It's the best! It goes with everything!

  2. Thanks for the recipe Alexandra. I made your dal last night and it was delicious!

  3. Alexandra, Im sad to see so few recipes...please please put more recipes...the pictures make me drool and want to try them immediately...i tried the garlic dal & it turned out awesome. Kudos to you for making the effort to learn Indian recipes and cooking them like a pro! Im Indian (living in the US) and I thought I made great dal....but your recipes made me fall in love with dal once again. Here when I'm eating a tasteless sandwich I sometimes crave plain rice and dal & pickle...yummmm.


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