Every cuisine has a signature dish and with Konkanis, it is Daalithoi. As you might have guessed, it is a variety of daal. This quintessential Konkani dish is made with yellow split peas and seasoning but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It is the perfect complement to the myriad side dishes such as upkaris, sukkes, sagles (all varieties of vegetable dishes), bajjes (vegetable fritters) etc. Rajesh’s dream meal is rice, daalithoi and fried fish! There’s a saying where we come from that a person is a true Konkani or GSB only if he or she loves Daalithoi. No wonder it is referred to as the “Kuldev” or family deity!
- Yellow split peas/tuvar/toor daal/ arhar daal - 1 cup
- Turmeric powder/haldi - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
- Green chillies -5-6(depending on taste)
- Asafoetida/hing powder 1 teaspoon (divided)
- Salt to taste.
- For seasoning:-
- Clarified butter(Ghee)/oil/coconut oil - 1 tablespoon
- Mustard seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- Dry red chillies - 2-3
- Cilantro for garnish
Wash the daal and pressure cook in a pressure cooker till soft and pulpy (about 3-4 whistles)
After the daal is cooked,the dish can be prepared directly in the cooker or in a separate pot, it's totally up to you.
Add slit green chillies, 1/2 teaspoon Asafoetida powder (or 1 tsp hing water) and salt to taste. Mix well. The daal must be mixed really well, the consistency should be that of daal blended with water. Bring it to a boil.
Heat ghee/ oil/ coconut oil in a small pan. Add mustards seeds. When the seeds splutter, add in the curry leaves and the red chillies. After a few seconds, put in the remaining hing powder.
Wait for a few seconds and pour the whole seasoning into the daal.
Serve hot with white rice and any vegetable dish/papad/fish fry on the side.
- I know people who soak daal for some time before they pressure cook.
- My mother-in-law adds turmeric powder for added color.
- Traditionally Daalithoi is served plain but I add some finely chopped cilantro for garnish just to add a little bit of color and taste.
- You can go lighter or heavier on the hing, its totally upto your preference. I tend to put in a bit more because I love the smell of hing in my Daalithoi.
- If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can microwave the daal, please note that it takes a fair bit of time to cook and you may have to experiment with the time depending on your microwave. Be sure to add enough water when you microwave the daal, soaking helps speed up the process.