Dal is an important constituent in an Indian vegetarian diet, which, when combined with either rice, or roti as it usually is, provides a complete protein, besides minerals and vitamins.
In its most basic version, dal is simply soaked for a bit, then boiled (pressure-cooked) with salt, and it is ready! This is the version that gets made most often in my house, with the addition of turmeric and a tempering of cumin seeds and asafoetida.
There are more delightful and delicious versions of roasted dals (also many other ones, besides tur) that can be made into a Podi (Roasted, spiced dal powder) or Pachadi (Roasted, spiced dal chutney) etc.
Tur Dal (Red Gram/Pigeon Pea) ½ cup
Salt to taste
Water – 1 1/4 cup
1.) Roast the dal on medium heat with constant stirring, till nicely browned and fragrant.
2.) Rinse and pressure cook with the water as usual till soft (ie, bring to full pressure, then maintain on simmer for 8-10 minutes, allow pressure to drop normally).
3.) Add salt to taste. Serve hot.
Traditionally loved with steaming hot rice (and a bit of jaggery and ghee) on the side, but versatile enough to go with anything.