Apr 6, 2008

Recipe: Plain dal (mudda pappu)

Pigeon peas cooked with ghee (soup)


I cook this dal/soup when I need to prepare something healthy in a short amount of time. It is a very simple recipe and also easy on the stomach.

I remember the first few days after my marriage. During lunch, my brother-in-law trying to poke fun, asked me if I know how to cook. I answered, a little. He asked me to explain how to make plain dal. I answered him very casually - wash the dal, cook in a pressure cooker and just add salt at the end. He looked at me and commented this shows I don't know cooking. He narrated the process which I am listing below as a recipe. After I heard the recipe from him, I always take precaution when answering questions related to recipes. I ask how he prefers to make it :-) Now, he takes tips from me!


  • Toor dal (pigeon peas) 1 cup
  • Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Ghee - 1 teaspoon
  • Water - 3 cups

Seasoning (optional):

  • Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Dry red chillies - 1
  • Hing (asafoetida) - 1 small pinch (less than 1/4 teaspoon)
  • Onion - 1/2 cup (optional)can
  • Water - 3 cups
  • Curry leaves - 1 stalk


Wash toor dal, add 3 cups of water, turmeric and salt. Pressure cook it for 2 -3 whistles. Let the pressure release.


Preheat the kadai/skillet with ghee. Add cumin and mustard seeds, let them splutter. Add red chillies, hing and curry leaves and turn off the stove. Add the seasoning to dal and serve it rice or roti.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 - 4


If you would like to add onions. Add onions along with chillies, hing and curry leaves after the seasoning seeds splutter and sauté, till the onions turn golden brown in color. Add the sautéed onions to dal.

To serve it like a soup, add 1 - 2 cups of hot water and simmer it for 5 -10 minutes.

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Some of the recipes presented here are originally inspired by others. Credit is given to the original postings. I have listed recipes here for my own reference as well as pictures are my addition to the whole cooking experience. Enjoy.