Today's dish, Mori Dhal, is one of my culture's most simple, yet important dishes because this brightly coloured and buttery yellow dhal always served on auspicious days and is a must to bring good luck and blessings!
We serve this dish mostly on birthdays but it is not uncommon for Parsis to serve this dish for all sorts of happy occasions. Traditionally this dhal is served with steamed basmati rice and either a lightly spiced and fried fish or fish patia which is fish cooked in a onion, tomato and coriander/cilantro gravy - both are very delicious!
Mori Dhal made from yellow split peas is also known as chana dhal. It is extremely easy to prepare, is very nourishing and healthy and requires very few ingredients. It has a wonderful earthy, buttery taste and smooth texture. I feel very fortunate that my mother, Mama Vil, who also co-blogs with me, has allowed me to share this family recipe with you and I hope it will warm your hearts and bellies the same way, this recipe has done for our family over all these years and will continue to do so in the years to come.
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Dhal has a tendency to thicken easily, especially after it has cooled or been stored in the fridge but this can be easily be solved by adding small amounts of boiling water until you get the desired consistency. I usually just boil some in my kettle and keep it ready. Just remember to go slowly, you don't want to dilute it too much and remember to taste and re-season if necessary!
If you haven't yet invested in a pressure cooker, do so because it will change your life and save you ages in the kitchen
YOU WILL NEED
250g | 9 ounces split peas (chana dhal)
2+1/2 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
1 pinch of asafoedita (hing)
2-3 tablespoons butter
1-2 teaspoons sugar (optional but I love it this way)
Salt to taste (start with a 2 teaspoons and work up gradually until you get the desired flavor)
Place your split peas into a sieve and thoroughly wash your split peas under running water until clear.
Place your washed split peas into a stainless steel vessel large enough to hold the dhal (and water) but small enough to fit into your pressure cooker.
Add about an inch of water to the base of your pressure cooker and a stainless steel trivet to the bottom of your pressure cooker - this protects the dhal from burning.
Add the water, turmeric and asaofetida/hing to your dhal and give a quick stir.
Place the dhal in your pressure cooker, seal your pressure cooker and then according to your pressure cooker's instructions continue to cook for 30-35 minutes. Normally you will bring your pressure cooker up to high heat at first and then turn down to low to a simmer after it comes up to pressure to finish cooking.
Once cooked ALLOW YOUR PRESSURE COOKER TO DEPRESSURIZE - this is very important, especially if you have an old-school pressure cooker.
Once depressurized and safe to open, remove the dish with the cooked dhal and using a stick blender, blend until smooth.
Pour your cooked dhal into a large pot and place on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter, sugar and salt and stir until melted through, if your dhal is too thick, add small amounts of boiling water until you get the desired consistency. Ensure you stir regularly to avoid the dhal sticking to the bottom.
Serve hot with steamed basmati rice, fried Parsi style fish or fish patia.